The worst part about leaving France now is that I’m flying to the frozen tundra on the same day Franck Cammas and his team aboard “Groupama 4” are due to arrive to their homeport of Lorient in the lead of the Volvo Ocean Race! It should be quite a party and festive atmosphere around the submarine base where my apartment I’m renting resides – damn, oh well – “Allez, go Groupama”!
…So just when you think you’re a good sailor – take Cammas as a wake up call for your vanity! How many people have won the Solitaire du Figaro, Route du Rhum, the Trophee Jules Verne, trained the US to sail the trimaran they won the America’s Cup with and is now winning the Volvo Ocean Race on the first try ?!
As Francois Coutant told me (who was the project manager for Cammas and Groupama 1 as well as boat manager for Bruno Peyron’s Explorer) who co-skippered with me on my first Mini Fastnet 2003...”Cammas is like a machine, someone who was studying piano and switched to sailing and remembers everything like a computer…”
To have an idea of the conditions they faced on the approach to France – here’s a bird’s eye view from aboard “Camper”: