Long time sponsor of French trans-oceanic sailing, Groupama, have announced that they will back the Team France challenge for the 2017 America’s Cup.
The team led by Franck Cammas, Michel Desjoyeaux and Olivier de Kersauson, will be renamed as Groupama Team France.
Earlier Goupama had announced they would back Team France for the America’s Cup World Series regattas for 2015 pending a review of further involvement.
The cash-strapped Team France are one of two teams who elected not to pay the final tranche of Entry Free and Performance Bond, and have that on extended payment, and don’t have a vote in America’s Cup matters in Competitor Forums.
The sailing program for Groupama Team France will involves three classes and campaigns – the America’s cup and the America’s Cup World Series; the Little America’s Cup sailed in 26ft Int C-class catamarans, and the 2016 Olympic Mixed Multihull sailed in the Nacra 17.
The announcement was made in the presence of Jean-Yves Le Drian, Defence Minister and Patrick Kanner, Minister for Cities, Youth and Sports.
In a written statement, Patrick Kanner, Minister for Cities, Youth and Sports expressed his genuine enthusiasm for this adventure,which aims to bring the French population together around a 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 top-flight sailing competitions on the planet. However, it’s also synonymous with its contribution to the development of an entire technological network, a showcase for France’s expertise and excellence in sailing. The State will naturally work alongside this project for all to share and to support the development of various sporting and economic channels”.
Together with Groupama, his partner since 1998, Franck Cammas has built up an impressive track record, notably winning the Route du Rhum, the Jules Verne Trophy and the Volvo Ocean Race.
“It’s a great day for our team. 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,” say Franck Cammas, skipper of Groupama Team France.
Support is also expected from the French navy, a long time supporter of French sailing.
Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, one of the primary supporter for the project since its inception said that the creation of Groupama Team France is a genuine opportunity for our country:
“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”.
2015 Program for Groupama Team France:
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