Yvan Zedda / Groupama Team France

Groupama Team France launches

French campaign for the 35th America's Cup confirmed

Thursday June 25th 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

With two years until the 35th America’s Cup, Franck Cammas, Michel Desjoyeaux and Olivier de Kersauson have confirmed Groupama Team France, the French bid to win the oldest sports trophy in the world.

Gathered together in the Hôtel de la Marine in Paris, the three sailors, in the presence of Thierry Martel, CEO of Groupama, title partner of the French challenge, presented the Groupama Team France project with the support of Jean-Yves Le Drian, Defence Minister and Patrick Kanner, Minister for Cities, Youth and Sports.

A land of sailors par excellence, France has won the majority of the sailing competition but one prize is missing from the trophy cabinet: the America’s Cup. Groupama Team France wishes rectify this.

Franck Cammas, Michel Desjoyeaux and Olivier de Kersauson, have united to form Groupama Team France having individually won many many of the world's top events be they crewed, single-handed, inshore or offshore.

Patrick Kanner, Minister for Cities, Youth and Sports expressed genuine enthusiasm for this campaign, which aims to engender the French sense of national pride: “Groupama Team France is about hunting down and bringing back to France the oldest of the sporting trophies, in what is one of the most elite sailing competitions on the planet. However, it’s also synonymous with its contribution to the development of an entire technological network, showcasing France’s expertise and excellence in sailing. The state will naturally work alongside this project for all to share it and to support the development of various sporting and economic channels”.

Together with Groupama, his partner since 1998, Franck Cammas has built up a unique track record, notably winning the Route du Rhum, the Jules Verne Trophy and the Volvo Ocean Race. True to its commitment, ambitious, and proud of its on the water performance over the last 18 years, Groupama is aiming on this project bringing about national unity in France.

“It’s a great day for our team," said Franck Cammas, skipper of Groupama Team France. "Together with Michel and Olivier, we’ve been working for the past two years to bring this project to a successful conclusion. Groupama Team France is now in full working order to attack the Cup and its competitors, who rank among the best in the world. What drives us is winning the toughest competition, going from one stage to the next and the striving for excellence. In sailing, the apex is the Cup."

Groupama Team France maintains the new look America’s Cup is transforming itself into being for the best teams rather than the richest ones while the switch from AC72s to AC48s (or in fact AC49s?) means that campaigns can be mounted for 25% of the original budget, with the aim of attracting more challengers to the competition.

For the Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, commented: “France is the second largest maritime region in the world and yet a French crew has never won the America’s Cup. That has to change! By joining forces, Franck, Michel and Olivier are opening up a new way forward that involves solidarity, excellence and sharing. I also spare a thought for Brittany and its famous Sailing Valley, and to the skills developed here, which we can all be proud of. It’s by approaching this as a group that we will win the Cup and the French Navy will have played a part”.

In addition to trying to unite the French public behind the campaign, Groupama Team France intends to showcase France technology such as its engineering skill and will generally be using the campaign as a vehicle to promote 'Made In France'.

Two time winner of the Vendée Globe as well as the first of Franck Cammas’ co-skippers aboard Groupama on a Figaro in the Transat Lorient Saint Barth in 1998, Michel Desjoyeaux makes no secret of his ambition: “On a technological level sailing is a very complex sport, because we’re the interface between air and water. In France, we have the knowledge as well as the culture to develop and sail foiling catamarans propelled by a wing. You just have to look at the number of French architects, engineers and sailors, who make up the foreign teams to understand that. It’s down to us, within Groupama Team France, to unite this talent”.

Program for Groupama Team France 2015:

Louis Vuitton ACWS in Portsmouth (GB) from 23 to 26 July
Louis Vuitton ACWS in Gothenburg (Sweden) from 28 to 30 August
Louis Vuitton ACWS in Bermuda from 16 to 18 October
The Tour de France à la Voile from 3 to 26 July
The defence of the Little America’s Cup in Geneva from 13 to 20 September
The World Nacra 17 Championship in Denmark from 3 to 11 July
The European Nacra 17 Championship in Barcelona from 26 September to 3 October


Latest Comments

Add a comment - Members log in

Latest news!

Back to top
    Back to top