A chance for an amateur to sail around Cape Horn with Franck Cammas

Every year, French eyewear company Julbo offers an athlete the chance to realise a dream with a unique sporting feat. This year it is the turn of Franck Cammas. What challenge has the most successful French sailor chosen? How will the amateur crew who will accompany him be selected? Here are the answers to some key points.

What are the Julbo sessions? One pro, one amateur, one dream destination.

Carving along the Powder Highway in Canada on skis, hurtling down the slopes of the Acatanango volcano in Guatemala on a mountain bike, travelling across Hawaii on towering breakers, kitesurfing the waves of Tahiti: who never wanted to do that? Julbo has already made the dreams of many amateur enthusiasts come true by allowing them to experience and share their passion with one of the pro athletes from our team. Now it’s the turn of the “sailing set” for their challenge.

The skipper Franck Cammas

He has won the Route du Rhum, the Volvo Ocean Race and the “little America's Cup”. Franck Cammas is also head of the French challenge, Groupama Team France, for the 35th Americas Cup, which will be held on 48ft foiling catamarans in Bermuda in 2017.

This talented sailor, nicknamed the “little Mozart of sailing”, spends more time on a boat than ashore. When Julbo, who have been with him as a kit supplier for over 17 years, proposed realising one of his dreams, Cammas already had some thoughts: “I have three dreams, the first was realised; it was to win the Volvo Ocean Race. The second is to do the America's Cup, and we are actively working on that with my team. My third dream is to round the Horn on a flying catamaran.”

For Julbo, the theme of this year’s Sail Session was set. It will be an expedition to Cape Horn in a Nacra F20 Carbon FCS.

The teammate: this is where the adventure becomes extraordinary

Julbo and Franck Cammas have decided to recruit a teammate who will win a place on this challenge on the edge the world after a contest.

The challenge that will take place in November 2015 is not a trivial one. Candidates should therefore demonstrate a strong background in sport catamarans or dinghy sailing. Candidates are invited to post on the page https://www.julbo-eyewear.com/en/quizz/sail-session, before September, their nautical CV and a video presentation combining a face-to-camera interview and images of them sailing.

Franck Cammas and Julbo will select the most suitable people, who will then be invited to a training session in Lorient in September.

The challenge: to round the Horn in flying catamaran and dock there

That is easier said than done. The adventure will begin well before. The first challenge will be the logistics of transporting the Nacra F20 Carbon FCS to Puerto Williams in Chile. The weather will also be important in this challenge on the edge of the world. The land of fire is regularly swept by storms coming up from Antarctica and the Furious Fifties.

From Puerto Williams, the expedition will head to Puerto Toro. This village of about 50 people is the southernmost city of the world (excluding research stations). It is located 3875 km from the South Pole. It is also the only village to be located below the 55th parallel.

The Nacra F20 Carbon FCS and its support boat will then sail to an anchorage near the Horn to prepare for the passage round the famous cape where the Pacific and Atlantic meet. The duo of Franck Cammas and his teammate will travel a total of nearly 100 nautical miles by flying catamaran in the freezing waters of Patagonia.

Cammas and his crew will not be content to simply round the legendary rock. Once the sporting challenge is accomplished, the human adventure will take over on foot and they will land on the rock of the Horn and go and meet the lighthouse keeper and his family.

The catamaran: the F20 Nacra Carbon FCS

The Nacra 17 is beginning to have some fame as a new Olympic-class boat, but less is known about the high performance Nacra F20 Carbon FCS, developed and built by the Nacra design office and the Moreli & Melvin design engineer office. All in carbon, from the hulls to the mast, through the foils and the rudders, the Nacra F20 Carbon FCS (Flight Control System) is capable of top speeds of over 30 knots. It takes off from a force 3 breeze (7-8 knots of wind). It’s a Formula 1 flying machine for the enlightened amateur.

The support boat: the 67ft sailboat XPLORE

In this particularly hostile and windy environment, the team must have a competent and reliable support boat. This will be the XPLORE sailboat, a 67ft aluminium boat, and its experienced skipper, Stephen Wilkins, who will look after the logistics and also the safety of the challenge in the channels of Patagonia.

The challenge in numbers

Recruitment of the teammate from July 1 to September 1
Testing for the five finalists in September 2015 in Lorient
10 days of adventure in the channels of Patagonia in November 2015
100 nautical miles
The Nacra F20 Carbon FCS: 6.20m long
Top speed: 30 knots (almost 55 km/h)

They said

Franck Cammas
Why this dream, you have already rounded Cape Horn in a trimaran during the Jules Verne and in a Volvo Open 70 in the Volvo Ocean Race?
“Cape Horn is the part we know. What is fascinating is the land behind. Each time I passed it, I told myself that I had to come back to see this deserted and isolated land. It ‘s also a great story to finally go to meet this family that lives on the edge of the world. Each time we talked by radio with the lighthouse keeper at Cape Horn. When we did the Jules Verne we had this amazing conversation:

Where are you from?
From Brest, France
And where are you from?
Brest, France
Ah, you French are crazy! * (You are you crazy French)”

What will be the greatest difficulty of the session in your opinion?

“The management of the weather. We'll have to wait for the right moment because we don’t want to venture out into the unexpected in this part of the world. The Nacra F20 is fast, so we’ll move quickly. On the other hand it’s a thoroughbred, and, in a rough sea, you have to master it.”

What should your teammate prepare themselves for?

To be cold, and to experience a unique adventure and take it all in. Sailing on flying boats is more stressful and requires concentration at all times. It’s physically demanding.

What was your reaction when Julbo announced this Sail Session?

“I know Julbo like things that are out of the ordinary and I’m very happy to do this project with them. For me, they’re a very loyal partner with whom I’ve had a relationship that’s both simple and rewarding. I think it will be a great achievement of our association with the Julbo brand.”

Benjamin Thaller, Director of Marketing, Julbo

When was the association made between the Julbo brand and Franck Cammas?
“Our association with Franck coincides with the history of the Julbo brand being involved in sailing. Before 1998, we were a brand for the mountains and extreme environments. Franck Cammas is known to be a rigorous and demanding sailor. He was very involved in the development of our marine products and helped us on the technical brief, for example, by finding the right polarisation and developing hydrophobic glasses.”

What is unique about this Julbo session?
“The session with Franck has the freeride approach of all our sessions but with something more: the sense of adventure and accomplishment are stronger. The boat is also very specialised and powerful, the pro is an extraordinary champion, the place is legendary. This session is a real challenge and the amateur who will share this dream will experience something unique.”

What is the difference between the Julbo Sail Session and the freeride sessions that you have organised before?
“This session definitely differs from others in the logistical challenge it represents. This is a separate project. It’s not just about putting the equipment in an airplane. We have to ship the Nacra to the other side of the world by container, arrange a support boat…It’s difficult but not impossible and the Franck’s mindset is reflected in this challenge.”

Founded in 1888 and based in the Jura region (France), Julbo is a leading sports eyewear brand. Famous for its technical expertise, Julbo has developed its own values ​​and creative drive to establish itself as a recognised player in sunglasses and eyewear. Julbo's mission is to find the best solutions to protect our eyes and allow everyone to see the world better.

More information about Julbo: www.julbo.com

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