Full-Foiling in the Fifties

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Dreaded Cape Horn can only look on in wonder as a whole new kind of boat goes whizzing by. Photo courtesy of teamwork.net

Dreaded Cape Horn can only look on in wonder as a whole new kind of boat goes whizzing by. Photo courtesy of teamwork.net

French sailing hero Franck Cammas has sailed many different kinds boats in many different kinds of places. Until recently he’d also doubled Cape Horn twice, including as skipper aboard the 70ft Groupama en route to an overall win in the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race. It’s safe to say, though, that in terms of unique passages, it will be tough to match his latest rounding—in full-foiling mode aboard a Nacra F20 high-performance beach cat. “It’s been a really great and successful adventure,” Cammas said afterward when he was safely back on shore along with his crew, German sailor Johannes Wiebel. “It’s my third passage, and it’s really uncommon to do it with such a small boat.”

Unfortunately, a short while later Cammas nearly lost part of his right leg after he went overboard while two-boat training with the Groupama Team France America’s Cup campaign on one of the team’s full-foiling GC32s. According to reports, the speed of the boat combined with the fine edge on one of the rudders was such that when one of the rudders hit his shin it was sufficient to break both the fibia and tibia. Cammas was immediately air-lifted to a nearby hospital where specialists were able to save his foot, but not his ongoing 2016 Olympic campaign, as he will have to undergo months of physical rehabilitation before he’s back up to full speed. Get well soon, Franck, and the rest of you be careful out there!

February 2016

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