Franck Cammas: He’s Baaaack
Published on April 21st, 2016
Five months after an accident that nearly severed his foot while training on a GC32, Groupama Team France skipper Franck Cammas will be back at the helm when the team competes in New York City at the second event of the 2016 season of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series on May 7-8.
“From the point where Franck was sufficiently mobile during a series of training sessions aboard the GC32s that behave in a very violent manner, he will be fully capable on the AC45,” noted coach Bertrand Pacé. “As a result, the decision has been made quickly: Franck will be the helmsman on Groupama Team France in New York.”
While the accident forced Cammas to abandon his Nacra 17 program for the 2016 Olympic Games, racing in New York City will punctuate five extremely intense months and a rehabilitation programme.
“I focused on the positives the minute I learnt that my foot had been saved,” explained Cammas. “From that point, I gave my all to my rehabilitation and the other team-related activities. I think this approach got me into a virtuous circle, which favoured my recuperation. However, it’s important not to lose sight of the tough times where the pain really called for me to grit my teeth.
“I put myself in the red in a bid to recover as quickly as possible,” admitted Cammas. “When you’re aware that the group is in training and progressing and you can’t be part of all that it’s frustrating and inevitably led to tension at times. I had to get back to the top of my game, which took a great deal of effort and self-sacrifice.
“Today, I’m still cautious when it comes to jumping on the trampoline, but I’m more motivated than ever and I’m happy to be in a position to face up to the competition with a talented crew,” Cammas continued. “I’ve missed the competition environment. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Adam Minoprio, who fulfilled his role as replacement to perfection in Oman (at the AC World Series event). It was a very positive experience for the whole team.”
Alongside Cammas in New York City will be Thierry Fouchier trimming the wing, Thomas Le Breton calling tactics, Hervé Cunningham trimming headsails, and Devan Le Bihan on the bow.
Boosted by its very promising experience in Muscat with one race victory and one fourth place that took them to within just two points of the podium, Groupama Team France has been training in the Baie de Quiberon and in its home port of Lorient, with a few sessions sailing alongside Spindrift Racing.
“We’ve sought to improve everything that relates to tactical situations,” shares Bertrand Pacé. “The guys need to have the right reflex actions at the key moment. To achieve good cohesion while manoeuvring, nothing beats rehearsing the sequence of movements. Similarly, we’ve really focused on the start phases. Timing is all about perception, so you have to work on it on a regular basis. That’s how the notion of time/distance becomes more pertinent.”
There are no secrets with regards to Groupama Team France’s objectives. “The group clearly wants to continue making progress and showing what it’s made of alongside the circuit’s top teams,” admits Cammas. “We have lots of assets, believe us. In New York, in May, there can be a little thermal breeze, but above all there will be a lot of current off the Statue of Liberty. The East River and the Hudson River converge here so there can be as much as three knots of current. We’ll have to know how to play that to our advantage and we’ll have to be pertinent in the way we sail our AC45 Groupama Team France!”
Source: Groupama Team France