Good news as Franck Cammas is reported to be recovering well from an operation on his right leg
French sailor Franck Cammas, who suffered a serious leg injury on Monday after falling overboard from a GC32 catamaran and being hit by the rudder, has been operated on and should regain full use of his right foot, his team has confirmed.
His team also revealed more about the accident.
Cammas suffered an open fracture of his right tibia and fibula near the ankle and was operated on the evening of his accident by the orthopaedic surgery department of the Hotel-Dieu in Nantes According to Vincent Borde, spokesman for Groupama Team France “arteries, nerves and tendons are not affected.”
Borde said that that Cammas was one of five crew sailing one of two foiling GC32s in Quiberon Bay. The GC32 is a fast foiling cat with carbon fibre T foil rudder and J foil centreboards capable of speeds up to 39 knots.
Cammas was at the helm of one of the GC32s and was training with a sparring partner boat in the hands of New Zealander Adam Minoprio.
The team reports: ‘On the race zone in Quiberon Bay, between Port Haliguen and the Ecole Nationale de Voile (French Sailing School), weather conditions were ideal with a 17 to 18-knot westerly wind and flat seas due to being on the lee of the Quiberon peninsula. At the helm of the two GC32s, Franck Cammas and New Zealander Adam Minoprio were linking together the duelling start procedures in true match racing style.
‘At the start of the day’s final race, the French skipper’s boat, driven by a 5-man crew, was homing in on the start line on port tack and bore away to position itself more favourably in relation to its sparring partner.
‘This is the moment the incident occurred. When the catamaran rose up on her foils, she accelerated away at 25 knots (50km/hr) and Franck Cammas was thrown off balance and fell overboard. Unfortunately for him, his right leg hit the rudder on the leeward hull. The speed in conjunction with the sharpness of the carbon appendage caused a deep wound.
‘Straightaway, one of Groupama Team France’s crew grabbed the boat’s helm to avoid capsizing. At the same time, coach Bertrand Pacé, who was supervising the training session aboard a support rib, rallied to Cammas’ assistance and got him aboard as delicately as possible. At low speed, whilst phoning the emergency services, Pacé headed to nearby Port Haliguen.
‘Some 12 minutes after his arrival the emergency services arrived at the scene and Franck was taken care of by the firefighters and a doctor from the mobile emergency medical service.
‘Thirty minutes later, the skipper was airlifted to Nantes by helicopter to take advantage of the best possible trauma care. Undergoing surgery lasting several hours in the latter half of the afternoon, Franck Cammas was reassured by the doctors when he came round: he will not lose the use of his foot; the arteries, nerves and tendons are unaffected.
‘For now though, the skipper needs to get some rest and most unusually will have to favour a reclining position before beginning a long period of rehabilitation in Lorient in order to get back into the competition in 2016.’
His team says: ‘We already know that Cammas was not going to defend his selection for the Olympic Games 2016 Nacra 17 at the world championships in Clearwater next February.’