Falmouth – Champion of French Match Racing, Tour de France à la Voile and now the Little America’s Cup. Suffice to say it’s been a winning year across the board for the Groupama skipper who, for the past sixteen years has been monopolising the top spots. For this World C Class Championship contested in Falmouth, the Groupama skipper and his crew, Louis Viat, didn’t go about things in half measures, winning 7 out of 9 fleet races as well as the only 2 duel matches contested as a result of too much wind.
For two days Groupama Sailing Team has been predicting that it would be difficult to run more than the two races won in duel format against the Swiss crew on Hydros. Indeed, on the south-western tip of England, in Cornwall, the weather is even more fickle than it is in Brittany. And that’s really saying something…
This Saturday morning, for the final day of the Little America’s Cup, the Race Committee was keen to launch a start. For the Swiss contingent, down two races to zero, the desire to get out on the water was stronger than the sense of good seamanship which prevailed among Groupama Sailing Team. The cause of this was a race zone swept by a good twenty knots or so of breeze, with peaks in excess of this.
Whilst Groupama C remained on shore, refusing to play at `Russian roulette’, Hydros headed off for a training sail and capsized a first time without too much mishap.
Still on shore with his first two wins banked, Franck Cammas decided to leave the Swiss to take the start on their own. It was a tough decision to make but it proved to be very wise as Besson and Lagarrigue capsized, severely damaging their wing.
Ultimately then, Groupama C took the win in the World C Class Championship 2013 by default after rather outrageously dominating all the races run.
This latest victory by Groupama Sailing Team caps a virtually perfect season for its favourite skipper. A fierce competitor, a rigorous racer and an ambitious skipper, Franck Cammas now has his sights on the 35th America’s Cup organised by Larry Ellison.
By taking the win in this international event, which has enabled every team to develop its architectural potential and research, the French skipper has asserted himself at the head of a team which his rivals and compatriots alike are eagerly awaiting to see in the `big’ America’s Cup…
Franck Cammas: “This victory in the Little America’s Cup is down to the entire team, the most long-term members of which have been working together for the past fifteen years. It’s also down to Groupama, who have provided us with active backing. It’s over to us now to go further and higher, together, so as to be ready to challenge the Americans in the big Cup. By securing a win here, we’ve proven that our design team and our design office were up to the challenge. Thank you to them.”
Louis Viat (crew): “Arriving in Falmouth, we were full of uncertainty as we’d never sized up our performance in relation to anyone else before. Very quickly though we saw that we were better in terms of heading and speed. In such conditions, it’s easier to win races. Added to that, Franck has been supreme. As per usual.”
Martin Fisher (member of the Design Team): “Groupama C really outclassed her rivals. Statistically, it was the equivalent difference between a Hobby Cat 16 and a Formula 18, that is nearly 20% extra power. As is the case in all his projects, Franck has an ability to push deeper and get the best out of his team. He’s incredible!”
Expected into his Lorient base early next week, the skipper of Groupama Sailing Team will follow up this latest exploit five days later with an entry in the Semaine Olympique Française in La Rochelle aboard the Nacra 17 with Sophie de Turckheim.