Groupama champions of Volvo Ocean Race
Groupama crossed the finish line in the pitch black Galway night to settle the closest contest in the 39-year history and crown themselves Volvo Ocean Race champions 2011-12.
While CAMPER were celebrating victory in the ninth and final leg, Groupama skipper Franck Cammas led his team home in second place to take an unassailable 24-point lead with just one in-port race to go.
“It’s a very happy moment for us and for all the team,” Cammas said after the Glaway finish. “I didn’t think we could win. This is my dream.”
Groupama are the first team to represent France in the Volvo Ocean Race since Eric Tabarly’s La Poste in 1993-94 and they are only the second French winners after Lionel Péan on L’Espirit d’Equipe in 1985-86.
The team gallantly fought back from a deficit that was as high as 28 points following the In-Port Race in Sanya, winning the next leg to Auckland and steadily improving their knowledge of their boat and cohesion as a team to surge to a commanding lead going into Leg 9.
CAMPER are almost certain to secure second place with 226 points, six points clear of third place PUMA, with just the final in-port race remaining. Six points will be up for grabs for first place, five for second, four for third and so on when the final race of the epic 39,000 nautical mile ocean race starts on July 7.
Keep you updated on www.volvooceanrace.com