With just a glance at the general ranking for the Open 7.50 one design series, one can fully comprehend this remark from Franck Cammas. Coming second overall, the skipper of Groupama and his crew congratulated Loïck Peyron and the Gitana team for their fine victory in a Spi Ouest France, which was marked by the small number of races contended due to a far from welcoming weather situation.
At the end of the event, it's always the same thing : you look into why points were lost. For this thirtieth edition of the Spi Ouest France, the crew of Groupama set out with a slight handicap, through having hardly sailed together before the start of the first race. As Franck says: 'You can have the top sailors in the world on the same boat but they still have to sail together so as they can get to know each other'.
With just five races in four days, it was difficult to immediately get up to the level of the other crews, who have been training in La Trinité Sur Mer for several weeks: 'It was very close. In the final race, we had to win and Gitana would have had to have finished in eighth place. As we made the first windward mark, we were a boat length away from pole position. We were covered but despite it all, we finished third whilst Peyron didn't gain any places' explained Franck. He went on to say that: 'The crew manoeuvred very well and above all we made good progress with each race that was run. On a full Spi Ouest programme, we could play to win'.
As usual, the skipper of Groupama sailed simply: 'We didn't take any risks; we weren't extreme. This type of strategy is more beneficial on a long term basis rather than over a weekend'.
When it is pointed out to him that he has nevertheless racked up a creditable second place, Franck adds: 'First of all I'd like to congratulate Loïck Peyron and his crew. With two race victories on the first day, they were hard to beat. They were pretty successful and that's the name of the game. As for the others, particularly Banque Populaire, Distinxion and Electra, they were always in on the action. It was very close and nothing was ever won or lost outright'.
With this 30th Spi Ouest France completed, the skipper of Groupama will get back to his trimaran Groupama 2 tomorrow, which he hasn't sailed on since his victory in the Transat Jacques Vabre. www.cammas-groupama.com