Saturday, 16 October 2010

BWR: Jean Le Cam on the Starting Line for the Barcelona World Race

* Jean Le Cam is back. With backing from the Président (Lactalis Group) brand, the Breton skipper will compete for his first time in the Barcelona World Race, the round the world race for crews of two, which starts from the Catalan city on 31st December 2010.

* His co-skipper will be Spain's Bruno García. They’ll be aiming for the podium on Mike Golding's Owen Clarke designed IMOCA Open 60 (former Ecover 3)

Président yacht, © JB Epron

by Isabel Genís

He is back! Jean Le Cam is returning to IMOCA ocean racing competition. Following the frightening loss of VM Matériaux off Cape Horn in the last Vendée Globe and his participation as crew on Vincent Riou's PRB in the recent “Vuelta a España”, the round Spain race, the renowned French skipper will take on his fourth racing circumnavigation of the globe (1). Le Cam has chosen to compete in the Barcelona World Race, which will set off from the Spanish city on 31st of December 2010 and will sail with Spanish co-skipper Bruno García flying the Président colours, the famous French brand which is part of the Lactalis dairy foods group.

Jean Le Cam, © Benoit Stichelbaut

Jean Le Cam: “We've chartered Mike Golding's IMOCA Open 60 and last week we sailed her from Southampton to Port-la-Forêt, where we are currently checking the keel, the mast and the hull before setting off on the qualifier, which is likely to be an outward and return journey to the Azores”. Le Cam and García must in fact cover 2,800 miles to qualify to start the race. “When we return the boat will go straight into the shipyard and we predict that we'll have her back on the water in early November with the new colours and a new set of sails from North Sails. We'll have roughly two months to prepare for the start”. Meanwhile, Jean Le Cam will head for Saint-Malo for start of the the Route du Rhum to wave off some of his fellow sailors, many of whom will soon be his rivals in the Barcelona World Race, such as Kito de Pavant, Michel Desjoyeaux and Jean-Pierre Dick.

Objective: the podium, at the very least!

What’s the aim of the Franco-Spanish duo? “We're going for the podium, but we'll see”, said Jean Le Cam frankly. The Frenchman is not hiding his intentions: “The Barcelona World Race is very interesting, mostly because it is an IMOCA race. We're racing in real time, with a non stop course similar to a Vendée Globe.There will also be great sailors at the start; the Spanish Armada will be there, and then there are the new VPLP-Verdier designs, Foncia, Virbac-Paprec 3, etc...”

Bruno Garcia, © Benoit Stichelbaut

He may be the less well-known of the pair, but co-skipper Bruno García is an exceptional sailor. He has recently sailed on the IMOCA Open 60 Estrella Damm, but has also raced in the Figaro class, before his successful career as a cardiologist at the Hospital of Barcelona.“I've known him since the Figaro, where we raced against one another. He knows a lot and we understand each other very well”, said Le Cam. Garcia chuckles : “Yes, we raced a Transat AG2R... and Jean won! I've also sailed three Solitaire du Figaro and of those Jean won two... so I've got a pretty clear idea of who Monsieur Le Cam' is and what he is capable of! Sailing around the world for me is has always been a dream, but the fact that I'm doing so alongside Jean Le Cam is better than I ever could have imagined!”. An opinion on the boat?: “I only have Estrella Damm to weigh her up against, but she seems like a very competitive boat One of my favourite ways of judging a boat is Jean's face, and I can assure you that he smiled a lot during the delivery. When that happens, it means everything is going smoothly!”.

Support from Président

Taking part in the Barcelona World Race is an opportunity for Président that no one wanted to let slip. The race embodies the fundamental values that Président identifies with.

The Président brand can be found in over 160 countries, and the brand direction confirms that it was hard to find a better event than a round the world regatta for our brand: “We are confident that our crew, Jean Le Cam and Bruno García will make Président's participation in the Barcelona World Race an unforgettable experience for all”.

Lactalis Groupe in a few lines:

In just over 75 years, the Lactalis Groupe has managed to position itself as one of the key players in the agro-food sector. With 40,000 employees around the world, brands such as PRÉSIDENT, GALBANI and SOCIÉTÉ have become recognisable and appreciated across the globe.

Yearly sales reach some 10 thousand million Euros. From that figure, the company's growth in Spain will allow them to surpass 1 thousand million Euros annually by joining the sales of their global brands with other Spanish brands such as FLOR DE ESGUEVA, EL VENTERO, GRAN CAPITÁN cheeses, and PULEVA, LACTEL and CHUFI in milk and beverages.

Andor Serra, Director General of the FNOB: “It's great news that a sponsor such as Président is getting onboard the Barcelona World Race with Le Cam and García, who've demonstrated that they get on well and will form a powerful team”.

(1) Jean Le Cam has competed in one Whitbread Round the World Race and two solo round the world race Vendée Globe races. He finished second in the Vendée Globe 2004/05.

Barcelona World Race