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Groupama 3 Smashes Jules Verne Record

Groupama 3 glides into Brest after a setting a new ’round the world record of 48d, 7h, 44m.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Just before 10 p.m. Saturday, Franck Cammas and his nine-man dream team passed the Ushant lighthouse after 48d, 7h, 44m, 52s, becoming the first crew to sail around the world in under 50 days, and take the Jules Verne Trophy in the process. Cammas’ 105-ft trimaran Groupama 3 was up to the task, covering the rated course distance of 21,760 miles at a staggering average of 18.76 knots, while actually sailing 28,523 miles at an average of 24.6 knots. With Bay Area-based navigator Stan Honey deciphering what was often very tricky and unfavorable weather, Groupama 3 was 500 miles in arrears of the previous record — the 50d, 16h, 20m, 4s time set by Bruno Peyron’s Orange II in ’05 — at the equator. By the time they reached Ushant, the team had amassed a lead of over 1,400 miles in their final sprint to the finish.

"I think we could do a lot better but I’ll let someone else beat our record first as I don’t really see the appeal of battling against myself!" Cammas said. "It was a great relief to cross the finish line. We ended up with a great time, certainly better than we could have expected after crossing the equator with a day’s deficit. Forty-eight days was an objective we set for ourselves before the start and this proved to be the case even though we didn’t often have conditions that were favorable."

The Bay Area’s Stan Honey first won the Jules Verne Trophy at the nav station of the late Steve Fossett’s Playstation in 2004. Six years later and he’s done it again aboard Groupama 3.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Cammas’ impressive team was an all-veteran assembly of guys who have a lot more sea miles than he does: Honey, watch captains Fred Le Peutrec and Steve Ravussin, helmsmen/trimmers Loïc Le Mignon, Thomas Coville and Lionel Lemonchois, and three bowmen: Bruno Jeanjean, Ronan Le Goff and Jacques Caraës, while Sylvain Mondon provided the shoreside weather routing.

"We trusted in our boat and in the concept of the trimaran," Cammas said. "It was a dream team with a whole wealth of experiences and talents. Sometimes I had to put my feelings to one side and take onboard the ideas of everyone else. I learned a vast amount — it was superb."

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