Cammas seals third Transat triumph in record time

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The Independent Online

As Franck Cammas won his third Transat Jacques Vabre in his 60-foot trimaran Groupama yesterday, Britain's Mike Golding, partnered by Bruno Dubois, was battling against the doldrums to maintain his lead in the Barcelona World Race with 1,600 miles to go.

Cammas, with Stève Ravussin, covered over 300 miles more than the shortest route of 4,300 miles between Le Havre, France, and Salvador, Brazil, but still managed to knock over a day off the previous multihull record.

In the round-the-world event, Golding, in his Open 60 Ecover, was 36 miles ahead of Loick Peyron and Jean-Baptiste Levaillant, in turn three miles ahead of Kito de Pavant and Sébastien Col. Samantha Davies, with her French co-skipper Jeanne Gregoire, is still 10th and Dee Caffari, with Nigel King, 13th, though Caffari's margin over the 14th of the 16 remaining Open 60s, has shrunk to 25 miles.

Peter Harding, with Anne Liardet, holds fourth in the Class 40 but two other British entries, Jo Royle and Alexia Barrier in Pindar and Dan Gohl and Tom Gall in Concise, are 18th and 24th of the remaining 28.

Hoping to make it out of the Mediterranean today are the majority of the nine Open 60s which started the 25,000-mile Barcelona race on Sunday. Vincent Riou and Sébastien Josse still held a narrow lead.

Another 400km down the coast from Barcelona, the prospect of an America's Cup in 2009 was in doubt. The defender, Switzerland's Alinghi, issued an ultimatum to Larry Ellison's BMW Oracle to withdraw tomorrow's planned New York Supreme Court action regarding the event. Oracle feels the acceptance of the hastily concocted Spanish club, the Club Nautico Español de Vela, and its role as challenger of record had led to a protocol that is illegal, unfair, and unnecessary.