They did it! Victorious in Italy (Riva Cup), then Spain (Copa del Rey and Sotogrande Cup), Franck Cammas and his crew have now won in France.
Winning the Marseille One Design means that Norauto powered by Groupama Team France wins the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour overall. Following an intense winter of two-boat training in Brittany, the sailors preparing for the America's Cup next year in Bermuda, have established themselves on the European GC32 foiling catamaran circuit. They have won four of the five events and have finished top of the podium in their first season. Since May, Franck Cammas and New Zealander Adam Minoprio have raised the bar. The crew selection (five on board) has changed at each event giving each sailor the chance to race. They have performed well throughout, even when invited to race on the Extreme Sailing Series (also raced on board the GC32) in Lisbon for Act 7 - where the Norauto team finished second. Finally, this success is also one for Norauto, Europe’s leading car repair services company, on their first year of sponsorship. Since early Summer over 600 employees from five countries have come to support the team over the course of the season.
At the foot of the Friuli, Franck Cammas, Adam Minoprio, Thomas Le Breton, Arnaud Jarlegan and Devan Le Bihan concluded the One Design Marseille by winning five races today. With 18-20 knots of wind on the water, the team performed brilliantly right to the end.
Franck Cammas: "It's always very nice to come back to Marseille, where I did my first racing. We had some great conditions today for our foiling boats with five intense races and five consecutive victories. We are pleased to end the season winning the Marseille One Design and the GC32 Racing Tour 2016 overall. Because we had a different crew configuration for each event we were able to progress our on board communications really well. It is a great accomplishment for Norauto and the whole team. We have been training in windy conditions with two boats all winter. We feel that the team performs well in these types of weather. We were ahead on the first events, but how everyone has progressed; the crews perform well, the level is higher and there are some real battles on the water. On this circuit we have had the opportunity of doing a variety of manoeuvres, lots of starts and we have been confronted with a whole host of interesting tactical decisions to make: it's perfect for us as we prepare for the Groupama Team France’s America's Cup."
Consistent performance in all situations
Norauto has had to perform more consistently against crews who have raced previous seasons on the circuit. The team also faced other America’s Cup contenders (Team Tilt and Gunvor) and managed to make the break against their closest rivals, Team Tilt form Switzerland also racing on their first season.
Adam Minoprio (world match racing champion, second on the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 and past Luna Rossa crew member) - this GC32 season promotes teamwork:“We do professional racing because we are passionate about competing. When you get to win it’s even better. Competing in Palma, I was helming for the first time on the circuit. We had two crewmen injured before the start of the races. They were replaced at short notice by new crew who had not done all the buildup training with us. We performed well and managed to win, which was really great. In Sotogrande, back to our full original crew, we won 10 of the 15 races!
All focus on the Cup!
The full Groupama Team France is now 200% focused on the America's Cup looking at the best ways of optimising the semi-prototype Class AC Test flying catamaran boat, which is currently being sailed in Lanvéoc (Brest, France). Soon it will be time to head for Bermuda (USA) with the final AC Class boat and prepare for theLouis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifying rounds which begin May 26, 2017.
A success for NORAUTO!
The results could not be better for Norauto, Europe’s leading car servicing company, on its first year as a sponsor.
Throughout 2016 on the GC32 Racing Tour stages and the preliminary America's Cup events (World Series), 608 employees came from France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Belgium to witness a top level high performing team in action.
Thibaut Derville, Norauto Strategic Committee Board Member, General Manager Belgium and responsible for the America's Cup sponsorship: "Here we find ourselves eight months into our sports sponsorship with the aim of raising the brand awareness and we can only but congratulate ourselves on the choice which boils down to the talent of Franck Cammas, Adam Minoprio and all the race crew as well as the technical shore crew.
In all kinds of racing venues and in different weather conditions, the team has excelled and brought the the GC32 Norauto powered by Groupama Team France to the top podium place. Hats off and bravo to the team on this first year of racing!
Norauto centre employees from across Europe have attended the events in great numbers to show the team their support. They can feel part of the teams success today and congratulate them on their performance because, there is no better way to prepare for the America's Cup that will be held in a few months in Bermuda.
Norauto has been pleased to identify the company values so established among the sailors: a complete sense of team work, innovation and need to push boundaries, together with a mastery of technology that serves to help people while maintaining respect of both the environment and the competition. Norauto is very proud to be part of this great win!”
Franck Cammas, Groupama Team France skipper: "I think Norauto really enjoyed and discovered what this type of sailing is all about. It's not offshore racing; it is a sport that is practiced up close to people and that is very technical and also involves strong teamwork. I am delighted that Norauto made the effort to invite so many employees to the different events on the circuits and they all went out on the water to enjoy the racing. We are pleased to work with Norauto, they are enthusiastic and positive people who have really taken to the sport and are enjoying it throughout the company.”
Marseille One Design 2016 Ranking:
1 – NORAUTO (FRA) F.Cammas – 13 points
2 – ARGO (USA) J.Carroll – 37points
3 – Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) N.Kamei – 41points
4 – Team TILT (SUI) S.Schneiter – 43points
5 – Team ENGIE (FRA) S.Rogues – 49points
6 – MALIZIA – YC Monaco (MON) P.Casiraghi – 52points
7 – ARMIN STROM Sailing Team (SUI) F.Marazzi – 52points
8 – GUNVOR Sailing (SWE) G.Petterson – 58points
9 – Realteam (SUI) J.Clerc – 68points
10 – ORANGE Racing (NER) Laurent Lenne – 89points
GC32 Racing Tour 2016 General Ranking after 10 events:
1 – NORAUTO (FRA) F.Cammas – 6points
2 – Team TILT (SUI) S.Schneiter – 12points
3 – ARMIN STROM Sailing Team (SUI) F.Marazzi – 22points
4 – ARGO (USA) J.Carroll – 26points
5 – Team ENGIE (FRA) S.Rogues – 29points
6 – MALIZIA – YC Monaco (MON) P.Casiraghi – 29points
7 – GUNVOR Sailing (SWE) G.Petterson – 32points
8 – Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) N.Kamei – 33points
9 – Realteam (SUI) J.Clerc – 40points
10 – Spindrift racing (FRA) Y.Guichard – 47points
11 – ORANGE Racing (NER) Laurent Lenne – 47points