How Groupama won the Volvo Ocean Race pt 2

Paul Todd / Volvo Ocean Race
Laurent Pages on the design, Cammas on his future and Groupama NOT terminating their sponsorship of sailing
This article continues from part 1 here Working out of the old Le Defi AC team base at the end of the impressive line of WW2 nazi-built submarine bases in Lorient, the Groupama team already had a set-up more akin to an America’s Cup campaign than a Volvo Ocean Race team with their own in-house design and technical departments, many of whom worked on Groupama 3. The only team in this Volvo Ocean Race to have a set-up similar to this was Camper with the mighty Emirates Team New Zealand warhorse behind them. Pages continues: “Franck [Cammas] has always been very much involved on the technical side of his boats - he likes that and is excellent at that, and working with the main designers and some external contractors or consultants, for example [A-Class cat designer] Martin Fischer worked on our daggerboards and rudders and that definitely gave us a bit of an edge over the original Juan K plans. In many aspects we looked into improving the Juan K options, sometimes going a slightly different way. For sure the package from Juan K is excellent and the three Juan K boats during the race were extremely competitive, but all the work done by this in-house design office, going into more detail, probably also made the difference and gave us this little edge of speed we had in some conditions. We worked a lot on centre of gravity fore and aft and on weight in different areas. We ended up with the same weight as the others, but we also ended up with a very strong, solid boat and that helped us to be confident in pushing hard at times.” With Juan K’s design team in Valencia penning three boats for this race there was an issue of maintaining confidentiality between the teams