Tag Archive | "Groupama Sailing Team"

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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 Ivan Bidzilya

[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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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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Photo gallery: Day 2 of Extreme Sailing Series Singapore

Posted on 21 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Event photographer Mark Lloyd produced a set of stunning photos during the second day of the Extreme Sailing Series event in Singapore. It was truly hard to limit the selection to a few ones

Racing action on the second day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action on the second day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action on the second day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action on the second day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action on the second day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action on the second day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action on the second day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action on the second day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action on the second day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Singapore, 21 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

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Photo gallery: Day 1 of Extreme Sailing Series Singapore

Posted on 20 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Spectacular shots from the opening day of the first event of what is most probably the premiere sailing circuit this year

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Racing action from the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

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Realstone throw down the gauntlet on Extreme Sailing Series 2014 opening day

Posted on 20 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] The much-anticipated opening Act of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series™ began today in Singapore under the gaze of the cities soaring skyscrapers, where eight races produced six different winners. The Swiss flagged Realtstone were the form team, executing a consistent strategy in the trying conditions, to finish the opening day of the global tour top of the leaderboard – their best result since joining the circuit last year. Some of the newer teams struggled to get to grips with the stadium racecourse, posting a mixed bag of results and a crash between defending champions The Wave, Muscat and GAC Pindar will leave the Aussies with a night of repairs ahead.

Realstone, who after yesterday’s practice racing described themselves as ‘the underdogs’ played a low risk game, setting up for manouvres and executing them precisely to give themselves some breathing space on the packed racecourse. Skipper Jerome Clerc “We rotated the team a lot in 2013 to finally be in a position to chose the best people for the best positions and get here with an optimal configuration. We have sailed well with good starts, Arnaud made the boat go fast and we have followed simple schemes with starts on the same side and regular tacks in each leg. We noticed this worked out well so we have kept this strategy. It’s the first day, all the teams are warming up so we are still the outsiders!”

Realstone leads on the opening day of Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Eight races were sailed – the first of up to 250 this year – and in the continually shifting breeze, which ranged from 4-10 knots with slightly bigger gusts, the teams tacticians had it all on. Groupama sailing team’s skipper Franck Cammas – who won the seventh race of the day, only to follow it up with a last place – explained how tough the conditions were. “We have had more wind than expected so it was pretty hairy on the water. The wind flows in between the buildings and it all becomes very shifty. We had to take what we could. The teams who started well were not necessarily the teams who finished at the top. The key, in short, is a mix of a little bit of luck, be at the good spot, try to anticipate things and being opportunist.” The French team finish the day tied on points with second placed Alinghi.

On such a compact course, and with such short, intense races, the mark roundings were nail bitingly close, and those on shore found themselves holding their breathe as the Extreme 40s seemingly created space where there was none. In the sixth race of the day, The Wave, Muscat and GAC Pindar found out just how tight the course is, when the Omani boat t-boned into the back of the Aussies in a port-starboard incident, leaving a significant hole in their boat and the team with a night of repairs ahead in the pitlane, as Leigh McMillan explained: “GAC Pindar put in a tack, and at the last minute they looked like they weren’t going to avoid us. I tried to smash it into a tack but there wasn’t anywhere to go – plus I lost grip of the tiller and tripped over, and unfortunately went into them. We’ve had plenty of bad days and we will have to go back, look at the videos and take some lessons out of today and come back stronger tomorrow.”

Ben Ainslie makes his debut in the Extreme Sailing Series. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Many of the fleet struggled for consistency today, and none more so than newcomers Emirates Team New Zealand and J.P. Morgan BAR, who finished the day with two race wins a piece – but also a handful of last places. Olympic champion Ben Ainslie commented: “We’re all having to learn pretty quickly, and certainly in this tight venue – even for the experienced guys it’s pretty tough. It’s a really strong fleet, it’s one of the toughest fields we’ve ever had and we’re obviously very new to this so we really learnt a lot today.”

There is little light on the leaderboard after day one, with just 18 points separating first placed Realstone from eighth placed Oman Air. The Wave, Muscat, Gazprom Team Russia, GAC Pindar and the local boat Team Aberdeen Singapore have a bit of catching up to do – and with up to 24 races still to come, there is plenty of opportunity to do it.
Marina Bay Reservoir will provide a temporary residence for the 12 Extreme 40s for the next three days of Stadium Racing, and if today’s racing is anything to go by, Act 1 with the support of Local Event main partner Aberdeen Asset Management, could be anyone’s game.

Jeve Sarvin makes his debut in the Extreme Sailing Series at the helm of GAC Pindar. Singapore, 20 February 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 1, Singapore standings after Day 1, 8 races (20.02.14)
1st Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Nils Palmieri 56 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 48 points.
3rd Groupama Sailing Team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 48 points.
4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 46 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell 44 points.
6th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Haylee Outteridge 43 points.
7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 39 points.
8th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 38 points.
9th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 29 points.
10th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 28 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South 20 points.
12th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Scott Glen Sydney, Tom Dawson, Justin Wong 17 points.

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Video: Groupama C and Franck Cammas take off

Posted on 14 August 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Franck Cammas - Groupama] The programme for this second sea trial was coloured by around a dozen knots of breeze and a fine chop. The main evolutions consist of rudders with a lifting surface and a flying starboard foil contrasting with a port foil, which remains classic.

Between the island of Groix and Lorient, Groupama C made in excess of 27 knots of boat speed: “the boat’s very sound and really quick. Beyond the pure navigation, we’re now working on the deck layout so as to make it as ergonomic as possible. It’s all about tinkering now, but the details will be important in enabling us to make the most of her true potential,” Louis Viat admits.

Suffice to say that there’s no shortage of work for Groupama Sailing team both on land and on the water, with their rib constantly on the water to follow the catamaran and record her performances.

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Groupama win the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 03 July 2012 by Valencia Sailing

Groupama win the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race

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The consecration: Groupama wins the Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 03 July 2012 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Groupama Sailing Team] As ever, there was still everything to play for on this ninth and penultimate race between Brittany and Ireland! And as ever, or almost, the expected scenario of a long straight course in a stable breeze wasn’t quite how things panned out in the end. Indeed, as is frequently the case, it was over the final miles that everything changed. And, as is rarely the case, and for the first time since 1986, a French boat has come to the fore in what is the longest and most gruelling of oceanic races after 40,000 miles at sea and nearly nine months on from the race start in Alicante back in November… By finishing just astern of the New Zealanders in Galway on this final offshore leg, Franck Cammas and his men can at last wrap their hands around the Holy Grail of offshore racing, a Volvo Ocean Race win, before Saturday’s In-Port race has even played out.

The puma and the mice

This ninth leg between Lorient and Galway always promised to be a close-fought race since the 550-mile course was framed by the compulsory passages around Belle-Île, the North-West tip of Brittany, the Fastnet Rock lighthouse and the Aran Islands. Indeed the separation between the top four, never exceeded four miles, as they constantly jostled over the top spot according to the (numerous) manoeuvres which had to be performed to adapt to the irregular strength of the breeze. The Spanish led the way as far as Raz de Sein, then the New Zealanders snatched control before being overtaken by the Iberians, then the Americans, as they rounded Fastnet with Groupama 4 permanently on the attack.

As the wind clocked round from 20-25 knots of south-westerly to around fifteen knots of westerly along the Irish coast, things were continually being ramped up again, but after the Blasket Islands, Puma really looked like she had the win in the bag with a lead of a mile and half over Camper and Telefonica. Franck Cammas and his men remained in contact by positioning themselves slightly offshore. However, fifty miles from the finish, it was time to think about gybing in around a dozen knots of breeze, which was backing round to the South: Groupama 4 was the first to launch into the manoeuvre, followed by Camper, whilst the Americans and the Spanish delayed in changing course…

Despite the initial setbacks, Franck Cammas and his crew clearly showed they were the masters of the oceans. Galway, 3 July 2012. Photo copyright Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race

An incredible welcome!

Just as night fell the four leaders made the approach on the Aran Islands beneath the loom of the Eoragh lighthouse: the New Zealanders had a mere 500-metre lead over the French, who themselves were under pressure from the Americans, just 400 metres astern, whilst the Spanish had dropped off the pace slightly, a mile back. As for the other two VOR-70s, Sanya and Abu Dhabi, they were some 35 miles stray of the leaders… A fourth place would have been sufficient for Groupama 4 to secure outright victory in the Volvo Ocean Race, but the French crew didn’t want to ease off the pace one iota in their bid to round things off on as positive a note as their last efforts in Lorient and Lisbon.

However, the Kiwis had a firm grip on the head of this race and they took the win in their first offshore leg since leaving Alicante to finish in a time of 00h 42′ UTC and take the applause of an absolutely incredible crowd! Thousands of Irish supporters enveloped the Galway basin with extraordinary enthusiasm, which reached fever point when the French boat tied up alongside, congratulating the first Irish winner of the Volvo Ocean Race: Damian Foxall, watch leader on Groupama 4!

With this second place ahead of the Americans and the Spanish, Franck Cammas and his crew are assured of outright victory in the overall standing, even before the final `In-Port’ race sets sail this coming Saturday. With a lead of 24 points over Camper, Groupama 4 is now the unassailable, outright winner of the eleventh edition of this crewed round the world race, in what is a first for a French team since victory went to Lionel Péan and his men in 1985-86…

Quotes from the boat

Franck Cammas, skipper of Groupama 4
“To win the Volvo Ocean Race is a very fine challenge when you’re a novice in this format and French to boot! That’s what is motivating and exciting for a team: achieving what nobody expects of you. We weren’t a favourite or even an outsider at the start in Alicante. We were also in an easy position, especially as this first crewed race around the world was about learning the ropes prior to a planned second participation. We were here to discover the scene without any pressure on our shoulders, but to win was a surprise to everyone… despite putting a huge amount of work into the race over the past three years. We entered a tunnel where all we thought about was the race and we didn’t think any further than that: our world may well be a bit empty for a few days after this coming weekend. However, after a victory such as this, we’ll have many great memories and such trust in our way of working and in our strategy that we can cast our minds forward to lots of other challenges. This is an epic dream, which has come true today and I can honestly say that I didn’t think we would win on our first attempt! We’ve become a good crew over the miles. Initially we thought that the Spanish were going to walk away with the race win but we knew that it was still very close between four boats, who all had a chance of winning. It’s been an extraordinary race as there have never been so many uncertainties in a round the world race. And we’d still very much like to win the last In-Port in Galway on Saturday, just as a thank you to Thierry Péponnet, who told us to finish in front in the short races: we need to round things off in style! We’re very happy to be able to compete in the last race without any pressure on our shoulders…”

Charles Caudrelier, navigator on Groupama 4
“This final offshore leg was like a leg of the Solitaire du Figaro, except that it would take you four days in a Figaro! We had lost a bit of the sense of what this was: we found it a little hard to get into the real swing of things and we must have slept more than the others. We could see that they were all constantly out on the rail and we also knew that the outcome of this race was going to be decided at the finish and we wanted to remain rested and calm. As such we were a bit surprised that the other crews didn’t launch into their final gybe at the same time as us: it was important to head for shore! That decision cost the Americans dearly. We wanted to win this race… To show that there is the know-how in France. We knew that Groupama 4 was a very fine boat, thanks to Franck and his design team, and we saw that we were a notch higher in terms of the crew. We didn’t wonder too much about the whys and wherefores and we just worked hard, especially in the close-contact races. In fact, we’re second in the In-Port standing alone, just one point shy of the top spot! We won the race in Lorient by crushing Puma: ultimately the inshores carried a lot of weight in the hierarchy.”

Thomas Coville, watch leader on Groupama 4
“When I participated in the Volvo Ocean Race with Knut Frostad, I was like a `worker in the entertainment industry”, as I only sailed on a few legs. This time, I had a title and that changes everything! Your presence is there to serve a group, a leader, and over the nine months spent working together, the team builds in strength to reach a stage where victory is achievable. At the start, you don’t know if it’s going to work: there are so many parameters to take into account. And today, we’ve secured a win with a 24-point lead: which is no small matter! However, we still want to win the final race on Saturday for Thierry Péponnet, who was doubtless one of the key links in our ability to build up our mental strength. Indeed the preparation that went into the In-Port races largely exceeded the scope of this format: we applied his method and his advice to the offshore legs and that paid off!”

Thierry Martel, CEO of the Groupama Group
“We are very proud of this exceptional victory which represents a great deal to Groupama today. However, above all else it’s a great sense of pride for all the Group’s 50,000 representatives and 38,500 colleagues after all the work accomplished by the teams, both at sea and on shore. Indeed it is representative of the tenacity, the faith in an ambitious objective and the ability to rally together and motivate a team, whatever unknown factors come their way. It is also extremely symbolic in the period we’re going through right now, which further adds to the beauty of this win. Thank you to Franck, to his crew and to all the teams onshore for having written a new and fantastic chapter in the history we’ve been building together for what is now some 15 years.”

Arrivals in Galway (UTC)
1-Camper (Chris Nicholson) Tuesday 3 July at 00h 42′ 13 in 1d 13h 40′ 13
2-Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas) 00h 49′ 11
3-Puma (Ken Read) 00h 55′ 01
4-Telefonica (Iker Martinez) 00h 59′ 33
5-Sanya (Mike Sanderson) 03h 14′ 27
6-Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker) 03h 23′ 29

(Provisional) overall standing after nine oceanic legs and nine In-Port race
1-Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas) : 2+20+2+18+5+24+2+30+4+20+6+20+5+25+6+30+6+25 = 250 points
2-Camper (Chris Nicholson) : 4+25+5+24+4+18+3+15+6+15+5+25+3+10+4+25+5+30 = 226 points
3-Puma (Ken Read) : 5+0+4+19+3+17+5+25+5+30+4+30+4+20+5+20+4+20 = 220 points
4-Telefonica (Iker Martinez) : 1+30+6+29+2+27+6+20+1+25+2+15+1+15+1+10+3+15 = 209 points
5-Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker) : 6+0+3+10+6+14+4+10+2+0+3+10+6+30+3+15+2+5 = 129 points
6-Sanya (Mike Sanderson) : 3+0+1+5+2+5+1+5+3+0+0+0+2+5+2+5+1+10 = 50 points

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