Line honours for Groupama

Second consecutive win for Franck Cammas in Transat Jacques Vabre, plus 0900 race update

Sunday November 16th 2003, Author: James Boyd/Mary Ambler, Location: Transoceanic
Groupama sailed by Franck Cammas and Franck Proffit crossed the finish line in Salvador da Bahia this morning at 0810hrs and 41s GMT, or 0510hrs 41s local time to take line honours in the 60ft trimaran class.

The green and white trimaran came into view as dawn rose, heralded by champagne-coloured clouds and a smooth sea - the nearest to a red carpet for her French crew in this the sixth running of the Transat Jacques Vabre. This is the second consecutive win for the van Peteghem-Prevost designed trimaran which covered the 4,340 mile course in 10 days, 23hrs, 10min and 41s at an average speed of 16.49 knots. While Cammas won two years ago it is also a second win for Franck Proffit who was co-skipper with Loick Peyron on board Fujicolour the winner in 1999.

Comparisons with the Transat Jacques Vabre two years ago are hard to make because this time due to their delayed start the boats didn't have to sail around the Ascension Island waypoint.

Franck Cammas’ gave his observations: “The race was shorter but much harder than the last time. There were a lot more weather systems to play with, strong upwind, downwind - and we got trapped by the calms in the Doldrums too when the boats behind didn’t have it so bad. Although the last tack in is an easy solution in terms of strategy, it’s the least comfortable one. Well, it was great to arrive this morning, physically we felt as if we’d just been in a night club dancing til dawn - we were both awake and on deck for the last 48 hours of the race. In fact the whole race has been physically tough, we didn’t eat our first hot meal until four days into the race! This victory is sweeter than the one in 1999, because it was one which we had to fight much harder for. She’s a great boat, but in a race where pure boat speed was crucial for the last part and with Belgacom hard on our heels for the last two days, we know that she’s not as fast as the others now. But the team had to put her back together after my capsize in the Rhum and they deserve this victory as much as we do.”

Belgacom was due to arrive just over an hour after Groupama. Sailed by Jean-Luc Nélias and Loick Peyron, the blue trimaran has been storming along at high speed, eating into Groupama's lead all night.

The positions between the top five boatsin the trimaran class is suitably spread out that barring disaster their finish order is unlikely to change between now and the finish.



Positions at 0900GMT

Pos Boat name DTF DTL vmg Lat Long spd crs spd crs spd crs spd dist
Inst 1hr av 4hr av Over 24hrs
Open 60s
1 VIRBAC 529.9 0.0 13.6 6 21.80' S 32 45.80' W 13.2 214 13.7 212 13.2 211 14.5 347.5
2 ECOVER 661.8 131.9 13.1 4 11.64' S 32 01.44' W 13.2 208 13.1 207 13.0 211 13.8 331.9
3 SILL 665.2 135.3 14.9 4 24.88' S 31 35.40' W 16.0 212 15.0 211 14.7 210 14.3 342.9
4 PRB 768.3 238.4 13.6 2 55.28' S 30 43.40' W 15.0 212 13.9 204 14.5 203 12.8 306.1
5 TEAM COWES 845.0 315.1 12.2 0 52.56' S 31 53.20' W 12.4 193 12.4 193 11.8 197 11.1 267.0
6 VMI 845.3 315.4 13.5 1 56.84' S 29 53.48' W 13.5 210 13.6 210 13.1 209 12.3 296.2
7 CARREFOUR PREVENTION 957.0 427.1 11.5 0 30.92' N 30 24.04' W 11.0 204 11.8 217 11.8 212 11.4 274.2
8 GARNIER 1301.9 772.0 5.4 6 02.20' N 28 40.28' W 10.3 180 5.6 191 4.2 199 8.7 209.3
9 ARCELOR-DUNKERQUE 1326.9 797.0 9.0 4 03.00' N 24 30.84' W 10.7 190 10.3 190 8.0 213 8.9 214.1
10 LOIRE ATLANTIQUE 1440.5 910.6 2.4 6 20.44' N 24 25.28' W 4.3 173 3.6 165 4.8 169 9.3 222.1
11 60ème SUD 1691.3 1161.4 9.5 12 16.36' N 26 44.84' W 10.0 176 10.4 177 10.4 176 9.7 232.9
12 ADECCO 1772.6 1242.7 8.8 12 31.02' N 23 52.92' W 8.7 197 9.1 194 9.1 192 9.4 225.4
13 TIR GROUPE 1888.7 1358.8 7.1 13 34.32' N 21 49.52' W 10.3 262 10.2 257 9.6 251 9.1 218.1
60ft tris
1 GROUPAMA                          
2 BELGACOM 6 0 26.1 12 54.62' S 38 10.38' W 26.3 236 26.3 236 25.5 230 24.2 580.1
3 SERGIO TACCHINI 80 74 24.2 12 27.48' S 37 20.40' W 21.4 240 24.3 239 22.6 237 23.9 574.3
4 GEANT 138.2 132.2 22.9 11 45.24' S 36 37.52' W 24.4 235 23 236 21.1 234 22.2 533.7
5 BISCUITS LA TRINITAINE 174.7 168.7 11.1 11 22.24' S 36 09.48' W 8.4 233 11.1 233 16.2 226 21.5 516.8
6 BANQUE POPULAIRE 216 210 21.9 11 07.60' S 35 28.44' W 26 238 21.9 235 22 227 25 600.7
7 SODEBO 232.4 226.4 19.6 10 45.04' S 35 23.68' W 20.3 230 20 219 18.1 216 22.4 537.2
8 GITANA 263.1 257.1 16.9 10 01.32' S 34 41.28' W 30.4 214 17.3 216 18.4 212 21.3 511
9 SOPRA GROUP 361.1 355.1 18.8 8 30.08' S 34 22.36' W 21.4 207 19.1 210 18.8 209 19.6 470.8
10 FONCIA 409.7 403.8 21.9 8 05.04' S 33 49.96' W 9 202 22.3 211 22.1 205 21 503.4
11 BONDUELLE 476.3 470.3 22.1 7 01.88' S 33 21.24' W 22.4 208 22.9 204 19.3 203 16.9 406.3
12 BAYER CROPSCIENCE 653.2 647.2 21.3 4 08.68' S 32 03.28' W 22 207 21.4 206 18.8 202 18.9 454.3
13 BANQUE COVEFI 788.4 782.5 18.1 2 42.16' S 30 26.80' W 21.3 208 18.2 209 21.3 206 20 481.1
50ft multi
1 MOLLYMAWK 2365.4 0 3.8 23 40.68' N 25 16.76' W 10 227 13.1 271 13.2 269 4.5 107.2
Open 50s
1 HELLOMOTO 1539.9 0 8.4 8 46.24' N 25 12.04' W 9.1 187 9.1 187 8.5 183 10.3 247.1
2 STORAGETEK 1768.7 228.8 7.9 13 37.20' N 26 39.44' W 8.8 175 8.5 177 8.8 178 9.4 226.7
3 DEFI VENDEEN 1803.1 263.2 11 13 17.36' N 24 22.08' W 12.2 192 11.4 192 11.4 191 8.2 196.3

Open 60s

In the monohull class Jean-Pierre Dick and Nicolas Abiven on board Virbac are looking more certain than ever of taking line honours having extended their lead over the boats astern - Mike Golding's Ecover in second place was 116 miles behind yesterday which had increased to 132 miles this morning at 0900.

But the Brits on Ecover have other more pressing matters to think of - they are locked in battle with Roland Jourdain and Alex Thomson on board Sill, the latter slightly further offshore and potentially with a fraction broader angle to make it to the finish line. Saying this Ecover this morning seems to have picked up speed and is hanging on to the inside.

Meanwhile the inside track definitely appears not to be paying for Nick Moloney and Sam Davies on Team Cowes. From being 30 miles ahead of Seb Josse and Isabelle Autisser on VMI yesterday, Team Cowes was level pegging with VMI at 0900 this morning, the French boat sailing more than a knot faster. Moloney and Davies will have to use all their tactical cunning if they are to hang on to fifth place.




Below: Quikscat wind radar image at 1000GMT this morning

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