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America's Cup - Team France rank among official challengers

After officially announcing its desire to participate in the 35th America’s Cup during the Nautic Paris Boat Show last December, Team France, managed by Franck Cammas, Michel Desjoyeaux and Olivier de Kersauson is today proud to rank among the five challengers officially recognised by the Golden Gate Yacht Club to compete against the American Defender, Oracle Team USA.

Sometimes there is a huge discrepancy between a desire and reality.

The advantage in the America’s Cup is that the suspense doesn’t generally last for very long. By imposing a significant registration fee, it is the intention of the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) to guarantee the challengers’ desire and credibility, so as they can finalise with them the format and the organisation of the America’s Cup, which will be contested in the USA in 2017.

According to the latest official list published by the organisers, Team France, represented by the Yacht Club de France and officially supported by the Fédération Française de Voile (French Sailing Federation) ranks among those teams wishing to snatch the famous silver ewer from the hands of the Americans. Since 1851 this trophy has rewarded the team that wins the duel between the defender and the best of the challengers.

Suffice to say that the gauntlet, which three of France’s best sailors are taking up, is a sizeable one. Indeed, to date, not a single French team has pulled off such a challenge despite numerous attempts, ranging from that of Baron Bich (1970, 74 and 77) to that of Marc Pajot (1987, 1992 and 1994), not to mention those of the trio Mas, Gellusseau and Lesquen (2000 and 2003), as well as the most recent bid, led by Stéphane Kandler in 2007.

'For the past 18 months, we’ve been working on this project in earnest with Michel, Olivier and a compressed team. It’s tough but equally gripping. Beyond the technological and sporting aspects, which have been part and parcel of our daily life for dozens of years, you have to inspire the allegiance of the public and business managers and also convince potential partners. It’s thrilling, because it gives us the chance to meet with strong personalities and businesses, which share our ambition. Without them and without the Club Team France, which unites us, we wouldn’t be an official challenger. Thank you to them and thank you to all those who will be joining us in the upcoming months to create perennial conditions so as we can be competitive in the crewed sailing environment and regularly participate in the America’s Cup in a bid to secure a win,' says Franck Cammas, skipper of Team France.

Up against Team France are four teams of a very high standard, all of whom have had recent experience of the Cup and also have their sights on challenging the American Defender: the New Zealanders on Emirates, the Italians on Luna Rossa, the Swedish on Artemis and finally Ben Ainslie’s team, which marks Britain’s return to the Cup after an absence dating back many long years.

It is in London, on 9 September 2014, that the organisers of the 35th America’s Cup will present the challengers and communicate certain information about how the event will be run.

by Kate Jennings


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4:14 PM Thu 21 Aug 2014GMT

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