Franck Cammas' latest green flyer

Yvan Zedda / Groupama
Damian Foxall gives us a guided tour to the Groupama 4 VO70
With the start of the Volvo Ocean Race’s first leg to Cape Town just a month away, we felt it was time to start looking at some of the hardware that will be taking part in the fully crewed round the world race. Despite D-day approaching it still remains unclear whether there will be six or seven boats on the start line, with strong rumours that Telefonica Black will take part. If this comes to pass then she will be one of two last generation boats competing alongside the Mike Sanderson-skippered Team Sanya, the former Telefonica Blue. What is certain is that there will be five brand new boats with the same three designers involved as there were for the last race. With designer exclusivity agreements banned this time around, so Juan Kouyoumdjian, designer of the last two winners – Torben Grael’s Ericsson 4 (2008-9) and Mike Sanderson’s ABN AMRO One (2005-6) – has been the most prolific and he and his Valencia-based team have been responsible for three of the five – Ken Read’s Puma-backed Mar Mostro, the Iker Martinez-led Telefonica and Franck Cammas’ Groupama 4. Having designed the last Puma entry that finished second in 2008-9, Marcellino Botin returns with the Emirates Team New Zealand crew led by Chris Nicholson on Camper. Finally Farr Yacht Design is back in the frame with what looks to be one of the most radical boats in the Ian Walker-skippered Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. So we’ll kick off with the new Groupama... Folklore states that the first boat into Cape Town usually wins the Volvo Ocean Race. It also states that the team that bought the previous winner, in this case Ericsson 4, ends up with honours in the next race. If this is so then the Groupama team is favourite. Groupama represents a welcome return to the