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Foxall & Groupama to race Round Britain & Ireland

19th May 2010
Foxall & Groupama to race Round Britain & Ireland

Damian Foxall and the Groupama crew have announced that the Shetland Round Britain and Ireland forms a major part of their Volvo Ocean Race preparation.

"We are going into the Transmanche across the channel race this month and then another race in June," said Foxall, "and then we are planning and it is all built up to the Round Britain and Ireland in September.”

Foxall has been heavily involved in selecting the Groupama team for the Volvo Ocean Race, a process that is nearly complete.

“We have more or less chosen our crew,” says Foxall. “We still have to confirm one or two slots, but we’ve started sailing with most of the guys already. By the end of September we want to have signed off the crew.”

“It was very important for us not to waste time," continues Foxall. "Even though you realise that last November the race might have seemed quite a long way away, as you get into it you realise that the race is already on. We are already coming up on deadlines with regard to the design and build of the new boat, like all the other teams are.

“So the time we spend on the water now, preparing the design and filling in the gaps with regards to what we know about the current boats and where we want to go with the new boats - it is a very important stage. So right now we are making decisions that will have basically a fundament bearing on the race results.”

This mixing of cultures has extended into the technical side of the campaign, for according to Foxall they have three sailmakers who were with other VOR teams in 2008-09. “In all areas - hether it is the sails, rig, boat, etc - most of the team has experience in working in both France and on the international circuit. That is hopefully one of our strong points.

Foxall has openly expressed disappointment with his three VOR campaigns to date, but feels that Groupama skipper Franck Cammas' involvement and enthusiasm for the project shows that the race has come of age.

"I am pretty motivated. I think the important thing from my point of view is that Franck [Cammas] and the sailing team proposed to Groupama the Volvo Ocean Race as a viable event and that shows the evolution of the VOR – especially in this edition where they believe it has got marketing and sporting value and the racing will be won on the water and not just with a chequebook.”

The full interview with Damian Foxall appears on the Volvo Ocean race homepage here

Published in Ocean Race Team

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