French legend


 
Franck Cammas on the Jules Verne Trophy, the 33rd America's Cup and Extreme 40s
Following their structural failure on Sunday, Franck Cammas and his crew are at present nursing their 105ft long maxi-trimaran Groupama 3 towards Cape Town where the plan remains to spend a week fixing her, before sailing her back to France and start out again in January or February. On Monday the crucial bulkhead in her port float, where the aft cross beam joins the float, broke and this started to affect the integrity of the float in this area. At the time the float was on the weather side and out of the water and while the team are considering the causes, it was almost certainly caused by wave impact. As the video here, shows beforehand in the seaway, the float was being repeatedly bashed around by waves underneath and on the side, although this is to be expected on a racing trimaran. This time around Cammas and his team had hoped for a more fortunate ride around the planet following their hull breakage two years ago that very nearly resulted in the total loss of Groupama 3 off New Zealand. On his second attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy Cammas went on stand-by early - 1 November - and left just five days later, on what proved to be a blinder of a weather pattern, allowing them to reach the Equator in a new record time from Brest, of 5 days 15 hours and 23 minutes. The reason for the promptness of their departure may have been partly due to the ominous presence of their next door neighbour in Lorient’s submarine silos - Pascal Bidegorry’s Banque Populaire team. The Banque Populaire maxi-tri is newer than Groupama 3, some 20ft longer and a demonstration of her incredible potential came this summer when she demolished the west to east transatlantic record.

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