IDEC SPORT SAILING
The former Groupama 3, which became Banque Populaire VII, the new IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran has achieved a remarkable set of results: the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy from 2010 to 2012, the boat also won the last two editions of the Route du Rhum – among other successes. Nine years after being launched, this all-round multihull has a fine future ahead of her in the expert hands of Francis Joyon.
It was in December 2004 that Groupama announced the construction of a giant trimaran to attempt to smash the major ocean records, with as a climax the legendary Jules Verne Trophy. At a time when the arms race was on, Groupama wanted to design a boat of a reasonable size, the smallest trimaran capable of beating Orange II. Franck Cammas and his team opted for a length of 31.50 metres (105 feet) designed by the designers, Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot-Prévost. The construction of Groupama 3 began in 2005 at the Multiplast yard in Vannes. After almost 130,000 hours of work, the boat was launched on 7th June 2006. “We decided to come up with a trimaran with average power,” stressed Cammas when he presented his project. “Groupama 3 is light, but nevertheless long enough to be safe in the Southern Ocean. The power comes from her width, while the light weight is the result of a lot of work on the structure, a reasoned approach to choosing the gear and fittings, as well as careful attention during the construction process.” Groupama 3 had an innovative concept inspired by the 60-foot Orma trimarans (including Groupama 2) as well as the previous giants, which were heavier and designed for the Southern Ocean. While Orange II (36.80 metres) was to be feared in heavy seas, she struggled in light airs and moderate conditions. Groupama 3 was a much better all-rounder: she sailed quickly in heavy weather, while was much more at ease in lighter conditions. Another new feature: Groupama 3 was the first big multihull to set off around the world with foils, a concept previously used by the Orma triamarans, but only in the Atlantic.
- Architects: VPLP team (Van Péteghem-Lauriot Prévost)
- Previous names: Groupama 3, Banque Populaire VII
- Length: 31.50 m
- Beam: 22.50 m
- Displacement: 18,000 kg
- Draught: 5.70 m
- Mast height: 33.50 m
- Structure: carbon-Nomex
- Upwind sail surface: 411 m2
- Downwind sail surface: 678 m2
- Initial launch date: June 2006
Two wins for the boat in the Route du Rhum
Once again in 2010, Franck Cammas took up a challenge that many people thought was impossible or at the very least extremely complicated, as he was aiming to win the Route du Rhum sailing alone on his 31.5m maxi trimaran, fitted with a shorter mast and a more suitable deck layout. Cammas’s performance was truly amazing. After 9 days 3 hours 14 minutes and 47 seconds of sailing, he came in first in Pointe-à-Pitre ahead of Francis Joyon and Thomas Coville. The boat was then bought and became Banque Populaire VII. Relaunched on 15th April 2013 in Lorient, the boat added more successes to her list of achievements in the hands of Armel Le Cléac’h, who smashed several solo records aboard her: the Mediterranean record, the Columbus Route record and the greatest distance sailed in 24 hours (682 miles). Suffering from an injured hand, Armel Le Cléac’h was forced to step down from the Route du Rhum and was replaced at the last moment by Loïck Peyron at the helm of the maxi trimaran, the title-holder in the prestigious transatlantic race. After a fantastic race, Peyron won the tenth edition of the Route du Rhum with a time of 7 days, 15 hours 8 minutes and 32 seconds – a new race record! Now in the colours of IDEC SPORT with Francis Joyon at the helm, the maxi trimaran has not yet finished harvesting successes…