Tag Archive | "Franck Cammas"

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Three-way shoot out at the top as Oman fly the flag on British waters

Posted on 25 August 2014 by Reporter

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] Cardiff Bay saved the best for last for the 11-boat Extreme 40 fleet, where Alinghi, The Wave, Muscat and J.P. Morgan BAR battled it out until the bitter end for the top positions, in one of the closest – and most exciting – three-horse fights seen in the Series, which resulted in a three way collision and three consecutive penalties too boot in the final race. You couldn’t have scripted a better final, with the three leaders leaning on each other hard as they tried to gain the upper hand and The Wave, Muscat took advantage of the tussle to sail away with the win at Act 5 presented by Land Rover – and importantly homing in on Alinghi on the overall 2014 Series leaderboard as a relieved McMillan commented: “We’re on track this season, there’s nothing more we can do that’s for sure. The competition is very tight and Alinghi have been really slick this year and have brought in some unbelievable performances. To get one over on them here kind of brings it back down by a point and if we are going to keep pushing them hard, and they do the same to us it’s going to go down to the crunch.”

That left Ben Ainslie and Morgan Larson in a straight shoot out for second, but the British skipper couldn’t break the domination of Switzerland’s Alinghi, with Larson snatching it from the grasps of J.P. Morgan BAR. Alinghi’s Olympic champion tactician Anna Tunnicliffe talked through the final race: “We were waiting for Leigh to tack and he drove us right into the boats rounding the mark and boats started coming at us head first. We ended up above the mark so we couldn’t bear away and at the same time, Ben (Ainslie) was coming round into the side of us and it all turned into a mess. All three boats were tangled on each other. It’s very frustrating, but hopefully we can learn from our mistakes, we’re still on top which is good – the damage could have been worse. We need to move on to Istanbul and refocus for that event.”

Ben Ainslie’s J.P. Morgan BAR were on fire and threatening all day, posting a steady stream of consistent results and slowly chipping away at the leading pack to put themselves in the running. Despite just missing out on second place, the team’s four-times Olympic champion skipper Ainslie was satisfied with the final position, who this week were joined by local lad, Bleddyn Mon. “It has been a great improvement to see us on the podium and great to challenge with the top teams today. It’s a big step forwards and hopefully we can continue this for the rest of the Series. Sailing with Paul Campbell-James was fantastic, he has taught us a lot about these boats and Bleddyn was a great addition, he worked incredibly hard. We are looking forward to sailing with Paul Goodison in Istanbul and as we develop further in the event.”

In traditional UK Bank Holiday style, the day started with an onslaught of rain, before the clouds lifted, the breeze picked up and the fleet played out the final races in a beautiful 15 knots of breeze, with lots of ducking and weaving, hitting top speeds of 20 knots. In a programme of eight races on the final day, Red Bull Sailing Team made a late surge with their best results of the week, including a pair of wins on the tight racecourse, to upgrade their overnight position from eighth, to fourth at the close of play. Their double Olympic champion skipper Roman Hagara commented: “We found out how to start well on the racecourse which was key. We had good boat work and were good at approaching the marks; we did almost everything right. We finished the Act in fourth so that’s a really good result for us, and looking ahead to Istanbul, we need to start the first day as we finished it here.”

A further four points back in fifth place is the Swiss Realteam – and significantly for them, a disappointing 11th place for Emirates Team New Zealand, has seen Jerome Clerc and his Swiss team leapfrog up the Series leaderboard, to third place.

The battle in the bottom half of the leaderboard was just as fierce, with only three points separating eighth placed Gazprom Team Russia to 11th placed Emirates Team New Zealand – and with Act 6, Istanbul less than three weeks away, you can bet that the there will be some stern locker room debriefs, before the teams meet again.

Cardiff has once again delivered an outstanding event, with 90,000 spectators getting front row seats to the action, as part of the Cardiff Harbour Festival. Act 6 Istanbul takes place from the 11-14 September, and with news of a local team entry in the coming days, it will be a packed startline of 12 teams, as the fleet head to the city where East meets West.

Cardiff Harbour Festival hosts Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5 Cardiff, presented by Land Rover standings after Day 4, 33 races
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan 210 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, 205 points.
3rd J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, 203 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, 186 points.
5th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, 182 points.
6th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, 175 points.
7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner,  174 points.
8th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, 154 points.
9th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, 154 points.
10th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, 153 points.
11th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, 151 points.

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 overall standings
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) 47 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 45 points.
3rd Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 34 points.
4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 33 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 25 points.
6th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 22 points.
7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 20 points.
8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 18 points.
9th Oman Air (OMA) 16 points.
10th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 15 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 5 points.

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Joint statement from the teams

Posted on 26 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Following the announcement of Team Australia – representative of the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Challenger of Record of the 35th America’s Cup – of its intention to withdraw from the competition, the teams Luna Rossa Challenge, Artemis Racing, Ben Ainslie Racing and Team France – jointly with the yacht clubs they represent – confirm their full support to the event, regardless from the host venue that will be selected.

The four teams, who have so far made clear their involvement, also reiterate their commitment to co-operate in a constructive way with the Defender to the sporting and commercial success of the 35th America’s Cup, with the aim of bringing this event to the peak of the world’s professional sport in terms of media, show, public and the intense sporting competition which has always characterised the America’s Cup.

The teams look forward to establish a constant dialogue with the Defender Oracle Team USA with the intent to fully preserve the principle of “friendly competition between foreign countries“ – one of the core elements of the Deed of Gift that rules the America’s Cup – and to co-operate actively with the Defender to adapt the rules where need be and outline the America’s Cup World Series calendar, as well as the format of the Challengers’ Selection Series and of the America’s Cup finals.

Max Sirena, skipper of Luna Rossa Challenge, declared: “All the elements for the success of the event are there: after the 34th America’s Cup it is no longer questionable how spectacular the full foiling wing-sail catamarans are! Neither is questionable the excitement, intense competition and high-adrenaline this racing offers! ”

Ben Ainslie, Team Principal of BAR, commented: “We are really focussed to help build a successful and sustainable America’s Cup for the future. The America’s Cup is about pushing the technical boundaries of the sport through continued innovation. The AC62 will again be incredibly exciting to watch, both on and off the water, all the ingredients you need for a great sporting event.”

Iain Percy, Team Manager of Artemis Racing, stated: “The next America’s Cup is likely to be the most competitive, exciting and sustainable ever. We cannot wait to compete.”

Franck Cammas, skipper of Team France, declared: “We believe that the format of the next America’s Cup will bring a friendly but fierce competition between the best sailors on the most spectacular machines the America’s Cup has ever seen. The 35th America’s Cup will confirm a new era for sailing, but also for the sport in general and the related technologies, with the most intense competition possible and Team France will be proud to be part of it !”

Luna Rossa is standing strongly behind the America’s Cup organization

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Team France assesses 35th America’s Cup Protocol

Posted on 11 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

The French, potential, America’s Cup challenger published a short Q&A with the team’s leaders, Louis Noël Viviès, Franck Cammas and Michel Desjoyeaux on the Protocol of the 35th America’s Cup, made public last week by Golden Gate Yacht Club. Here’s our English translation of the original French release:

1/ August the 8th is the deadline by which the first installment (US$ 1,075,000) of the inscription fee has to be paid. Does that suit you and will you have the means to pay it?

Louis Noël Viviès: “The protocol specifies that the costs of the sports organization for the next America’s Cup will have to be shared equally between all competitors. These inscription fees, which might seem high, will also be intended towards an arbitration and sports organization independent from the Defender. This has a cost, but it must be put into perspective since it only represents 3% of the overall campaign budget. If Team France launches an assault on the 35th America’s Cup it will be with means coherent with its ambitions and this first installment is therefore inescapable.”

2/ Sports-wise what do you think of the four selection levels?
1. The America’s Cup World Series in AC45’s
2. America’s Cup Qualifier (2 round robins)
3. America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs
4. The America’s Cup with a one-point advantage for the challenger if they also are the winners of the America’s Cup Qualifier

Franck Cammas: “Selections will start very early (as early as next year, in AC45’s) and we will already be in the thick of the competition with points to win! It is rather positive to be forced to regularly measure up against the other America’s Cup teams and thus gain experience and progress during these very high-level races. This will also allow us to select and train a performing crew for Team France which will then work on the AC62. In order to achieve that we need to put the crew under pressure very early and this will allow us to reach the final races on the big catamaran prepared, races that remain the ultimate and important goal of this adventure.”

Will Team France become a reality? We will know in less than two months!

3/ Technologically, does the Defender’s right to build two boats against one for the Challengers constitute a significant advantage?

Michel Desjoyeaux: “In the history of the Cup, the Defender, which sets a great number of rules, has as main objective to retain its title. Many things in the America’s Cup are based on this principle. Unlike the challengers, they sail by themselves and therefore don’t have the opportunity to test their boat against competitors. It is therefore quite logical that they granted themselves the right to build two boats against one for the challengers.”

4/ Is it bothersome not to know before February 2015 the different cities that will host the selections and the America’s Cup? Is this another maneuver by the Defender to draw an advantage?

Michel Desjoyeaux: “The draft rule we have is very restrictive and the margin of maneuvering by the designers is minute. The choice of venue shouldn’t affect a lot the performance of the boats. In addition, according to rumors that circulate, we will sail on relatively flat seas. We should also put ourselves into the Defender’s shoes that organizes these races. It is an enormous job that requires time.”

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Groupama 70, former Ericsson 4, acquired by unknown owner in Valencia…

Posted on 15 May 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Although this is not any earth-shattering news, we spotted the former Groupama 70 at Valencia’s Marina Real Juan Carlos I. Apparently, someone in Valencia spent €650,000 to enjoy the boat that was fundamental in winning two Volvo Ocean Race editions.

This boat started her life as Ericsson 4 and went on to win the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race. She was then acquired by Franck Cammas and Groupama Sailing Team and became their training and development boat which certainly contributed to a great extent in their victory in the 2011-12 edition of the round-the-world race.

The management of Marina Real Juan Carlos I, obviously, declined to reveal the identity of the new owner but confirmed the Juan Kouyoumdjian design will use the marina as her base. Groupama 70 was initially put on sale by Bernard Gallay for €900,000, a price that was then lowered to €650,000. According to the Bernard Gallay website Groupama 70 was sold just two weeks ago.

Someone will be having some fabulous weekend sailing action in Valencia this summer…

Groupama 70, former Ericsson 4, in her now permanent base at Marina Real Juan Carlos I. Valencia, 15 May 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

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Grand Prix Guyader: Groupama 34 wins!

Posted on 12 May 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Groupama Sailing Team] After competing in seven races over four days in Douarnenez, Brittany, in what proved to be some lively weather conditions, Franck Cammas and his Groupama crew secured victory in the second event of the M34 season, ahead of Courrier Dunkerque and Bretagne Crédit Mutuel. It’s an important win in the run-up to Normandy Sailing Week in June, which will be final dress rehearsal before the legendary Tour de France à la Voile.

Second in the Spi Ouest France behind Courrier Dunkerque, Groupama 34 has made the most of the fine race zone in Douarnenez to gain the upper hand in relation to Daniel Souben’s crew, which are Groupama sailing team’s sparring partner and also their main rival: « On reading the ranking, you might think that we took an easy win. That wasn’t the case at all though » explains Devan Le Bihan, trimmer aboard Groupama 34. « The races were hard-fought and, with the exception of the offshore race that we led from beginning to end, we often had to really battle to secure a win. The uniformity of the fleet bodes well for a great Tour de France later this year» Devan adds.

Dominating the whole of the last season, the crew of Groupama 34 is preparing for a more hotly contested race season in 2014. « Some of the class measurement rules have changed. Furthermore, the sails that we’ll have during Normandy Sailing Week and onwards will be strictly one-design. The upshot of this is that the speed differences between the boats will be limited. As such we’ll have to be very precise with our manoeuvring and tactically shrewd to take the win » concludes the crewman aboard Groupama 34.

Back in the series for the first time since the Tour de France 2013, it is clear that the skipper of Groupama hasn’t needed much time to readapt to the M34: « Franck is really impressive in the way he handles the boat. During the night race, despite the darkness, the waves and the strong breeze, he helmed the boat to perfection. You can see that he’s a true expert » comments Malo Bessec, who shares the position of bowman with Christophe André.

All that remains now is to lift the boats out and load them onto the trailers and then prepare to hit the road to Le Havre, which is where Normandy Sailing Week will be held this coming June. In the meantime, Franck Cammas will be participating in the Medemblick sailing week aboard the Nacra 17 within the context of his Olympic preparation. He will also spend some time trialling the flying catamaran Groupama C, winner of the Little America’s Cup back in September.

Overall ranking for the Grand Prix Guyader
1/ Groupama 34 with 12 points
2/ Courrier Dunkerque with 18 points
3/ Omansail with 30 points
4/ Bretagne Crédit Mutuel with 30 points
5/ Toulon Provence Méditerranée with 48 points
6/ Nantes St Nazaire with 57 points

The crew of Groupama 34
1. Franck Cammas, skipper and helmsman
2. Fabien Henry, Project manager and tactics
3. Devan Le Bihan, headsail trimmer
4. Matthieu di Russo, headsail trimmer
5. Christophe André, bowman
6. Tugdual Becquemie, helmsman
7. Julien Villion, navigator
8. Arnaud Jarlégan, headsail trimmer
9. Malo Bessec, bowman
10. Maxime Paul, mainsail trimmer

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Extreme Sailing Series: High tension in Muscat

Posted on 19 March 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Franck Cammas – Groupama] For the second time this year, the crewed multihull specialists will be doing battle aboard Extreme 40s. Fifth in the first event contested in Singapore some four weeks ago, Franck Cammas and the crew of Groupama have been putting in some practice time on Muscat’s race zone in the Sultanate of Oman.

“You should keep going back to your work and improving it” so they say.

Whether they’ve been plundering the circuit’s prize haul for years like Larson or MacMillan or they’re newcomers like Ben Ainslie or Dean Barker, the competing skippers aren’t the sort to rest on their laurels, Olympic or otherwise.

On the eve of the first day of racing, in a light wind of 5 to 10 knots blowing inshore, the crews have been warming up in more ways than one.

Together with Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan and Sophie de Turckheim, Franck Cammas is no exception: “It was interesting and also very different to the sailing conditions we encountered in Singapore. The race zone is open and the wind is very shifty. Getting off to some good starts will be all the more important for the ranking. It’ll also be more difficult as the race committee will alternate between starts where we’re on a reach or starts sailing close-hauled“.

Groupama racing in Singapore. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Returning from a week’s sailing on the Nacra 17 in Palma de Mallorca with his crewmate Sophie, the Groupama skipper has put any bad memories from Singapore behind him: “The collision we suffered is all but forgotten and most importantly, Tanguy Cariou is fighting fit again. The boat is in tip-top condition too. The shore crew has done a fantastic job“.

Alongside Franck, the tactician will be keeping his helmet on to protect his scars from the sun, his focus again on the numerous solid tacks to be performed over the course of the day: “The race zone is pretty technical with a fair bit of chop. There are some fairly clear-cut wind shifts too and you can’t always see them coming“.

In brilliant form in Singapore, the Swiss on Alinghi don’t appear to have lost the thread over the past four weeks’ interruption. Quite the contrary in fact. The New Zealanders and the British are still increasingly in the game too one might say!

Finally, the last element to take into account in terms of the difficultly of the task that lies ahead of the French crew: the advantage that The Wave Muscat and Oman Air may have in sailing on `home waters’.

Needless to say the battle is set to be of the highest level in what promises to be a light breeze. Both muscle power and brain power will be called for here, which is an area where Franck Cammas has excelled before.

The crew of Groupama Sailing Team
Franck Cammas
Tanguy Cariou, mainsail trimmer and tactician
Thierry Fouchier, headsail trimmer
Devan Le Bihan, bowman
Sophie de Turckheim, floating crew and observation of the race zone

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Hit by Aberdeen in Singapore, Groupama isn’t giving up

Posted on 22 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Groupama] Approaching the finish line, Groupama gybed onto starboard tack to respect the priority she was obliged to give her rival. Unfortunately Aberdeen went out of control in a violent gust and slammed into Groupama, which was powerless to avoid it.

Aberdeen’s windward float, hydroplaning wildly, broke Groupama’s mast after knocking Tanguy Cariou over, slightly damaging his head in the process, whilst three of the other four crew jumped into the water to avoid injury.

Questioned about the incident on his return to shore, the skipper of Groupama explained: “I had absolutely no idea it was coming, other than a shadow. We’d just finished our gybe and were powering along towards the finish line when it happened. Nick Moloney regretted the incident, but wasn’t able to bear away (alter his course) due to his gennaker, which was flapping in a strong gust of wind. His windward float was very high and it hit our mast, which subsequently snapped in half with the impact. Together with Sophie (de Turckheim) and Thierry (Fouchier), we jumped overboard to avoid being injured. Tanguy Cariou, who was in the middle of the boat, on the net, took a body blow from the incoming boat and got knocked on the head. He went to hospital but fortunately it wasn’t anything serious. As for Devan Le Bihan, he was unhurt.”

Groupama crew will have to pull an all nighter to fix the boat for Sunday’s races. Singapore, 22 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Disappointed but very calm, Franck Cammas was of a mind to quickly effect repairs to Groupama so as to be in a position to sail tomorrow. Assisted by his sailing team and his shore crew, he immediately set to work and will step a spare mast tomorrow morning after switching Groupama’s torn trampoline for that of Aberdeen’s, which is too badly damaged to race tomorrow.

It now remains to be seen if Tanguy Cariou will be able to take up his post as tactician: “I’m back from hospital. They gave me a few stitches above the eye, but my back’s killing me, my right shoulder is a mess and I really took quite a knock. At the present time, I find it hard to envisage returning to my post aboard the boat tomorrow. Franck and I will discuss the matter,” he explained.

We will see how things pan out at the jury hearing scheduled for 0900 hours tomorrow morning (0100 GMT), which will study the protest lodged against Aberdeen by Groupama.

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Video: Aberdeen Asset Management and Groupama crash in Singapore

Posted on 22 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Raw footage from the brutal crash between Aberdeen Asset Management and Groupama on Saturday, penultimate day of the Extreme Sailing Series event in Singapore

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