Archive | Groupama

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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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

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Groupama unveils its strategy for the Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 07 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Groupama] This Thursday in Eric Tabarly’s Cité de la Voile and then its base in Lorient, vessel owner Groupama and its team, revealed the reasons behind their commitment to the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, the crewed round the world race with stopovers. It proved to be an excellent opportunity for the European insurance and banking group to display its international ambition and for Franck Cammas and his team to vie with the top Anglo-Saxon crews.

“When we committed ourselves to supporting Franck Cammas back in 1998, he was a young sports entrepreneur, who was just discovering the multihull scene. Twelve years on, he has won virtually all the crewed races and racked up no less than six records, including the legendary Jules Verne Trophy on 20th March 2010. By confirming our commitment to the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, namely until 2015, we are supporting the Group’s international development, which makes 30% of its turnover overseas and employs over 11,000 employees outside France. Groupama is today identified as the leading vessel owner in French sailing. With the Volvo Ocean Race, this presence will further develop overseas” analyses Frédérique Granado, Groupama’s director of external communications.

To achieve this, Groupama can count on the complete involvement of its team led by Franck Cammas. Today this team is made up of 45 people and within the workforce it is fairly commonplace to hear English spoken or perhaps French with a slightly exotic accent: “The challenge we’ve committed ourselves to is a sizeable one. Since 1993 and Eric Tabarly, not a single French team has participated in the Volvo Ocean Race. Up against the top crews from New Zealand, America, Spain and Ireland, it’s going to be an intense battle. We’re just rediscovering the monohull and we still have a lot to learn. However, we’re going about it with as much enthusiasm, seriousness and humility as possible. Thanks to Groupama’s commitment, we were the first to put our team together. Making up my entourage are Volvo specialists like Damian Foxall, Ben Wright, Luc Gellusseau, Hervé Le Quilliec as well as Killian Bush, who are joining together with various long-term stalwarts of the Groupama Team like Stéphane Guilbaud, Pierre Tissier, Loïc Dorez, Yann Riou and Olivier Mainguy” explains Franck Cammas.

With the purchase of Ericsson 4, winner of the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, Groupama Team can boast an excellent platform for training and analysis. Rechristened Groupama 70, the Koujoumdjian design is performing an increasing number of sail trials offshore of Lorient in Brittany, where the Team is based.

When the team aren’t out sailing, the various members of the Team are participating in the design of the future boat, it too due to be designed by the Franco-Argentine architect: “Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to involve the excellent French architects in the work, as they are also only just discovering the restrictions of the class measurement linked to these 70 foot (21.5 metres long) boats. As such we opted for Juan Koujoumdjian, who is based in Valencia, Spain. However, it’s actually in nearby Vannes, at the Multiplast yard, that Groupama 4 will be built. This will represent 40,000 man hours and we know the team well because we built the maxi trimaran Groupama 3 with them” adds Franck.

With work having started in the last few days, the construction will take 10 months till her scheduled launch on 15th March 2011. In the meantime, the Groupama skipper will have also taken part in the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale aboard a Groupama 3 adapted to solo sailing, as well as the Extreme Sailing Series Europe aboard the one design catamaran Groupama 40.

Suffice to say that the schedule for the Groupama skipper is a busy one. However, supported by a committed, long-lasting ship owner and an experienced Team, Franck Cammas has what it takes to succeed in his ambitions.

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Groupama unveils its strategy for the Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 07 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Groupama] This Thursday in Eric Tabarly’s Cité de la Voile and then its base in Lorient, vessel owner Groupama and its team, revealed the reasons behind their commitment to the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, the crewed round the world race with stopovers. It proved to be an excellent opportunity for the European insurance and banking group to display its international ambition and for Franck Cammas and his team to vie with the top Anglo-Saxon crews.

“When we committed ourselves to supporting Franck Cammas back in 1998, he was a young sports entrepreneur, who was just discovering the multihull scene. Twelve years on, he has won virtually all the crewed races and racked up no less than six records, including the legendary Jules Verne Trophy on 20th March 2010. By confirming our commitment to the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, namely until 2015, we are supporting the Group’s international development, which makes 30% of its turnover overseas and employs over 11,000 employees outside France. Groupama is today identified as the leading vessel owner in French sailing. With the Volvo Ocean Race, this presence will further develop overseas” analyses Frédérique Granado, Groupama’s director of external communications.

To achieve this, Groupama can count on the complete involvement of its team led by Franck Cammas. Today this team is made up of 45 people and within the workforce it is fairly commonplace to hear English spoken or perhaps French with a slightly exotic accent: “The challenge we’ve committed ourselves to is a sizeable one. Since 1993 and Eric Tabarly, not a single French team has participated in the Volvo Ocean Race. Up against the top crews from New Zealand, America, Spain and Ireland, it’s going to be an intense battle. We’re just rediscovering the monohull and we still have a lot to learn. However, we’re going about it with as much enthusiasm, seriousness and humility as possible. Thanks to Groupama’s commitment, we were the first to put our team together. Making up my entourage are Volvo specialists like Damian Foxall, Ben Wright, Luc Gellusseau, Hervé Le Quilliec as well as Killian Bush, who are joining together with various long-term stalwarts of the Groupama Team like Stéphane Guilbaud, Pierre Tissier, Loïc Dorez, Yann Riou and Olivier Mainguy” explains Franck Cammas.

With the purchase of Ericsson 4, winner of the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, Groupama Team can boast an excellent platform for training and analysis. Rechristened Groupama 70, the Koujoumdjian design is performing an increasing number of sail trials offshore of Lorient in Brittany, where the Team is based.

When the team aren’t out sailing, the various members of the Team are participating in the design of the future boat, it too due to be designed by the Franco-Argentine architect: “Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to involve the excellent French architects in the work, as they are also only just discovering the restrictions of the class measurement linked to these 70 foot (21.5 metres long) boats. As such we opted for Juan Koujoumdjian, who is based in Valencia, Spain. However, it’s actually in nearby Vannes, at the Multiplast yard, that Groupama 4 will be built. This will represent 40,000 man hours and we know the team well because we built the maxi trimaran Groupama 3 with them” adds Franck.

With work having started in the last few days, the construction will take 10 months till her scheduled launch on 15th March 2011. In the meantime, the Groupama skipper will have also taken part in the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale aboard a Groupama 3 adapted to solo sailing, as well as the Extreme Sailing Series Europe aboard the one design catamaran Groupama 40.

Suffice to say that the schedule for the Groupama skipper is a busy one. However, supported by a committed, long-lasting ship owner and an experienced Team, Franck Cammas has what it takes to succeed in his ambitions.

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Photos of Groupama 70 VOR training in Lorient

Posted on 13 April 2010 by Valencia Sailing

There is no particular story in this post, just a handful of spectacular pictures from the first test sailing sessions of Groupama 70 VOR off Lorient in early March. With yesterday’s official presentation of Camper/Team NZ the lineup for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race is shaping up in a very interesting way. If we now add Alinghi, tipped by Grant Dalton yesterday to join the race very soon, well, it will sure be spectacular.

Early test sailing sessions of Groupama 70 VOR. Lorient, 4 March 2010. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama

Early test sailing sessions of Groupama 70 VOR. Lorient, 4 March 2010. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama

Early test sailing sessions of Groupama 70 VOR. Lorient, 4 March 2010. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama

Early test sailing sessions of Groupama 70 VOR. Lorient, 4 March 2010. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama

Early test sailing sessions of Groupama 70 VOR. Lorient, 4 March 2010. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama

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Photos of Groupama 70 VOR training in Lorient

Posted on 13 April 2010 by Valencia Sailing

There is no particular story in this post, just a handful of spectacular pictures from the first test sailing sessions of Groupama 70 VOR off Lorient in early March. With yesterday’s official presentation of Camper/Team NZ the lineup for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race is shaping up in a very interesting way. If we now add Alinghi, tipped by Grant Dalton yesterday to join the race very soon, well, it will sure be spectacular.

Early test sailing sessions of Groupama 70 VOR. Lorient, 4 March 2010. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama

Early test sailing sessions of Groupama 70 VOR. Lorient, 4 March 2010. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama

Early test sailing sessions of Groupama 70 VOR. Lorient, 4 March 2010. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama

Early test sailing sessions of Groupama 70 VOR. Lorient, 4 March 2010. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama

Early test sailing sessions of Groupama 70 VOR. Lorient, 4 March 2010. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama

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