Groupama 70 to take part in Sevenstar round Britain and Ireland race
[Source: Team Groupama] Start RYS line in Cowes, 1400 - Monday 23 August 2010
Created in 1976 by the Royal Yacht Squadron, the Round Britain and Ireland has become a classic over the years. Though it was possible, during the first edition, to cover 1,800 miles (3,200 km) in six stages or without stopovers, today's race is run without stopovers, whatever the length of the competing boats, which ranges between 12 and 30 metres.
For the first time since the purchase of Groupama 70, Franck Cammas and his crew will be up against another VOR 70, she too preparing for the next Volvo Ocean Race: Telefonica Blue, skippered by the Spanish sailor Iker Martinez.
As such the race will be a golden opportunity, nearly a year before the start of the round the world race, to see how they measure up against a formidable competitor, which came third in the last Volvo Ocean Race.
Groupama 70 on her way to Cowes. English Channel, 20 August 2010. Photo copyright Yann Riou / Team Groupama
Prior to casting off from Lorient on Thursday, bound for the race start in Cowes on Monday 23rd August, Franck Cammas gave us a bit more insight into their participation:
>> Why are you participating in the Round Britain and Ireland aboard Groupama 70?
"The Sevenstar will be our first race in Volvo mode because, up till now, we've only raced against IMOCAs. This time, we'll really have a chance to see if we've been working well within the Groupama team since the end of last year. This will allow us to gauge where we stand in relation to the crew of Telefonica Blue, who are very familiar with this type of boat, and there won't be many opportunities like these".
>> So you're going to be battling it out on the water, but what are your aims?
"Our aim is victory. We're going to be pushing both Groupama 70 and her crew, so we can find out what our limits are. It's important to set ourselves a goal and find out what it's like to race whilst under pressure as we've still got a lot to learn. The fact that we're racing against a top quality adversary will enable us to answer certain questions which we wonder about when we're sailing on our own".
>> You'll be racing but in what configuration?
"To prepare for the next Volvo in the best possible conditions, we'll be sailing in a manner which respects the regulations that will be in force, both in terms of the crew composition and the number of sails permitted. We're going to make the most of the opportunity to trial two new sails, as well as some pieces of rigging and deck fittings made by the Groupama Team".
>> To conclude?
"We're really itching to get going. The course is a varied one and the sailing conditions may be difficult. It will also give us a chance to get to know each other better, under true racing conditions".
Crew of Groupama 70
1. Franck Cammas, skipper
2. Jean-Luc Nélias, navigator
3. Laurent Pagès, watch leader
4. Magnus Woxen, watch leader
5. Charles Caudrelier, trimmer
6. Erwan Israël, trimmer, under 30 years of age
7. Martin Strömberg, trimmer and pitman, under 30 years of age
8. Sébastien Marsset, trimmer and pitman, under 30 years of age
9. Mike Pammenter, bowman, under 30 years of age
10. Martin Krite, bowman, under 30 years of age
11. Yann Riou, media crew