Groupama has just published an interesting video, albeit in French, from Transmanche, the maiden race for the French Volvo Ocean Race entry. Created in 1985 by the members of the Yacht Club des Abers, the Transmanche has become a classic over the years. Its 220-mile course is extremely simple, in the form of a return trip between the famous Breton Aber and Plymouth’s breakwater in the UK.
It is a race reserved for crews sailing double-handed, but with a special invite given to Groupama 70 and the boat that ranked second in the Vendée Globe, the IMOCA 60 Britair skippered by Armel Le Cléach. A bit over 75 competitors raced in this year’s Transmanche. Groupama 70 crossed the finish line on Saturday afternoon, having covered 280 miles in around twenty hours, or what amounts to an average speed of 14 knots. “We constantly had a little more wind than that forecast on the grib files. Those one or two extra knots of breeze have a big influence on the average speed” explained Charles Caudrelier on his arrival in Aber Wrach.
For Cammas this was the first chance to test the sailing and shore crew in view of the team’s future races, mainly the RORC Round Britain and Ireland Race, where they will have the opportunity to race against Telefonica. The race is due to start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line on 23rd August. The approximate race distance around the British Isles is some 1760 miles and the first yachts should cross the finishing line about ten days after the start.
Groupama’s VO70 takes her maiden race. Aber Wrac’h, 21 May 2010. Video copyright Groupama
The crew aboard Groupama 70 was the following:
1. Franck Cammas, skipper
2. Damian Foxall, watch leader
3. Jean-Luc Nélias, navigator
4. Charles Caudrelier, piano and trimmer
5. Laurent Pagès, watch leader
6. Sébastien Audigane, helmsman and trimmer
7. Magnus Woxen, helmsman and trimmer
8. Philip Harmer, trimmer
9. Michael Pammenter, number 2
10. Martin Krite, number 1
11. Yann Riou, media man
12. Didier Ravon, guest journalist
While we’re at it, here’s another nice video of how Ericsson 4 became Groupama 70:
Transforming Ericsson 4 into Groupama 70. Video copyright Groupama