While the ‘best sailors’ are in Plymouth, one of the best sportsmen who sails has been recognised in Paris. Franck Cammas joins Roger Federer, Usain Bolt and Micheal Schumacher as a recipient of the Grand Prix de l’Académie des Sports Award. The award is one of France’s most prestigious sporting trophies.
The Groupama sailing team skipper was awarded the acolade in recognition of his incredible achievements on the water in 2010.
And Frank Cammas’ achievements were on-board one of the ‘fastest boats’. In March last year the Frenchman skippered his 100ft trimaran Groupama 3 around the world non-stop in 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds, a new world record.
Also in 2010, the 38-year-old single-handedly sailed Groupama 3 for the Route du Rhum, a solo race across the Atlantic from France to the Caribbean, adding another victory to his collection.
Great sailors in slow boats have also won the award during its 55-year history. 1983 America’s Cup winner John Bertrand, Alinghi’s Ernesto Bertarelli have been amongst the 5 sailors who have won. The other two sailors on the list of past winners include Eric Tabarly and Isabelle Autissier.
“It is great to be recognised by the French Sports Academy. This award is important too for the sport I have always been involved in.
I was pleased to meet sportsmen that I’m more used to seeing on TV. I love sailing, but I’m very keen too on swimming and cycling. In some ways our sports are very different, but it’s always nice to be able to talk about what we do.”
It is indeed. 5 out of 55 is a pretty good recognition for sailing as a sport. The Grand Prix de l’Académie des Sports has also recognised Rafael Nadal, Lance Armstrong and Alain Prost, so showing the public that a sailor is a worthy winner of such an award.
The next challenge for Franck Cammas will be the 2011-12 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. In the sailing world, achievements like seven world records and numerous world championship wins should help the chances of Groupama 4.