GROUPAMA TEAM FRANCE
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?