On Monday night, Franck Cammas and his crew (including Thomas Coville) finished second in the last offshore stage of the Volvo Ocean Race between Lorient (France) and Galway (Ireland). That performance allows them to secure their victory in the race even before the last « In-Port » regatta. The crew crossed the finish line at 0.49 PM (UTC) and received a wonderful welcome from the crowd packed around the Galway basin.
Thomas Coville, who is the shift manager on Groupama 4, was overjoyed to be part of this adventure which saw the win of a French boat for the first time since the success of Lionel Péan and his crew in 1985-86. « When I participated in the Volvo Ocean Race on Knut Frostad, I was a “part-time worker” since I had done only a few stages », the regular skipper of the Sodeb’O maxi-trimaran said. « This time, I was under a real crew member and it changed everything! You’re here to serve a team, a leader and as the nine-month work go along, the team gains power in order to reach the victory ». The Groupama 4 crew can now grant themselves some days of deserved rest and take their time to prepare the final « In-Port » regatta of this 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race starting next Saturday in Galway.