Franck Cammas has been airlifted to hospital with serious leg wounds after being badly injured
French America’s Cup skipper Franck Cammas has been seriously injured in an accident while training aboard a foiling GC32 catmaran.
According to French newspaper Le Télégramme, he suffered an open fracture at the bottom of the right tibia. [UPDATED 1/12 – confirmed as an open fracture of tibia and fibula but no damage to nerves or ligaments. Operated on the same evening.]
Cammas was at the helm of one of two training boats and sailing in Quiberon Bay, Brittany, today when he fell overboard and was run over by the rudder of the boat while it was foiling at speed, his team reports. His right leg was badly injured.
Cammas was quickly recovered by a support RIB and was taken to shore, where he was airlifted by emergency helicopter to Nantes hospital.
The GC32 is the new boat being used for the Extreme Series and is like a scaled down version of the America’s Cup foiling cats.
But compared to those catamarans, the GC32 has proportionally larger rudder T foils and centreboard J foils, and despite its relatively small size has recorded a top speed of 39.2 knots.
This is the second serious accident this year involving injury by a multihull rudder. In June, a woman had to have one leg amputated and surgery on the other following a collision with the 40m trimaran Spindrift 2. She was aboard one of the marshall boats at the start of the Volvo Ocean Race start from Lorient and was badly injured when Spindrift’s starboard rudder cuts across the RIB.
Cammas, 42, is one of France’s most talented sailors, with wins in disciplines as varied as the single-handed Solitaire du Figaro, ORMA trimarans and the Volvo Ocean Race. He is skipper of the French America’s Cup team Groupama.
Photo Sander van der Bosch