Juanpa Cadario: VOR, Groupama 4 llega a Alicante

VOR, Groupama 4 llega a Alicante

Foto copyright Paul Todd/VOR

Fuente info Groupama

Groupama Sailing team
Groupama 4 on Spanish soil

Having covered nearly 1,500 miles over the past 5 days, the crew of Groupama sailing team arrived in Alicante at 1850 hours on Monday 26 September. They sailed along part of the French and Portuguese coasts in downwind conditions and rounded Spain via the Straits of Gibraltar. They then entered the Mediterranean in light winds, prior to the beat up the south-east coast of Spain in a well-established headwind, to make the city which will play host to the start of the 11th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The Mediterranean climate, glorious sunshine and Spanish utterances quickly disorientated the newcomers, especially after beginning their journey in Brittany, where the seasonal temperatures are cooler and wetter. The crew of Groupama sailing team seem to have got used to it already though… Franck Cammas, Damian Foxall, Jean-Luc Nélias, Martin Krite, Martin Strömberg, Thomas Coville, Philip Harmer, Brad Marsh, Charles Caudrelier, Erwan Isaël and the media crew Yann Riou have just spent five days on the same boat and: “… The atmosphere aboard was excellent!” says Franck Cammas. Having unloaded the sails with his team, the skipper of Groupama 4 reviews the journey with a satisfied air: “Groupama 4 handled well and everything went without a hitch with the crew. We took less time than planned to get to Spain: the wind wasn't as light as all that, though we had to make headway under power at Gibraltar”. The weather conditions were ideal for carrying out sail trials, going through all the manœuvres and checking Groupama 4's reliability. The skipper: “We experienced the whole range of conditions, with a mixture of downwind at Cape Finisterre and upwind on the final night of the trip: we were slamming a fair bit on Sunday!” Furthermore, there weren't any surprises: nothing broke! Even after putting Groupama 4 to the test in the Mediterranean.

Ready for action at Groupama sailing team's base
Sébastien Marsset, the reserve sailor aboard Groupama 4, has been in Alicante for the past week to support the short team responsible for assembling the Spanish base. At the very beginning, there were eight people on site. Since Sunday evening the team has doubled in size in order to see in the boat and prepare for her arrival in the best possible manner. Sébastien Marsset: “Since our arrival, last Tuesday, we've certainly had our work cut out: we've shifted the containers, erected the marquees, assembled the cradle and the two towers which enable us to get onto the boat. We've also taken delivery of two small tents and installed the electricity. We're good to go now, ready to accommodate the guys!”
Tomorrow, Wednesday, Groupama 4 will have her mast unstepped and be lifted out onto the hard, where she will undergo the final scrutineering tests this coming weekend. As such, on Groupama 4's arrival dockside, the different members of the shore team began to empty the boat.
Franck Cammas: “Right now we're going to have to prepare the boat for her measurement tests. There's a fair amount of work involved and it's an important moment. She is scheduled to be refloated in a week's time: we're eager to go sailing alongside the other boats. Since our arrival here in Spain, the race start date has felt even closer”.
Telefonica Blue and Team Sanya are already in their cradles, ready to undergo the measurement tests.
Still absent from the roll call is Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand which is set to arrive over the course of today, then it will be the turn of Puma Ocean Racing Team and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Team, who will make the port of Alicante at the end of the week.