Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Extreme 40s: Video of Groupama 40's Crash in Cowes

Interview with Franck Cammas on what happened

by Caroline Muller

Q: Franck Cammas, what happened in race 11?
A: At a windward mark, as we were bearing away, Edmond de Rothschild Group, who were going behind us and finding it hard to bear away, hit our rudders in not such a violent manner. The two rudders and their mounts came away. All of a sudden Groupama 40 was uncontrollable and unable to be steered. She was heading straight for the sea wall. It was impossible to switch direction without the rudders. The crew was forced to jump into the water and Groupama 40 ploughed into the wall, her progress slightly slowed by the daggerboards as they rubbed up along the pebbles. The damage could have been a lot worse!

Q: How’s the crew?
A: We prevented the crew from coming to any harm! Everyone’s fine after this enforced dip!

Q: What about the damage aboard Groupama 40?
A: The rudder system and the mounts which hold them in position have to be replaced. One daggerboard was cut in two at the point of impact. The pole needs to be repaired. The bows, which hit the wall at full pelt, were also damaged.

Q: What are your chances of being able to sail tomorrow?
A: For the time being I don’t think our participation in tomorrow’s racing is under threat. We have a spare daggerboard. We have to find some parts for the rudder system. We’re going to check with the rest of the fleet as regards what they’re able to lend us.

Cammas - Groupama
Extreme Sailing Series Europe