A new team will hoist the Volvo Ocean Race trophy in 2014-15 after Groupama announced they would not be back to attempt a repeat victory.
A change in priorities for the French insurance company, announced on Friday in Paris, means it will be focusing on other opportunities after Franck Cammas guided the team to a debut win in 2011-12.
Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, said: "Groupama have kept us in touch with the situation and naturally we are sorry that they will not be returning to defend their title in 2014-15. However, we are seeing really encouraging interest in the Race from other potential teams around the world, including France, and are very confident that the fleet for the next edition will be stronger than ever before."
France was one of the biggest successes of the 2011-12 Race in terms of media figures with only China providing more viewers on television.
Top publications Le Figaro and Ouest France featured the Race, on average, at least once a day throughout the near nine-month duration of the event and French websites provided more coverage than in any other market.
- 23 Jun 2012Cammas treats rivals to a speedy day out
- 15 Jun 2012Dock talk: Leg 8 finish
- 15 Jun 2012Groupama seal dream victory on home waters
- 13 Jun 2012Bowman Brad saves day as jammed sail costs Groupama vital places
- 27 Feb 2012Cammas piles praise on navigator as Groupama stride out
- 26 Feb 2012Cammas' green mosquito takes control