Franck Cammas has his fingers crossed for wind when the Volvo Ocean Race fleet resume Leg 2 on Wednesday – because those are the conditions Groupama 4 revels in.
“I hope that we will have conditions that suit Groupama IV to go quickly. I hope there is some wind as we are best in the wind" - Franck Cammas
“It will be a great fight, we will be neck and neck,” Cammas told volvooceanrace.com. “I hope that we will have conditions that suit Groupama 4 to go quickly. I hope there is some wind as we are best in the wind. It will be a nice sprint, it will be nice for the people watching to see the speed of the boats up close.”
The French skipper may have his prayers answered, with a rare shamal wind forecast to sweep through the Persian Gulf on race day.
The shamal blows several times a year, carrying desert sands hundreds of miles in strong winds that have been known to exceed 40 knots.
Cammas said because of the relative shortness of the leg – just 98 nautical miles – his crew would treat it as if it were an in-port race, and that means all hands on deck.
“We will really be approaching this like an in port race with everyone on deck, ready and well placed, and obviously we won’t have any time to do anything else, it will only be the MCM recording images whilst everyone else will be at 100 per cent all the time as there could be only metres between us.
“It’s more like an in-shore race as it lasts just a day. However, there are not a lot of manoeuvres so it will be a speed race, a particular feel with particular wind – so it’s true it’s unique, as we have never done this and we aren’t used to doing this.”
A multihull hero in France, Cammas is best known for his solo sailing exploits and has often admitted inshore racing is not Groupama sailing team’s forte.
Two fifth-place finishes in the in-port races back that up - but the team has proven on several occasions they have the out-and-out speed to challenge for the lead and Cammas says this will be where their success could lie.
“The start on a short race is always important,” he added, “but boat speed is still important over 80 miles even with a bad start there is still a way to overtake competitors with better boat speed.”
The second phase of Leg 2 will start at 1000 local time (0600 UTC) on Wednesday, with the boats expected to arrive in Abu Dhabi around five hours later.
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- 14 Jan 2012Inshore boost rockets Groupama out of Abu Dhabi
- 4 Jan 2012All smiles for Groupama after Leg 2 Stage 2 win
- 3 Jan 2012 Groupama repair minor hull damage
- 21 Dec 2011Groupama position for Doldrums crossing
- 19 Dec 2011Fleet closes up as Sanya detour for repairs
- 11 Dec 2011Teams switch focus to Leg 2 dilemma