Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Franck Cammas to continue with Groupama until 2015 - enters Volvo Ocean Race

Simulation of Groupama VOR70
[Source: Cammas - Groupama] Committed to sailing since 1997 alongside Franck Cammas, the Groupama Group has decided to renew its trust in its skipper. Major protagonists in oceanic sailing aboard the Groupama trimarans, Groupama 2 and Groupama 3, and as a follow-up to the Jules Verne Trophy, the French insurer and sailor will be attacking the most closely contested and most international of crewed ocean races, the Volvo Ocean Race.

On stand-by in the port of Le Château in Brest since 1st November to set off on its bid to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy aboard the 32 metre maxi trimaran, Groupama and Franck Cammas today announced their participation in the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, formerly the Whitbread race, a crewed circumnavigation of the globe with stopovers.

"It's now been over 12 years as owner that we've been writing pages in our shared history with Franck Cammas and the Groupama team. Today, we've decided to continue this commitment by participating in the Volvo Ocean Race to inspire a more international dynamic in our common project. Indeed Groupama is developing strong links overseas - where we carry out nearly 30% of our business - and the Volvo Ocean Race is clearly the most suitable sports event to reflect our Group's new expansion" states Frédérique Granado, Director of External Communications at Groupama. "We trust in Franck to take up this new challenge as we appreciate his ability to create a team, manage a crew and also the design of the most high performance boats. These qualities will be decisive in the Volvo Ocean Race".

The duration of this commitment has enabled Groupama to become one of the most memorised French brands in the sailing world with some very strong attributes associated with the Group's image including audacity, openness, innovation and human commitment.

All these values further add to the cohesion and the strong sense of belonging amongst the Group's 38,500 employees and 70,000 members.

Despite concentrating on his imminent departure on the Jules Verne Trophy, the skipper of Groupama is delighted: "Groupama is once again showing its trust in me at the very moment where we're committing to a new challenge, whilst a lot of sponsors wait for sports events to draw to a close before announcing that they're renewing a partnership. This is even more motivating for me within the context of the Jules Verne Trophy and makes me keen to pay Groupama back for the trust they have shown.

We're committing to the Volvo Ocean Race thanks to the support and trust demonstrated by Groupama, our loyal partner. For our team it's a huge responsibility that we're tackling with enthusiasm and determination.

I am very proud to be able to benefit from such commitment and such loyalty and I'd like to make the most of this opportunity to thank all the Group's representatives and colleagues for their unfailing support during what has been over 12 years."

Whilst he is sailing around the world in a bid to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy aboard his maxi trimaran, Franck Cammas will be able to count on his team to prepare for the Volvo: "We've already chosen the naval architect with whom our team will be working. It's Juan Kouyumdjian who has already collaborated with teams participating in the Volvo Ocean Race and won the last two editions of the race. He will be starting work with Stéphane Guilbaud and the team".

As regards the organisation, Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race is very pleased about the return of a French boat to the crewed round the world: "The French certainly have their place in the Volvo against the cream of the Anglo-Saxon and European crews. It's excellent news that the Groupama team is joining the race. I have known Franck Cammas and his team for a long time. They're formidable competitors, who are remarkably well organised. I wish them a warm welcome".

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