Mallorca by Land, Air and Sea

Jules Verne Trophy: Groupama 3 is back at her builder, Multiplast

Monday, 28 April 2008

More than two months after its capsize off New Zealand, the maxi trimaran Groupama 3 is back in the yard in which it was created, after being transported by cargo ship across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans  as far as Lorient. On the programme, no less than six months work in order to be ready to make another attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy.

Unloaded on Saturday in the commercial port of Lorient, Groupama 3 was immediately towed by an SNSM (French lifeboat service) launch, Sieur Champlain, bound for Vannes and the Multiplast yard. Directed by team manager Stéphane Guilbaud and Yann Merour, the five hour trip went smoothly, as did her lift onto the hard this Monday morning.

With its port float amputated, the maxi trimaran thus begins a long session of reconstruction work: “Our objective is to be ready to attack the Jules Verne Trophy at the end of the year. Determining a specific date is difficult today as we don't yet have all the necessary pieces of the jigsaw for reconstruction. The architects, Groupama’s design office and the engineers working on her are gathering this information together as we speak, but nothing is yet set in stone” analyses Franck Cammas.

Alongside him, Stéphane Guilbaud and Roger Lair, in charge of the sailing sponsorship at Groupama, are discussing the state of play with Gilles Ollier, boss of the Multiplast yard, who explains: “It’s always difficult to see a boat that we’ve built, like Groupama 3, return damaged. I have to say that I expected her to be in worse condition. Rendez-vous in six months time for her launch I'd say, at which point you’ll be unable to imagine what state she's in today”.

On the programme at the yard: construction of a new port float, repair of the starboard float with an extra foam reinforcement between the two cross beams, grafting of those same beams and final repair of the damaged zones on the deck and the beams.

At the same time the Lorima yard will be manufacturing a new mast, identical to the previous one, and the Incidences sail loft in La Rochelle will be cutting her a new set of sails.

Always supported by Groupama through the good times and the bad, Franck Cammas is continuing his sail programme: Chopard Grand Prix in the Décision 35 on Lake Geneva over the weekend of Ascension, National F18  with Jérémy Lagarrigue  in Quiberon, Brittany over the weekend of Pentecost, followed by training on the Extreme 40 with Team Oracle in Valencia. Suffice to say that the skipper of Groupama is doing everything he can to keep his hand in and conquer fresh horizons.

Translation Kate Jennings

Groupama images

Last Updated ( Monday, 28 April 2008 )