Jury rig to Itajai

Photos: Yann Riou/Groupama/Volvo Ocean Race
Damian Foxall on Groupama's dismasting and hull damage
How Groupama would perform was something of an unknown prior to the start of this Volvo Ocean Race. They had a well funded campaign, the right tool in the form of a design from Juan K, who’s boats have won the last two fully crewed round the world races. France is obviously one of the world’s leading nations when it comes to oceanic racing and although Groupama has the least number of crew with Volvo Ocean Race previous, it includes some of France’s most highly capped offshore hands, many of whom have more offshore racing miles than even the Volvo Ocean Race veterans. So having comfortably won leg four into Auckland and then leading for the majority of leg five, up until their unfortunate dismasting off Uruguay, it is safe to say that Franck Cammas and his team have collectively got the hang of this (to them) new form of the sport they are so familiar with. Most capped Volvo Ocean Race sailor on board the green VO70 is naturalised French Irishman, Damian Foxall, now on his fourth race following campaigns with Tyco, Ericsson 1 and Green Dragon. Foxall has also won the first Barcelona World Race non-stop around the planet with Jean-Pierre Dick on Virbac Paprec 2, broken the non-stop around the world record with the late Steve Fossett on Cheyenne and won the Oryx Quest (another non-stop lap) on Doha 2006. According to Foxall, the school is still out as to why they dismasted on this last leg: “We still don’t know exactly what broke. It looks like wear and tear on some section of the rigging, but that is not to say that our Carbonlink rigging - which is a fantastic product - was at fault. It could have been a fitting or a spreader that caused one of