Repeat victory for Groupama C

Cammas and Viat claim Little America's Cup in Geneva PLUS detail shots of the winning boat

Saturday September 19th 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: Switzerland

For a second time in a row, Franck Cammas and Louis Viat on Groupama C have dominated the Little America's Cup (International C Class Catamaran Championship), held on Lake Geneva last week out of the Société Nautique de Genève.

In the four days of fleet racing Cammas and Viat won the first five races giving her an unassailable lead confirming her position in Friday and Saturday's match racing finals. In these Groupama C lined up against Axon Racing sailed by Benoits Marie and Morelle and once again won 2-0. Axon Racing was Steve Clark's Cogito, winner of the America's Cup in 1996 and winner of the International C-Class Catamaran Championship in 2004. Interestingly Axon Racing made it through to the finals, despite being a non-foiling, low rider.

Racing in the Finals took place on the Friday with the wind insufficient for racing on Saturday.


Throughout the week, despite decidedly mixed conditions, Groupama C was in a league of her own, Cammas using his C-Class campaign as preparation for his America's Cup challenge with Groupama Team France. Their boat was considerably more developed than that of the competition as were Cammas and Viat in their ability to get the most out of the boat in the up and down winds - if you'd pitched up at the regatta expecting 5-6 knots you would have been disappointed.  

"It is one thing to be the favorites, it is another win," said Cammas upon winning. "With Louis Viat, we took a lot of pleasure to race together on a lake still difficult to understand.

"This boat is extraordinary. In the slightest puff, it speeds up and gets up on her foils." In fact key to Groupama C's success was taking off as soon as they hit 5.5 knots, able to fly at three times wind agree.

Groupama C was designed by Franck Cammas and the Groupama sailing team's design office in 2012, following their victory in the Volvo Ocean Race. 

Cammas continues: "Groupama C is very successful and is clearly a technology similar to that used on the AC boats. The work of our team will greatly contribute to the design of the future Groupama Team France America's Cup boat. It is because of this that we had decided to take part in the Little Cup in 2012 with Groupama."

Cammas went on to pay tribute to his team: "It's always nice to win. Thank you to the whole team who participated in this project. It has not worked for nothing, the evidence. We will now address more directly to America. What we learned here will serve especially as the AC45 sailing days are restricted by the regulation."

In the play-off for third place the Swiss crew on Norgador claimed the final place on the podium ahead of the German team, Sentient Blue.

At the prize giving Franck Cammas and Louis Viat were presented with the Little Cup by Patrick Odier, Lombard Odier Managing Partner, a committed principal partner of the event, which, according to C Class President Steve Clark “has entered a new era” and who “would like to extend thanks to the Hydros Foundation and Jérémie Lagarrigue in particular for the perfect organisation”.

The Hydros Foundation wished to present a Special Prize to the Canadian student team Rafale – ETS for their passion, hard work and tenacity in this high level competition. Starting from scratch, the team made it to Geneva two years later with a functional flying Class C which finished the competition in spite of a memorable capsize. “This is precisely the values to which we attach importance in the Hydros Foundation and which we have been supporting within our family for the past 10 years in the Hydros programme” enthused Alexis Lombard, founding member of the Geneva-based foundation, a recognised association of public interest.

Groupama C detail shots



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