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Patience is the key, says fourth-placed Cammas from Lorient

GROUPAMA 4, home port Lorient © Paul Todd/ Volvo Ocean Race
GROUPAMA 4, home port Lorient © Paul Todd/ Volvo Ocean Race

Franck Cammas has vowed his Groupama sailing team will come back stronger in the next phase of the Volvo Ocean Race after missing out on a top-three position in the first stage of Leg 2.

At one point during the race from Cape Town to a secret ‘safe haven’ in the Indian Ocean, Groupama had a lead of more than 100 nautical miles, the result of a risky course to the east of the fleet that paid dividends.

However they were snared in the Doldrums and could only watch as they were passed by eventual stage winner Team Telefónica and second-placed CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand.

They were overtaken on the home stretch by PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG when a last-ditch attempt to catch the leaders ended in the team becoming stuck in light winds.

Groupama had to settle for fourth place, finishing at 0204:20 UTC on Tuesday, more than two hours behind PUMA and eight hours behind Telefónica and CAMPER.

Cammas, skipper of the first French entry since Eric Tabarly’s La Poste in 1993, said the key to his crew’s success would lie in exercising more patience in the remaining legs of the round the world race.

“It’s frustrating because five days ago we were imagining winning the leg,” Cammas said.

“The Doldrums was bad, and then the light spots at the end were bad. We know these conditions are not good for our boat and for our speed but for sure we didn’t manage the start very well.

“Maybe we were too frustrated before and we tried to come back with an option that was just too risky. It was a mistake I think.

“We need to be more patient and not fight all the time for first place.”

Despite slipping from the lead to third in Leg 1 of the race from Alicante to Cape Town, and then surrendering the top spot again in the first phase of Leg 2, Cammas said his team would learn from their mistakes and come back stronger.

“I think as well we were not very lucky, but it’s a game and we need to wait for a better time for us,” Cammas added.

“We learn all the time, and when we make mistakes we learn. I think we learned a lot like that in this leg!

“The Volvo will be long and for sure we keep learning. We know from this leg we can be in the lead for some days and I think we have to be confident about that.

“We just need to learn and be more cautious in this position. We are improving all the time.

“Maybe the results haven’t changed but on board and in my mind we have improved and we can fight for the lead better next time.”

Eighty per cent of the points for Leg 2 are on offer for the first stage to the safe haven, with the remaining 20 per cent up for grabs in the final sprint to Abu Dhabi from a location in the northern United Arab Emirates.

Groupama’s 12 points from the first stage of Leg 2 sees them hold onto third position overall as the race enters 2012.


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