Groupama Sailing Team’s new Volvo Open 70 was launched this afternoon in Lorient, France.
'We've been working hard but won’t stop here. It actually just begins.' said skipper Franck Cammas.
'We are now done with sketches; the boat is here in front of us,' said the team’s shore crew manager, Australian Ben Wright. 'We've been working hard but won’t stop here. It actually just begins.'
Sailors, engineers, boat builders, Groupama employees and fans all attended Groupama 4’s long-awaited launch.
Skipper Franck Cammas explained, 'The initial schedule had to be changed due to some construction problems. Everything cannot always go as planned – we also had issues when building the first three Groupama boats. This is why I am proud of my team’s work. I would like to thank our naval architect, Juan Koujoumdjian and Groupama, without whom we wouldn’t be here!'
Groupama’s president Jean-Luc Baucherel was also in Lorient today. 'Launching our first monohull means a lot to Groupama,' he said. 'We now have five years of new adventures ahead of us. We are going to face the best Anglo-Saxons teams for the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race.'
'It’s new for Groupama, but we believe Franck Cammas and his crew will rank amongst the first. Following in the footsteps of Eric Tabarly, we hope to honour his memory and carry France’s colours with success. Being used to multihulls, we are now ready for a whole new style of racing.'
The boat’s first sail should take place next Tuesday. Groupama 4 will then be christened on June 11th at the team’s base in Lorient before taking part in the Fastnet Race in England in August.