French leg­end Cam­mas joins Oman Sail

Ac­com­plished sailor will spear­head 2019 Diam 24 and Fi­garo cam­paigns

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Oman Sail has roped in French sail­ing hero Franck Cam­mas to man­age its Diam 24 mul­ti­hull and Fi­garo cam­paigns next year. Cam­mas is one of France's most ac­com­plished sailor and will join the race squads dur­ing the 2019 sea­son as Oman Sail looks to build on its suc­cess­ful global sail­ing pro­gramme.

The 45 year old is a for­mer Jules Verne Tro­phy holder and has led Groupama Team France in the Amer­ica's Cup. He has achieved vic­to­ries in the Volvo Ocean Race, Tour de France a la Voile, Transat Jacques Vabre, Route du Rhum and Soli­taire du Fi­garo, as well as six ORMA tri­maran world cham­pi­onships.

A sailor with world records to his credit, he will co-or­di­nate Oman Sail’s ac­tiv­i­ties in France through his com­pany Franck Cam­mas Rac­ing and skip­per a Diam 24 team dur­ing the sea­son.

“Oman Sail has great vi­sion and po­ten­tial, so it was an easy and nat­u­ral de­ci­sion for me to be­come in­volved,” said Cam­mas.

“It is a big chal­lenge and it marks a turn­ing point in Oman Sail’s his­tory. Until now the pro­gramme had the am­bi­tion to train Omani crew members but now it wants to pro­duce Omani skip­pers, who are self-suf­fi­cient and tech­ni­cally pro­fi­cient.”

Cam­mas will join reg­u­lar members of the Oman Sail team, in­clud­ing Ali al Balushi and Hus­sein al Jabri among oth­ers, on the Diam 24 project which will fea­ture three cam­paigns – one an all-women team – cul­mi­nat­ing in the Tour Voile next July.

Rac­ing for the Diam teams kicks-off in Fe­bru­ary with EFG Sail­ing Ara­bia – The Tour in Oman, which will in­clude a fourth all-Omani squad.

Mean­while two new Fi­garo cam­paigns will have Omani sailors - Ali al Balushi, Sami al Shukaili and Mo­hammed al Mu­jaini – on board.

Oman Sail CEO David Gra­ham wel­comed the French star and said, “Hav­ing Franck join us at Oman Sail is a great mo­ment and one that I be­lieve will pro­duce real ben­e­fits for our sailors, and help us achieve our goals.

“Hav­ing just marked our tenth an­niver­sary, we can re­flect on our suc­cess­ful progress to­wards rekin­dling Oman’s long mar­itime her­itage and mak­ing our mark rac­ing com­pet­i­tively all over the world. Franck will make a real con­tri­bu­tion as that jour­ney con­tin­ues.”

Cam­mas was born 1972 in Aix-en-Provence to par­ents Elaine and Yves, both teach­ers, be­fore the fam­ily moved to Mar­seille.

Like many young­sters grow­ing up in France, a coun­try that holds sail­ing on the same level as ma­jor sports like foot­ball and rugby, Cam­mas learnt to sail as a child, tak­ing to the wa­ters of Mar­seille’s Vieux Port in an Op­ti­mist dinghy.

Two years of study­ing maths fol­lowed on from gen­eral ed­u­ca­tion but the call of the sea was too much for the young Cam­mas, and so he be­gan what was to be­come one of the most glit­ter­ing sail­ing ca­reers of re­cent times.

In 1997, at the age of 24, Cam­mas an­nounced his ar­rival on the off­shore sail­ing world stage with a win in the Fi­garo du Soli­taire, a 1,600-mile race around Europe, beat­ing many of France’s best solo sailors in the process.

Famed for his suc­cess in mul­ti­hulls, Cam­mas de­cided to take his ca­reer down a dif­fer­ent path in 2009, an­nounc­ing a switch to mono­hulls for a shot at win­ning the Volvo Ocean Race.

He is known for his per­fec­tion­ism and ruth­less sin­gle-minded drive and de­ter­mi­na­tion. In 2017, Cam­mas was in­volved in the Amer­ica's Cup as a skip­per for Groupama Team France.

A re­cip­i­ent of the pres­ti­gious Le­gion d’Hon­neur, Cam­mas also loves moun­taineer­ing and cy­cling, and even found time be­fore the start of the 2011 race to com­plete the Etape du Tour.

Franck Cam­mas

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