Archive | Franck Cammas

Groupama 45: taking flight

Posted on 14 May 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Groupama Sailing Team] There are some dates that are immediately etched on your memory, ones you’ll remember for a long time to come. 7 May is one such date for Franck Cammas and for Groupama sailing team with the first launch and the first flying sessions by the one-design catamaran Groupama 45, which is set to participate in the first event of the America’s Cup World Series in three months’ time alongside the world’s top teams. Prior to this meet though, it’s in Brittany that Franck Cammas and his crew will sample the delights of being airborne when they take the start of the Tour de Belle Ile.

Though the road to the America’s Cup is still a long one for Team France, the path leading to the America’s Cup World Series is already being carved out. The second national team, after the Britons, to receive the foils and rudders that will enable the AC45s to fly, Groupama sailing team is debuting this new configuration, which confirms the abrupt change in tone that has come about largely as a result of the last edition of the America’s Cup in 2013 in San Francisco.

Since the incredible final between the Americans and New Zealanders, the engineers, the naval architects and the sailors have been working relentlessly on these foils, which are designed to keep the boats airborne and hence faster: “An increasing number of boats are using foils. That’s the way things are progressing. We’ve been practising this type of sailing for some years now, a point reflected in our win at the last Little America’s Cup with Groupama C in September 2013. We’re still in the early stages of this new era. It’s thrilling and it’s a change of direction that you simply can’t afford to miss. This is why France has to be at the next America’s Cup. Our engineers are among the best in the world and we mustn’t let them head overseas. We have some great cards up our sleeves”.

By participating in the 6th edition of the Tour de Belle Ile, Groupama 45 will be sizing up the competition among the other flying boats, particularly those of Gitana Team, which has two multihulls in the running: a 70-foot trimaran and a 32-foot catamaran. The notable difference between these boats and that skippered by Franck Cammas: the rig. Indeed, Groupama will be propelled along by a fixed wing, whilst the Gitanas will be sporting classic sails.

It now remains to be seen what the weather has in store for the 500 boats signed up in what has become the biggest race meet in France over the years. According to the team’s forecasts, the Tour de Belle Ile is likely to be contested in a powerful 20 to 25 knots of breeze and a fine 3-metre swell generated by the recent string of lows, which have been sweeping across France. Suffice to say that these conditions have been the focus of the Groupama skipper’s attentions of late: “On Saturday morning, we’re likely to have 15 to 20 knots of breeze, which remains manageable. In the afternoon, the wind is set to build to 20 – 25 knots. At that point it’s more borderline but we should have completed the Tour de Belle Ile by then. Ideally, we’d like to do a return trip between Lorient and La Trinité in one day but that may not be possible. In that case, we’ll have to drop anchor and keep two or three people aboard, even at night, so as we can be sure that the wing is free and not dragging the boat or causing her to capsize”.

Alongside Cammas, the crew of Groupama 45 is keen to get going. Thierry Fouchier, Arnaud Jarlegan and Devan Le Bihan, as well as Pierre Pennec, who’s standing in for Arnaud Psarofaghis, the latter otherwise engaged on Lake Geneva where he’s racing a D35, are all familiarising themselves with this flying version of the AC45: “We spent two seasons on this boat in her non-flying version so we have a good foundation to work from. Despite that, the act of flying alters things aboard somewhat so we have to adapt to the situation. It’s really interesting,” explains Thierry Fouchier, one of the few French sailors to have won the America’s Cup (in 2010 with BMW Oracle).

Set a date for Saturday then, in the bay off La Trinité sur Mer, south-west Brittany, at 10:00am, for the start of the Tour de Belle Ile. In fact the meeting will see a second Groupama boat take to the water in the hands of local skipper, Julien Villion. This will be the 40-foot Extreme 40 catamaran aboard which will be a certain Sophie de Turckheim, crew to Franck Cammas on the Nacra 17.

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Franck Cammas expected to win the Route du Rhum later today

Posted on 09 November 2010 by Valencia Sailing

At 0500hrs (CET) this morning Cammas on Groupama 3 was still sailing in a contrary southerly breeze of between 10 and 12 knots. Maintaining his present VMG he is expected at Basse-Terre at between 1200hrs and 1400hrs (CET) and at the finish line some two hours later. Cammas has been maintaining the required exceptionally high work rate since yesterday, tacking solo the giant trimaran on which he sailed round the world fully crewed to win the Jules Verne Trophy. Since very early yesterday morning Cammas had completed more than a dozen tacks, and at 0400hrs this morning passed 12 miles north of Antigua, sailing through between the chain of Caribbean islands. By 0800hrs he had just 76 final miles to go, tacked back on starboard tack and was ten miles to the SSW of Antigua.

“The end of a Transatlantic race is always long. It feels like you have finished but you have not.” Pointed out the Groupama 3 skipper this morning, positioned 76 miles from the Basse Terre buoy by 0500hrs (CET). If the wind conditions and direction remain as is, the green tri should reach the SW of Guadeloupe in seven to eight hours.

Franck Cammas approaches the finish line of the Route du Rhum – Banque Postale. Guadeloupe, 9 November 2010. Video copyright Route du Rhum – Banque Postale

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Franck Cammas expected to win the Route du Rhum later today

Posted on 09 November 2010 by Valencia Sailing

At 0500hrs (CET) this morning Cammas on Groupama 3 was still sailing in a contrary southerly breeze of between 10 and 12 knots. Maintaining his present VMG he is expected at Basse-Terre at between 1200hrs and 1400hrs (CET) and at the finish line some two hours later. Cammas has been maintaining the required exceptionally high work rate since yesterday, tacking solo the giant trimaran on which he sailed round the world fully crewed to win the Jules Verne Trophy. Since very early yesterday morning Cammas had completed more than a dozen tacks, and at 0400hrs this morning passed 12 miles north of Antigua, sailing through between the chain of Caribbean islands. By 0800hrs he had just 76 final miles to go, tacked back on starboard tack and was ten miles to the SSW of Antigua.

“The end of a Transatlantic race is always long. It feels like you have finished but you have not.” Pointed out the Groupama 3 skipper this morning, positioned 76 miles from the Basse Terre buoy by 0500hrs (CET). If the wind conditions and direction remain as is, the green tri should reach the SW of Guadeloupe in seven to eight hours.

Franck Cammas approaches the finish line of the Route du Rhum – Banque Postale. Guadeloupe, 9 November 2010. Video copyright Route du Rhum – Banque Postale

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Franck Cammas heads south in the Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale

Posted on 01 November 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Groupama] Twenty four hours after a spectacular start, Franck Cammas is continuing his course at a hellish pace. Heading southward, the skipper of Groupama has already passed Cape Finisterre and is beginning his descent along the Spanish coast. Accredited with fourth place due to her SE’ly position, in reality Groupama 3′s position is doubtless much envied by her rivals.

“We’re trying to pick our way along the eastern edge of the zone of high pressure. For this, it was necessary to go fast and drop down the coast at full pelt by keeping the gennaker aloft. The sailing was borderline at times but we came out of it just fine” said Franck during a quick radio link-up with Press HQ for the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale at midday.

An attacker through and through, the skipper of Groupama 3 benefited from a powerful, fast boat to traverse the Bay of Biscay at high speed despite a sizeable swell and a dark night.

Contacted via telephone at 1600 hours, Jean-Luc Nélias, one of Franck Cammas’ weather advisors gave his view of the situation: “The tricky section is in Groupama 3′s wake now. It was important not to get caught up by the ridge of high pressure. Franck is carrying everything aloft, as he was at the start, namely full mainsail, staysail and gennaker. He’s in good shape and managing to sleep in 20 minute chunks”.

By sailing at an average of 23 knots, Groupama 3 is making up nearly 7 miles an hour on the leader of the ranking, Thomas Coville. Positioned further North and West, his Sodebo is logically closer to the finish, but has less pace. This trend could continue over the next few hours, that is unless Thomas decides to strike right out to the West.

Even further to the North and further West, Sydney Gavignet has definitively opted for the great circle route. This is synonymous with the shortest route but also the most testing as the bulk of it will be raced in headwinds. Skippering a trimaran which is theoretically a little less speedy than the other favourites, he’s trying his luck by typically committing himself to an option.

Astern but practically following the same line as Groupama 3, Francis Joyon and Yann Guichard are also seeking to make headway to the south. In a less well established wind, they’re just a few knots off the pace.

So the daggers are drawn then and it’s a fairly uniform fleet in terms of performance, despite the disparity of the trimarans. Once again it’s the sailors who will make the difference on what is a demanding course, where the weather may well have a few surprises up its sleeve…

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Franck Cammas heads south in the Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale

Posted on 01 November 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Groupama] Twenty four hours after a spectacular start, Franck Cammas is continuing his course at a hellish pace. Heading southward, the skipper of Groupama has already passed Cape Finisterre and is beginning his descent along the Spanish coast. Accredited with fourth place due to her SE’ly position, in reality Groupama 3′s position is doubtless much envied by her rivals.

“We’re trying to pick our way along the eastern edge of the zone of high pressure. For this, it was necessary to go fast and drop down the coast at full pelt by keeping the gennaker aloft. The sailing was borderline at times but we came out of it just fine” said Franck during a quick radio link-up with Press HQ for the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale at midday.

An attacker through and through, the skipper of Groupama 3 benefited from a powerful, fast boat to traverse the Bay of Biscay at high speed despite a sizeable swell and a dark night.

Contacted via telephone at 1600 hours, Jean-Luc Nélias, one of Franck Cammas’ weather advisors gave his view of the situation: “The tricky section is in Groupama 3′s wake now. It was important not to get caught up by the ridge of high pressure. Franck is carrying everything aloft, as he was at the start, namely full mainsail, staysail and gennaker. He’s in good shape and managing to sleep in 20 minute chunks”.

By sailing at an average of 23 knots, Groupama 3 is making up nearly 7 miles an hour on the leader of the ranking, Thomas Coville. Positioned further North and West, his Sodebo is logically closer to the finish, but has less pace. This trend could continue over the next few hours, that is unless Thomas decides to strike right out to the West.

Even further to the North and further West, Sydney Gavignet has definitively opted for the great circle route. This is synonymous with the shortest route but also the most testing as the bulk of it will be raced in headwinds. Skippering a trimaran which is theoretically a little less speedy than the other favourites, he’s trying his luck by typically committing himself to an option.

Astern but practically following the same line as Groupama 3, Francis Joyon and Yann Guichard are also seeking to make headway to the south. In a less well established wind, they’re just a few knots off the pace.

So the daggers are drawn then and it’s a fairly uniform fleet in terms of performance, despite the disparity of the trimarans. Once again it’s the sailors who will make the difference on what is a demanding course, where the weather may well have a few surprises up its sleeve…

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Volvo Ocean Race: The French are coming…

Posted on 21 June 2010 by Valencia Sailing

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Video: Groupama 70 races in Transmanche

Posted on 25 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

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

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Video: Groupama 70 races in Transmanche

Posted on 25 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

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

Comments (1)

 

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