Volvo Ocean Race
Franck Cammas’ crew round-up of the round the world
vendredi 6 juillet 2012 –
Toutes les versions de cet article : [English] [français]
Prior to the first In-Port race in Alicante on 29 October 2011, nobody knew exactly what awaited the six crews in the ten inshore races and nine offshore legs, which were to make up this long voyage around the globe. The only minor confrontations in the build-up to the race had taken place in August, with the Fastnet Race, then during some training races in Spain. Three boats were designed by the same architect, with just a handful of differences in the details (Puma, Telefonica, Groupama 4), whilst the New Zealanders opted for a machine which was said to be very at ease in the breeze, the Emiratis had the largest budget and the Chinese took the start line with a boat from the previous generation… There were Volvo Ocean Race specialists on all the boats and Franck Cammas and his men ranked among the novices against big favourites, Camper, Abu Dhabi and Puma.
A surprising first slice
The first In-Port race didn’t offer up any lessons : the wind was so screwy, even dying right away at the finish, that Abu Dhabi’s victory wasn’t very telling of the forces present. Groupama 4 finished 5th ahead of the Spanish, whilst a powerful wind was being forecast for the first leg between Alicante and Cape Town… Indeed, the breeze was to dash the Emiratis’ hopes on the very first evening following a dismasting, quickly followed by despair for the Chinese, who saw the lamination on their boat just peeling away : they made South Africa on a cargo ship. Back on the racetrack, the routes diverge on leaving Gibraltar, the French opting for the Moroccan coast, whilst the three other crews dive West. The first option proves ultimately to be a dead-end, as the tradewinds aren’t keen to settle into their usual position and the second option latches onto a good depression with which to drop down to the equator. The nub of the action appears to be between the Spanish and the Americans, as the Americans suddenly dismast offshore of Tristan da Cunha. After 24 days at sea, Groupama 4 finishes in third place in Cape Town, without really having been able to do battle with her rivals.
Franck Cammas : “Ultimately, I think we’re stronger today than we were 3 weeks ago at the start in Alicante and that’s the most important thing. And we ended up in third place and the odds are stacked in our favour for the next stage... Furthermore, we’ve finished with a boat at full potential and, when you see what’s happened to some of the others, that’s an important asset !”
The top three in Cape Town 1-Telefonica (Iker Martinez) 1+30 = 31 points 2-Camper with Emirates Team NZ (Chris Nicholson) 4+25 = 29 points 3-Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas) 2+20 = 22 points
Voir en ligne : Info presse www.cammas-groupama.com/fr/
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