We took Mich Dej’s presently undefined role in the Team Campos VOR team as an indicator that maybe things are not going all that well for him as one of the trio of leaders of the Team France AC effort, but that take might be very wrong if you believe France’s top sailing journo Loïc LeBras. LeBras is a good digger though, and his sources told him two days ago that Cammas is about to sign a major agreement with “France’s leading hotel group and Europe’s leading aircraft manufacturer.” Cammas’ statement in an otherwise fluffy and bullshitty joint statement today seems to support Franck’s optimism that Team France will, at least, be able to enter by the million-dollar deadline on the 8th of August.
Let’s not screw around with implication here; if LeBras is right, we’ll see some serious commercial juice in AC35 from a second non-billionaire backed team. France’s biggest hotel group, by far, is the Paris-based Accor, which owns some 3,600 hotels on five continents. They hit every budget with their holdings; from Motel 6 and Red Roof Inn right up to the 5 stars of the Sofitel and Pullman lines. And of course Europe’s biggest airplane manufacturer is Airbus, which has been peripherally involved in sailing (via the C-Class Invictus and several other endeavors) for ages now. As a branding exercise, Airbus could get huge mileage out of involvement with the AC, especially considering Oracle’s ties to Airbus competitor Boeing. And while France’s tardiness means they might miss out on the designer raffle and some may dismiss this as a Luna-Rossa-in-AC-34-style ‘learning campaign’ leading to AC36, there are those who thought the same thing about Groupama in the VOR…and we know how that worked out.
Stay on top of the Team France thread in America’s Cup Anarchy for the latest on Cammas and Co, and have a look here at one of the most empty, vapid, useless press releases we’ve seen from a Cup team in years…and that’s saying something.