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December 11th

France & America’s Cup

Posted by // December 11, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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Raoul Dobremel-AFP-Nautic2013Don’t expect a lot of activity here until the new year, but on impulse I am dropping in a cut-and-paste from a press release sent out by the Paris Boat Show.  The stand-up paddle board race on the Seine, pictured above, was the show’s opening act. Later, some familiar names went public with plans for AC35:

Presentation of the Team France Project
The announcement of the Team France project was eagerly awaited and logically it drew in a huge crowd around the French Nautical Industries Federation stand this afternoon. Among Bruno Bich, President of the Board of Directors at the Bic Group, Thierry Martel, Managing Director of Groupama, Bertrand Meheut, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Canal+ group, Stéphane Kandler, Team France, Yves Lagane, President of the Yacht Club de France and Jean-Pierre Champion, President of the French Sailing Federation, sailors Franck Cammas, Michel Desjoyeaux and Olivier de Kersauson, who have joined forces for the better and for excellence, revealed their aim: to enlist a French team in the 35th edition of the America’s Cup. The target is a perennial team, capable of securing a win. As such the three men presented the architecture behind Team France and the main principles they have agreed on. To put it plainly, the design, which will be drawn up in the upcoming months, is something they’ve been working on since last January. It is both a sporting and an economic project. It is a project gathering together the general public around an event of global proportions, as well as developing a crewed sailing network, where the America’s Cup is inevitably the grand finale, but whose long-term vision is more ambitious.

Franck Cammas: “I’m proud to present this new project, which I hope will take us far. A year ago to the day, here at the Nautic, I announced my aim to participate in the America’s Cup. Since then my project has matured. To take up this challenge, it is obvious that we need to bring each person’s strengths into play. This is why I have gathered Michel Desjoyeaux and Olivier de Kersauson around me. Between the three of us, we have had to build ten or so boats and sail all the oceans of the globe. Our wish is for a perennial team that is capable of winning. We want to be in a position to pull off a performance worthy of this name. The multihull is a form of sailing that we’re very familiar with in France. Of course the America’s Cup is the toughest yacht race in the world to win, but we have the skills and we very much hope to develop the crew network in our country on an international scale as this is severely lacking today.”

Michel Desjoyeaux:The America’s Cup has always appealed to me, even when I sailed singlehanded. The reason for this is that I’m an enthusiast of technology and this event gathers together a colossal amount of resources and skills. The aim of the game today is to combine cultures and histories. When Franck (Cammas) came to see me, I didn’t hesitate for one second. We’ve known each other for nearly 20 years. The same is true for Olivier (de Kersauson). We want the best. It’s true to say that we have three different egos, but we have a common aim and that’s the main thing.”

Olivier de Kersauson: “To construct a project such as that of Team France, you need intelligence and synergies. In the past, I’ve witnessed a great many America’s Cups. The boats that star in them are all born from offshore racing. We have skills in our country, that’s obvious. I logically hope to bring my own into play. If all the good elements come together then it’s worthwhile.”

This article was syndicated from BLUE PLANET TIMES

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