le roi de la mer

le roi de la mer

With the world’s eyes so firmly planted on multihulls right now, a 36-year old Frenchman is set to ascend the throne of worldwide sailing rock-stardom.  He’s already the king of France, and his eyes are set on more distant shores.

Franck Cammas has seemingly done it all, and dominated much of it.  From sportboats to ORMA 60s to the Jules Verne to the America’s Cup, Cammas obviously has the skill, the leadership abilities, the corporate contacts, and the drive to make shit happen, and it seems to all be happening right now.

Cammas had an integral part in BMW/Oracle’s training and eventual victory over Alinghi last month.  His iShares team last year was on the podium for 2009 and until recently, was scheduled for the 2010 season.  And at the moment, he’s hurtling ’round the world with nearly a day’s lead over Bruno Peyron’s incredible record on Orange 2, looking damned good as the next owner of the Jules Verne Trophy.

But his recent accomplishments are not the most interesting thing about Cammas.  No, what excites us are the next couple of years of life in Cammas land.

First, there’s the Groupama Volvo bid.  They’ve already bought the ultra-quick Ericsson 4, one of a few boats that gets a solid stability advantage over all new builds due to new bulb weight rules.  And Cammas has retained Juan K to build their new boat, and while Juan may draw a lot of whacked out boats, his record in the VOR is hard to argue with.  With a Lorient, France (Cammas’ team HQ) stopover expected to be announced this week, Groupama’s involvement in the Volvo is going to be a massive draw for French sailing fans, and Cammas might just get this legendary race out of Nordic hands and into Latin ones.

And then there’s Peyron’s recent announcement of a new edition of "The Race," something that is already exciting guys who own, or have access to, a G-Class multihull – and one of the nicest and newest is Groupama 3.  Assuming Peyron can get his shit together, an 8+ boat fleet for what is certainly the most extreme race on the planet will surely get Cammas on the line. 

Finally, Ellison and Coutts have been saying the kinds of things multihullers could only dream of 3 years ago – that a couple of races in Valencia truly opened their eyes to the possibilities of a multihull AC.  And of course if a multi-challenger, multihull America’s Cup in 70-odd foot trimarans becomes a reality, would anyone want to bet against the guy who, in his twenties, dominated the ORMA 60 Class so completely that it folded forever?

We wouldn’t. 

Photo courtesy Yvan ZEDDA/Groupama-Cammas.com