Groupama 4 have taken victory in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 after securing second place in the final offshore leg between Lorient and Galway on Tuesday at 00h 49' 11 (UTC).
Groupama 4 - Volvo Ocean Race
Franck Cammas and his crew score a historic victory in this crewed round the world with stopovers, the last French victory dating back to 1986.
It was in an evanescent breeze that Franck Cammas and his men completed this final 550-mile oceanic leg, just boat lengths astern of the leg winner, Camper. Groupama 4 thus concludes her circumnavigation of the globe with another podium finish and, most importantly, a historic victory, because over the ten previous editions, the French have only won this legendary event a single time, back in 1985-86 with Lionel Péan.
And yet this final offshore course was anything but relaxing, with a Channel crossing livened up by a powerful south-westerly breeze, then a series of changes in fortune in the many Irish bays to be negotiated along the way. And once again, it was during the last gybe that the final hierarchy was established, Groupama 4 finishing just astern of the New Zealanders, who did a great job and boosted their chances of securing second place in the overall standing!
Indeed Franck Cammas and his men have now racked up enough of a lead over their rivals to take outright victory, even before they contest the final In-Port race this coming Saturday...
Arrivals in Galway (UTC)
1-Camper (Chris Nicholson) Tuesday 3 July at 00h 42' 13
2-Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas) 2hr 49' 11 astern
(Provisional) overall standing after nine oceanic legs and nine In-Port races
1-Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas) : 2+20+2+18+5+24+2+30+4+20+6+20+5+25+6+30+6+25= 250 points
2-Camper (Chris Nicholson) : 4+25+5+24+4+18+3+15+6+15+5+25+3+10+4+25+5+30 = 226 points
Groupama 4 is the first French boat to compete in the event since 1993.
Volvo Ocean Race website