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Record-smashing trimaran aborts round-the-world attempt

Nov 18, 2009 The record-setting trimaran Groupama 3 has abandoned an attempt at the Jules Verne round-the-world record after sustaining heavy damage in a storm. A bulkhead connecting the aft crossbeam with the port float failed in harsh conditions, forcing the crew to reduce speed and head for Cape Town.

From the ISAF's Sailing.org:

"We'd spent the night sailing fast to stay ahead of the front and this morning Thomas Coville and Bruno Jeanjean were on deck when they heard a big 'crack': there was a small fissure between the aft beam and the port float. Conditions were really bouncy: we came to a standstill with the wind right on our tail so as to be able to open the hatch and get down inside the float. Part of the section between the beam and the float level with the bulkhead had become detached. As such the structural integrity was reduced by at least half. It is impossible to envisage effecting repairs at sea due to the motion. At the moment we're still being shaken about: there was 35 knots of wind on the beam at the moment the incident occurred and just now, we've been caught up by the front so we've got 40 knots of breeze...

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