Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 1

Volvo Ocean Race - Perfection never enough for Franck Cammas

by Volvo Ocean Race on 10 Jul 2012
Franck Cammas: perfectionism personified - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.volvooceanrace.com
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 skipper Franck Cammas, at the age of just 39, is already assured of his place in sailing history thanks to Groupama's debut victory in the Volvo Ocean Race. Here we profile the charismatic French sailor for whom perfection is never good enough.

The unassuming Cammas is already a star in the sailing world thanks to a career bursting with world records and historic offshore sailing victories in events such as the Transat Jacques Vabre, the Route du Rhum and the ORMA trimaran world championships.

It’s easy to see why Cammas was picked to lead France’s first entry into the Volvo Ocean Race since Eric Tabarly’s La Poste competed in the 1993-94 Whitbread Round the World Race.

Now, more than three years after announcing the campaign alongside long term sponsors Groupama, Cammas has one more victory to add to his overflowing collection – the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.

Cammas was born 1972 in Aix-en-Provence to parents Elaine and Yves, both teachers, before the family moved to Marseille

Like many youngsters growing up in France, a country that holds sailing on the same level as major sports like football and rugby, Cammas learnt to sail when he was just 10 years old, taking to the waters of Marseille’s Vieux Port in an Optimist dinghy.

Two years of studying maths followed on from general education but the call of the sea was too much for the young Cammas, and so he began what was to become one of the most glittering sailing careers of recent times.

In 1997, at the age of 24, Cammas announced his arrival on the offshore sailing world stage with a win in the Figaro du Solitaire, a 1,600-mile race around Europe, beating many of France’s best solo sailors in the process.

Following the victory, Cammas signed a sponsorship deal with French insurance company Groupama that went on to become one of the most successful sporting sponsorship pairings of recent times.

Famed for his success in multihulls, Cammas decided to take his career down a different path in 2009, announcing a switch to monohulls for a shot at winning the Volvo Ocean Race.

He needed a crew - so set about surrounding himself with some of the top names in offshore sailing including Thomas Coville, Damian Foxall and Charles Caudrelier.

Two years of intense training and preparation followed as Cammas built and nurtured his team from the Groupama base in Lorient, Brittany.

All those hours of hard work laid the foundations for Groupama’s victory in the Volvo Ocean Race, with the team only finishing outside of the podium positions once in nine legs.

A poster boy to millions of young sailors in France and around the world, Cammas is the ultimate sportsman - humble and welcoming on land yet once at sea he displays the single-minded drive of man hell-bent on victory.

'Perfect is never good enough - we always can do better,' said Foxall. 'I think that is symptomatic of working with Franck Cammas. It's that demand for excellence and it has helped us all raise our game.'

Only with that ruthless streak can a skipper lead his team to victory in the Volvo Ocean Race - but Cammas’ total dedication can sometimes push his crews to the edge.

'I don’t joke with Franck,' said Jean-Luc Nélias, Groupama’s navigator and Cammas’ right-hand man. 'The context isn’t right and he isn’t receptive. He isn’t an easy guy because he is a demanding guy, not an easy guy to live with. But, he is the boss so it’s up to me to adapt myself.'

It’s not just sailing that Cammas pours his boundless energy into – he’s a sports fanatic, with cycling and climbing top of his list of hobbies. Cammas managed to factor in competing in the Etape du Tour prior to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race, while in Itajaí, Brazil, he had planned a climb up a 6,000-metre mountain for his team that had to be put on hold when their mast broke within 1,000 miles of the finish line.

Before the Volvo Ocean Race even started, Cammas was awarded the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest decoration, as well as the Grand Prix de Académie des Sports, an award reserved for top international sporting stars.

Will that now be followed by recognition at the ISAF World Sailor of the Year Awards? It seems only a matter of Volvo Ocean Race website
Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearBakewell-White Yacht DesignSouthern Spars - 100

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr