Matt Sheahan looks at the French Orient Express Racing Team who were the last to enter the 37th America’s Cup and last to get onto the water.
But, as their head man Stephan Kandler and CEO Bruno Dubois explained in this exclusive interview, they are not here simply to make up the numbers.
Both have considerable experience in the Cup and in other grand prix classes.
Kandler was the man behind the French K-Challenge campaign back in 2007 while Dubois was in charge when Dongfeng Race Team won the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.
When they turned up at the first America’s Cup event in Vilanova they won the first race in the AC40.
There is no doubt that both are experienced and accomplished players, but as history confirms, the Cup has defeated many a good campaign.
With so little current Cup experience in this new fast-moving foiling world it would be easy to dismiss this late campaign, but this time you could also argue things are different.
SailGP has delivered a series of events where teams can hone their foiling skills and Orient Racing Team members are in both.
The French SailGP team has Dubois behind the scenes and has enjoyed a string of successes.
So, there could not have been a better time and reason to talk to the two men at the top of this campaign to find out how far they think this team could go in an event that the French have never got close to winning.
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