Groupama reveals the reasons behind its commitment to the next two Volvo Ocean Races

With the purchase of Ericsson 4, winner of the last Volvo Ocean Race, Groupama Team can boast an excellent platform for training and analysis. Rechristened Groupama 70, the Koujoumdjian design is performing an increasing number of sail trials offshore of Lorient in Brittany, where the Team is based.

Frederique Granado, Groupama’s director of external communications, commented last week: “When we committed ourselves to supporting Franck Cammas back in 1998, he was a young sports entrepreneur, who was just discovering the multihull scene. Twelve years on, he has won virtually all the crewed races and racked up no less than six records, including the legendary Jules Verne Trophy on 20 March 2010. By confirming our commitment to the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, namely until 2015, we are supporting the Group’s international development, which makes 30% of its turnover overseas and employs over 11,000 employees outside France. Groupama is today identified as the leading vessel owner in French sailing. With the Volvo Ocean Race, this presence will further develop overseas”.

Franck Cammas added: “The challenge we’ve committed ourselves to is a sizeable one. Since 1993 and Eric Tabarly, not a single French team has participated in the Volvo Ocean Race. Up against the top crews from New Zealand, America, Spain and Ireland, it’s going to be an intense battle. We’re just rediscovering the monohull and we still have a lot to learn. However, we’re going about it with as much enthusiasm, seriousness and humility as possible….Making up my entourage are Volvo specialists Damian Foxall, Ben Wright, Luc Gellusseau, Herve Le Quilliec as well as Killian Bush, who are joining together with various long-term stalwarts of the Groupama Team like Stephane Guilbaud, Pierre Tissier, Loic Dorez, Yann Riou and Olivier Mainguy”.

“Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to involve the excellent French architects in the work, as they are also only just discovering the restrictions of the class measurement linked to these 70 foot boats. As such we opted for Juan Koujoumdjian, who is based in Valencia, Spain. However, it’s actually in nearby Vannes, at the Multiplast yard, that Groupama 4 will be built. This will represent 40,000 man hours and we know the team well because we built the maxi trimaran Groupama 3 with them,” continued Franck.

The construction will take 10 months till her scheduled launch on 15 March 2011. For more, visit