[Source: Franck Cammas - Groupama] The year has kicked off with a bang for Franck Cammas and Groupama sailing team. By asserting themselves in the French Match Racing championship in Antibes, against the sport’s local specialist, François Brenac, the adopted Breton, Cammas, has added another specialism and a brand new title to his list of victories.
Contacted by telephone, the Groupama skipper couldn’t disguise his delight: “It’s a nice surprise as the other crews are more familiar with this discipline than we are. We just kept on improving, particularly during the repechages, gaining access to the quarter finals by beating Christophe Château in a series of races that went right to the wire”.
Supported by Erwan Israël, Devan Le Bihan and Christophe André, Franck Cammas selected a highly professional crew: “We’ve been sailing together for several weeks, with the focus on preparing for the Tour de France à la Voile. As such we know each other very well, we manoeuvre well and the atmosphere aboard is very good”.
Pretty bulky compared with the other crews, Cammas and his team made the most of the solid breeze on the last day to qualify for the final “against a very promising youngster who’s sailing really well”, Arthur Herreman.
During Sunday afternoon’s final, Groupama sailing team took the win in three races straight: “In the first race, we were behind but Brenac fluffed up two manoeuvres, which enabled us to get past him. In the last two, we opted to sail properly, without worrying too much about what our adversary was doing. Our manoeuvring is smooth, we put in some good tacks and we’re ahead at the finish as a result”.
All too aware of the work still left to do before they are able to worry the top international crews, Franck Cammas is savouring the moment and takes this opportunity to thank the French Sailing Federation and the Antibes Yacht Club: “This championship doesn’t receive a great deal of media coverage, but it is very well organised and the atmosphere is really nice”.
When asked what his next stage of match racing will entail, the reigning French champion smiles and asks another question in response: “The America’s Cup?”