The Groupama Insurance Group confirmed today that it will enter the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race with its long term French skipper, Franck Cammas, a commitment that will last until 2015.
The announcement was made as Cammas was in the French port Le Château in Brest, preparing to set off on a bid to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy aboard the 32-metre maxi trimaran. The chosen designer for Groupama's new boat is Argentinean Juan Kouyoumdjian, the designer of the winning boats in the last two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race.
"It's now been over 12 years that Groupama and Franck Cammas have worked together as a team. Today, we have decided to continue this commitment by participating in the Volvo Ocean Race to inspire a more international dynamic in our common project," said Frédérique Granado, director of external communications at Groupama.
"Groupama is developing strong links overseas, where we carry out nearly 30 per cent of our business, and the Volvo Ocean Race is clearly the most suitable sports event to reflect our group's new expansion," Granado explained.
"We trust in Franck to take up this new challenge and we appreciate his ability to create a team and manage a crew and also the design of the most high performance boats. These qualities will be decisive in the Volvo Ocean Race," she added.
Despite concentrating on his imminent departure on the Jules Verne Trophy, the skipper of Groupama is delighted. "Groupama is once again showing its trust in me at the very important moment where we're committing to a new challenge, while a lot of sponsors wait for a sports events to draw to a close before announcing that they're renewing a partnership," Cammas said.
"This is even more motivating for me within the context of the Jules Verne Trophy and makes me keen to pay Groupama back for the trust it has shown. We are committing to the Volvo Ocean Race thanks to the support and trust demonstrated by Groupama. For our team, it is a huge responsibility, which we are tackling with enthusiasm and determination.
"I am very proud to be able to benefit from such commitment and such loyalty and I would like to make the most of this opportunity to thank all the group's representatives and colleagues for their unfailing support during what has been over 12 years."
Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race is very pleased about the return of a French boat to the Volvo Ocean Race: "The French certainly have their place in the Volvo against the cream of the Anglo-Saxon and European crews. It is excellent news that the Groupama team is joining the race. I have known Franck Cammas and his team for a long time. They are formidable competitors, who are remarkably well organised. It is going to be an exciting race."
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