November 30, 2015

America's Cup skipper Franck Cammas of Groupama Team France was seriously injured Monday when he fell off his high performance catamaran and the rudder sliced into his right ankle.

The accident happened when he and his team were training on two foiling GC32 catamarans at the National Sailing School in Quiberon Bay.

According to a statement posted on Team France's web site, Cammas went overboard while the catamaran was going full speed in 17 knots of wind.

Cammas was rushed to shore and then flown by a medical helicopter to a hospital in Nantes, the team said.

The newspaper Le Telegramme reported that Cammas had an open fracture at the bottom of the right tibia, leaving the foot `partially severed.''

The GC32s are the new boat for the Extreme Sailing Series. It is smaller than the 45-foot catamarans used in the America's Cup World Series, which are regattas leading up to the 2017 America's Cup, which will be sailed in 48-foot cats.

When foiling cats reach a certain speed, they rise up on the rudders and daggerboards, with the hulls completely out of the water to increase speed.

Cammas is one of the world's leading multihull sailors.

On Nov. 21, Cammas became the first sailor to round Cape Horn on a foiling catamaran. He did it on a Nacra F20 Carbon FCS, accompanied by novice sailor Johannes Wiebel of Germany.

Cammas called it ''a really great and successful adventure.''

Groupama Team France is a new team this America's Cup cycle. It finished a distant last place in the six-boat fleet after the first three America's Cup World Series regattas.

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Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson

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