Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 33 728x90

Semaine Olympique Française in La Rochelle - 'A very nice surprise'

by Groupama sailing team on 14 Oct 2013
Franck Cammas / Sophie DeTurckheim (FRA) - Nacra Thom Touw © http://www.thomtouw.com
These few words echo Franck Cammas' thoughts about this initial victory in the Olympic series. Tied on points with the English at the start of the Medal Race, which scores double points, the Groupama crew still had a great deal to lose given the handful of points separating the top four.

However, once again, at the finish, it was Frank that took the win. Franck and Sophie we should say... with the duo securing the France Elite champion title, against the world's top racers. This win caps what has been a brilliant year that has included the French Match Racing champion title, the French Offshore Racing champion title, victory in the Tour de France à la Voile and finally the World C-Class champion title.

On the waters of La Rochelle on Sunday morning, there was virtually no wind at all. One by one, according to a well-established order, the series headed offshore to compete in the only race of the day. It proved to be a rather special race, which was half as long as the other ten races that had been contested since Wednesday.
As time went by, a light breeze kicked in and peaked at 12-14 knots just as the Nacra's took the start.

Very much at ease in the light air, the crew of Groupama was all too aware that in this steadier wind, its rivals would be hard to contain. To take the overall win, it would need to finish ahead of the English duo of Saxton - Diamond and prevent any boats from finishing between them and Iker Martinez or Besson-Riou.

At the start Franck and Sophie lacked speed and had their progress suppressed by Besson - Riou, whilst the English and Spanish were ahead of them.

Clearly things weren't panning out well early on. However, as has often been the case since the start of the week, the crew of Groupama managed to get free of the pack and sail in clean air.

At the first windward mark, the English and the Spanish were still ahead, but not far away.

On the first downwind sprint, the French managed to get back in contact with the leaders and then opted for the far right-hand side of the race zone on the second beat, controlling the Besson - Riou duo, whilst the Spanish and English powered along down the far left-hand side of the course.

On the water, the spectators waited for the next crossing of tacks with baited breath. Quick and inspired, Franck and Sophie rounded the final windward mark in second position with a comfortable lead over their most dangerous rivals in the overall ranking.

At that point all that remained was a run under spinnaker to the finish line, something which our two racers excel at, leaving no hope for any of their pursuers.

This initial victory in the Olympic series represents a great deal for the Groupama skipper, who is more used to racing offshore than putting in tacks on Olympic courses: 'We're very happy to win in our very first year as we weren't the favourites.

Our aim was to finish in the top five, so you can imagine how great we feel! We're still a long way from getting the best out of the Nacra 17, which is a very demanding and very technical boat. We still lose a lot of ground over the start phases, the manoeuvring and the transitions. We need to manoeuvre well whilst keeping an eye on the surrounding race zone. However, down a straight line, we know just how to get the boat working smoothly and we're pretty quick. That's why we're going training in Morocco this winter with the French team.'

For Sophie de Turckheim: 'It was a victorious race and it's always good for morale to win. It's very enjoyable. This morning I was fairly relaxed. I said to myself that we had to sail our own race without worrying too much about what the others were doing. Franck was more hyper, as he is everyday, but there was no particular tension there. We tried to sail as we normally do and that paid off.'

Indeed, on listening to the Groupama crew, the racing was fairly simple; perhaps a little too simple for some. And Iker Martinez certainly won't deny that...

Overall ranking in the Semaine Olympique Française (French Olympic Week) after 11 races
1/ Cammas - de Turckheim FRA : 46 points
2/ Martinez - Pacheco ESP : 53 points
3/ Besson - Riou FRA : 56 points
4/ Saxton - Diamond GBR : 56 points
5/ Wilson - Gibson GBR : 68 points
6/ Zajac - Frank AUT : 68 points
7/ Macgregor - Walsh GBR : 73 points
8/ Vaireaux - Audinet FRA : 75 points
9. Ogereau - Vandame FRA : 81 points
10/ Bissaro - Sicouri ITA : 92 points
Wildwind 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin LensesProtector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

JJ Giltinan Trophy - 18ft skiff images from Race 2 in the fresh breeze
Michael Chittenden was riding on the Camera Cat for Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan Trophy for 18ft skiffs Michael Chittenden was riding on the Camera Cat for Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan Trophy for 18ft skiffs, and provided this image gallery for the day, in which Yamaha (NZ) took her second win from as many races in the seven race series. Today's race was sailed in a fresh offshore breeze, with yesterday's rain giving way to blue skies making for a magnificent day for skiff sailing.
Posted today at 11:22 am
18ft skiffs - Yamaha has second win on Day 2 of JJ Giltinan Trophy
NZ champion Yamaha team tightened the grip on the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship NZ champion Yamaha team tightened the grip on the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship with another stunning victory in today’s Race 2 of the championship on Sydney Harbour. With eyes set firmly on becoming the first New Zealand team to win the coveted crown on Sydney Harbour, David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins sailed another faultless race to win by 1m14s
Posted today at 9:43 am
Clipper Round the World - Meet the 2017-18 crew - Greg Schey
Greg Schey is well on road to achieving that dream, after completing third of four sail training levels this week “I’ve always wanted to sail around the world. Since I was knee high to a grasshopper, one thing that I’ve always said is that’s what I want to do.” Greg Schey, a 27-year-old doctor from Swansea, Wales, is well on the road to achieving that dream, after completing the third of four sail training levels this week ahead of setting off for full circumnavigation in the Clipper 2017-18 Race this summer.
Posted today at 4:37 am
Quantum J/70 Midwinter Championship action-shots by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at Quantum J/70 Midwinter Championship 2017 and provided this gallery of images Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at Quantum J/70 Midwinter Championship 2017 and provided this gallery of images from Saturday action.
Posted today at 3:48 am
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Replay coverage - Race 2
Replay coverage of Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in 15kts Replay coverage of Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in 15kts
Posted today at 3:30 am
Advantage to John Brim’s Rimette at Quantum J70 Midwinter Championship
Mother Nature provided brilliant blue skies but light and fluky breeze as racing got underway at Quantum J/70 Midwinters Mother Nature provided brilliant blue skies and summer-like temperatures, but light and fluky breeze as racing got underway Saturday at the Quantum J/70 Midwinter Championship hosted by Saint Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. But John Brim’s Rimette didn’t seem to mind. He won the first two races, and added a nine, for 11 points and a healthy advantage over Will Welles’ Scamp in second (23 points)
Posted today at 3:13 am
JJ Giltinan Trophy - More images from a funky Day 1 on Sydney Harbour
More images from Michael Chittenden from the first race of the 2017 JJ Giltinan Trophy on Sydney Harbour, Michael Chittenden was on the water for the first race of the 2017 JJ Giltinan Trophy on Sydney Harbour, sailed in a funky breeze, leaden skies and plenty of rain. Plus a 300 metre long cruise liner at one end of the course and a waka wall at the other
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Video of Conrad Colman finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race, which he completed under jury rig after being dismasted 700nm from the finish. In Foresight Natural Energy Colman became the first New Zealand sailor to complete the Vendee Globe, he also became the first in eight editions of the race to sail the entire race using only renewable energy sources.
Posted on 25 Feb
JJ Giltinan Trophy - Waka wall helps Yamaha to Hat-Trick in Race 1
A group of 20 wakas paddling across the course for the opening race helped New Zealand's Yamaha to win A group of 20 wakas paddling across the course for the opening race of the JJ Giltinan Trophy helped New Zealand's Yamaha to win the first race of the seven race series. 'The wakas were massive,' said Yamaha skipper Dave McDiarmid. 'We couldn't get to the bottom mark. They were in a solid line - about four deep - there was no gap.
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Heerema delayed by Biscay lows
With 16 boats now finished, eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. With 16 boats now finished, the eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. Until now it was the 2000-2001 edition, with 24 starters and 15 finishers, which saw the biggest number of starters reach the end of their race at the legendary South Nouch buoy.
Posted on 25 Feb