The pontoons in Lorient were crammed with spectators as Groupama sailing team waved goodbye to their French home for the last time for nine months.
“This delivery trip is a transition. It’s sad because we're leaving our base, our friends and our families. However, it's also very exciting as we're going to have an exciting adventure around the world.”
More than a hundred fans, VIP guests and shore crew packed the dock as Groupama 4’s lines were cast off and she set sail for Alicante, start port of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Skipper Franck Cammas said the team’s departure stirred up a mix of emotions.
“This delivery trip is a transition,” he said. “It’s sad because we're leaving our base, our friends and our families. It's a drastic change of life which is going to last 10 months. However, it's also very exciting as we're going to have an exciting adventure around the world.”
The next time Groupama sailing team will see their home shores will be at the Lorient stopover in June 2012 after sailing almost 39,000 nautical miles around the world.
Groupama trimmer Phil Harmer added: “When I see everyone who's come here to bid us farewell, I'm keen to return to Lorient to see the welcome they'll have in store for us then!"
Groupama 4 is expected to reach Alicante on September 27 ahead of the race start on October 29.
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- 15 Jun 2012Groupama seal dream victory on home waters
- 13 Jun 2012Bowman Brad saves day as jammed sail costs Groupama vital places
- 1 Jun 2012French over-achievers enjoy life at the top
- 27 Sep 2011Ready for action