Groupama 4 comes 2nd on the race to Sanya, 3rd place overall
Franck Cammas at the finish in Sanya
The outcome of the race was decided in part in the Straits of Malacca and one night in particular we made good use of the squalls and managed to close on the leaders pretty quickly. The Spanish are certainly impressive with 3 victories in the 3 offshore legs. Like everyone else though, they make mistakes, but fewer than the others. They had conditions which favoured them too: sailing fast and in the right direction makes a win rather logical! They have some weaknesses, which we were able to analyse and we have our strengths: we’ll have to see what happens in the next few legs.
We’re very tired. I think it was the hardest and most intense leg so far in this Volvo Ocean Race. It was virtually impossible to do whole watches over the last 48 hours as there were a lot of manoeuvres.
I think we’re probably more dangerous now, but we’re only a third of the way into the race. We certainly lost points during the second leg: without that we would be closer to the leaders today. However, what I take from this leg is that our crew has made the most progress over the different races…"
"It was a very fine second leg because it called for incredible commitment on a physical level as we were almost constantly in contact with the other competitors. It’s something every racer in the Volvo Ocean Race dreams about, on a complicated course, that was difficult but exotic at the same time, since we were very close to the coast at times. The Straits of Malacca, the Vietnamese coast; that is an inspiration to Europeans! The battle with Telefonica, Camper and Puma has been superb: it’s a privilege, a pleasure and an honour to sail against crews of this level. I think that we’re on an upward spiral: we question what we do, we work hard, we’re making progress and we’re starting to worry the other teams. Above all though, we’re enjoying ourselves!"
"We were expecting worse in the Straits of Malacca: I reckon we’ve done well in this leg which wasn’t as long as we’d imagined at the start, with fewer obstacles and less shipping than we’d thought… We were amazed we got out of this funnel so quickly. Other than that, it’s a leg where we were predominantly sailing close-hauled, into the wind, not making headway! You have to put in a series of tacks which is laborious, particularly over the last four days with bigger seas and strong wind. It was tiring, not just physically but also mentally, because there was a lot of strategy involved, light airs, storms, squalls and hence a lot of stress and uncertainty about the tactical choices.
However, we have been rubbing shoulders with some incredible landscapes: the tip of Sumatra where, if you’d listened hard enough, you’d have been able to hear the monkeys; a rather misty Straits of Malacca with a lot of shipping; the Vietnamese coast with the Mekong Delta and its thousands of fishermen… My father was a mechanic on a cargo ship which followed the Asia route and I’d always heard tell of Saigon (now known to the western world as Ho Chi Minh City)… All these names on the charts are magical. It was very sporty too this leg! We’re third in the overall standing and we’ve closed on the team in second place: we’re only a third of the way into this Volvo Ocean Race so we still have six oceanic legs to go…"
Ranking for Groupama 4 in the various Volvo Ocean Race legs:
5th (In-Port Alicante),
3rd (Leg 1),
5th (In-Port Cape Town),
4th (Leg 2),
2nd (In-Port Abu-Dhabi),
2nd (Leg 3)
Provisional overall standing (points at the start from Abu Dhabi + Leg 3.1 + Leg 3.2)
1. Telefonica – 68 points + 3 + 24 = 95 points
2. Camper – 62 points + 2 + 16 = 80 points
3. Groupama 4 – 47 points + 4 + 20 = 71 points
4. Puma Ocean Racing – 31 points + 5 + 12 = 48 points
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – (awaiting their arrival in China)
6. Sanya – (awaiting their arrival in China)
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