SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race
Groupama Complete Victory In Closest Ever Volvo Ocean Race After Epic Eight-Month Journey
While CAMPER were celebrating victory in the ninth and final leg, Groupama skipper Franck Cammas led his team home in second place to take an unassailable 24-point lead with just one in-port race to go.
Cammas, the 39-year-old Frenchman, threw his arms up and pumped his fists in the air while tens of thousands of fans gathered on the dock of Galway Bay to roar home the team -- including Irishman Damian Foxall -- to a remarkable victory in their first appearance in the race.
For CAMPER, notching up their first leg win of the race was a longed-for achievement and it all but guarantees they will finish second overall.
PUMA, in third place on the night, will finish behind them in third overall unless CAMPER somehow fail to complete Saturday's In-Port Race and PUMA go on to win it.
But the night belonged to Groupama as they reaped the benefits of exhaustive preparation and more than eight months of the most extreme ocean racing.
Not since Lionel Péan skippered L'Esprit d'Equipe to victory in 1985-86 has a French team tasted glory in sailing's toughest challenge.