Cammas striving to reach pinnacle of sport
When it comes to racing multihull yachts, Franck Cammas is among the best in the business.
The French sailor is a multiple world champion whose sailing résumé also includes winning the Volvo Ocean Race and a host of offshore speed records.
However, one distinction that Cammas cherishes that still eludes him is the America’s Cup, the oldest trophy in international sport, which he hopes to capture in Bermuda in 2017 with his Groupama Team France team-mates.
“It’s like Mount Everest, when you are climbing a mountain you always want to go higher and higher and the America’s Cup is the top,” Cammas said. “It’s very hard to get to the top but I still have time to do that.”
Cammas took the first steps on a journey he hopes will culminate in America’s Cup glory late last year when Groupama Team France announced its challenge for the “Auld Mug” with Yacht Club de France in Paris.
“France is a big country in terms of sailing,” Cammas said. “We have very good sailors and engineers and we have to find a good way to work together with a good casting. That’s what we are doing now and the goal is to be good and fast in two years in Bermuda.
“The America’s Cup is the pinnacle of the sailing world. It’s competing against the best teams in the world and I am happy to be in the game.”
Cammas admits that Team France have a lot of ground to make up having entered the America’s Cup racing much later than some of their rivals. However, he is confident he and his team-mates can bridge the gap and mount a serious challenge for Oracle Team USA’s title.
“We started our project very late but we are confident even though we started late,” said Cammas, whose supporting cast includes Michel Desjoyeaux and Olivier de Kersauson.
“We have to work a lot to be on the same level as the other teams. But we have good experience and I think we need to use that to our advantage.”
Team France got their first taste of competitive action in the foiling AC45F catamaran at last month’s America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth, where they were pipped by Oracle Team USA for the final place on the podium at the truncated event.
“We were very happy to be fighting at the front of the second race,” Cammas said. “But we lost one place because of a mistake with the hoist.”
Team France now intend to build on their last performance at next week’s World Series event in Gothenburg, home port of Artemis Racing, the Swedish challenger.
“This is the best competition you can imagine because all the teams are very strong,” Cammas said. “So it’s nice because it’s always challenging for the crew, and we have to do our best all the time.”