GROUPAMA TEAM FRANCE

SAIL - - Experience Under Sail -

Launched with great fan­fare in 2015, and boast­ing no fewer than three na­tional mar­itime trea­sures among its founders— in­clud­ing two-time Vendée Globe win­ner Michel Desjoyeaux, Volvo Ocean Race and Jules Verne Tro­phy win­ner Franck Cam­mas and Jules Verne Tro­phy win­ner Olivier de Ker­sauson—Groupama Team France’s per­for­mance thus far has been much like France’s over­all Cup ef­forts over the decades: un­der­whelm­ing. De­spite a plethora of ta­lent and de­sign skill—in­clud­ing in­put from famed Ar­gen­tinian naval ar­chi­tect Juan Kouy­oumad­jian—the team not only fin­ished dead last over­all in the Amer­ica’s Cup World Series, but it only fin­ished in the top three once. The team also re­ceived a ma­jor knock when its skipper, Cam­mas, nearly lost his leg while train­ing aboard a full-foil­ing GC32 cata­ma­ran in late 2015, and is pur­port­edly some­what strapped for cash. None­the­less, for all the im­por­tance placed on de­sign, sail­ing re­mains a men­tal game, and it would be tough to imag­ine a tougher sailor than Cam­mas. At the be­gin­ning of the 2011-12 VOR, no one would have thought his rookie Groupama team had a chance, es­pe­cially as Span­ish­flagged Tele­fon­ica seemed to have things well in hand. How­ever, Cam­mas and com­pany worked hard, learned from their mis­takes and slowly but surely ground the com­pe­ti­tion down. Could Cam­mas pull off an­other come­from-be­hind vic­tory in Ber­muda?

FRANCK CAM­MAS

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