Fourth time around in the Volvo Ocean Race

Yvan Zedda / Groupama
Ireland's most capped offshore sailor Damian Foxall tells us all his can about Franck Cammas' VOR campaign
It might be his eighth or ninth time around the world, he's lost count, but Ireland's Damian Foxall returns to the Volvo Ocean Race for the fourth time following on from Tyco, Ericsson and Green Dragon. On this occasion he has signed up with Franck Cammas’ Groupama team, who after their superb Jules Verne Trophy record this winter are now having their first stab at a monohull campaign since Cammas’ rapid ascent through the Figaro class 14 years ago. While Foxall can now proudly claim to be Ireland’s most capped offshore racing sailor, in fact these days he is more French than Irish having lived in Brittany almost constantly since he, like Cammas, campaigned a Figaro back in the mid-1990s. While he is best known for his Volvo campaigns, Foxall is also a leading offshore multihull sailor having been a long term crewman with Karine Fauconnier’s Sergio Tacchini ORMA 60 campaign and on board Doha 2006, Brian Thompson’s Oryx Quest winner and on Ellen MacArthur’s Jules Verne attempt, etc. Significantly Foxall has also from time to time been part of the Groupama team, sailing on their ORMA 60 and the maxi-trimaran. This time Foxall has had a significant involvement in putting the campaign together and on board is a watch leader along with Laurent Pages, who raced with Bouwe Bekking on Telefonica Blue in the last Volvo Ocean Race. Groupama haven’t announced their full sailing team yet, although more details are certain to pop out in due course. “We have more or less chosen our crew,” admits Foxall. “We still have to confirm one or two slots, but we’ve started sailing with most of the guys already. By the end of September we want to have signed off the crew.” While to date the Groupama campaigns have had almost exclusively French crews, for their