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Southern Spars - North Technology

Groupama Sailing Team continues on its quest for excellence

by Vincent Borde on 12 Dec 2013
Franck Cammas / Sophie DeTurckheim (FRA) Thom Touw http://www.thomtouw.com
By renewing its trust and loyalty in Franck Cammas following his victory in the Volvo Ocean Race 2012, Groupama has enabled Groupama sailing team to continue on its quest for excellence in 2013. Still as determined as ever, the skipper of Groupama, Sailor of the Year 2013, is now setting his sights on 2014.

Triple Match Racing Champion of France, Champion of offshore racing and Olympic sailing, winner of the Tour de France à la Voile, the Semaine Olympique Française (French Olympic Week) and finally World C-Class Champion, Franck Cammas has scored a veritable full house in 2013, switching from one craft to another with the same degree of success and racking up 320 days on the water.

This expertise and the technological gain associated with this is naturally prompting Franck to get a good amount of racing under his belt in 2014 and thus be in phase with Groupama's dynamic: to get close to associates and clients again, to remain ambitious and finally to support research and innovation with the aim on performance.

Starting in 2013, Franck and Sophie de Turckheim's Olympic Nacra 17 preparation with a view to the Olympic Games in Rio will continue in 2014. In partnership with the French Team, the winners of the Semaine Olympique Française in La Rochelle will link straight onto training sessions in Agadir in Morocco over the course of the winter before competing in the official competitions. Up against some excellent French competitors, the Groupama duo will do what they love most: racing against the best, as much in France as overseas.

French Offshore Racing Champion and winner of the Tour de France à la Voile with an historic lead, Franck and his Groupama sailing team are returning to the big looped circuit to the great delight of the organisers, the sailing fans as well as the representatives from Groupama's Regional Offices and their clients. At the start of the season, Groupama 34 will participate in the Spi Ouest France and Normandy Sailing Week, and when Franck can't be in attendance, Fabien Henry, part of the crew in 2013, will skipper the one-design.

As was the case in 2009 and 2010, Groupama will also participate in the Extreme Sailing Series. This international circuit of eight races, contested at the heart of the respective venues, gathers together the top skippers every year. Taking part in this event will enable Groupama sailing team to remain at the highest international level.

World C-Class Champions in 2013, Franck Cammas and the Groupama sailing team's Research Department, aren't the type to rest on their laurels. Innovation and high technology, the keywords in this series, which vies with ingenuity and brings architects and engineers to light, will once again have the place of honour in 2014. On the programme: work on the platform, the appendages and also the wing. Suffice to say that the team's various brains and computers will be at full throttle this year as the team prepares to defend the World Champion title, which will be contested in Switzerland in 2015. The team should be a position to test the race zone from September 2014.

Finally, Groupama is joining the club of founder members for the 'Team France' project in its capacity as historic partner to one of the sailors. This non-financial participation by Groupama is in line with the logic outlined last year to support Franck Cammas in his sporting preparation for the America's Cup, which is due to take place in 2017. Groupama, whose partnership with Franck Cammas will draw to a close at the end of 2015, will not be sponsoring this competition under any circumstances. However, the sporting programme for 2014-2015 will mark Groupama's contribution to Franck's Groupama website
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