Yesterday, two months to the day until the much awaited start of the Vendée Globe, the monohull in the colours of the LCF Rothschild Group got a taste of the ocean again during sail trials in the bay of Quiberon, Brittany. It was a moment of enjoyment for the Gitana Team who have worked without respite the whole summer to provide their skipper with a meticulously prepared boat. During the six weeks between now and Gitana Eighty’s arrival in the French port of Les Sables d’Olonne, Loïck Peyron will go for a series of test sails to validate the final adjustments and run through the basics again.
With the monohull equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild having changed its keel over the course of the summer, some tests awaited the boat on its relaunch.
In this way, on Monday morning, anyone out for a stroll around the port of La Trinité-sur-Mer had front row seats to a rather atypical sight; an 18 metre monohull heeled over on its side… The aim of all this being to check that in the event of capsize, the weight of the keel is sufficiently high to enable Gitana Eighty to right itself without assistance” explains Loïck Peyron.
Now though, the coming weeks promise to be hectic for the skipper of Gitana Eighty, with particular emphasis on the new set of sails the 60 footer will have for its circumnavigation of the globe. The deadline for the Vendée Globe is fast approaching and every day must be used wisely.
Spurred on by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, the Gitana story opened towards multihulls in 2000 with Gitana IX. An ‘armada’ followed with Gitana X in 2002, Gitana 11 (Ex-Belgacom) in 2004, then Gitana 12 (Ex-Bonduelle) in 2006 to replace Gitana X. In 2007, a year after the arrival of Loïck Peyron at the head of the Gitana Team, the fleet diversified: Gitana 11, the 60 foot Orma multihull and outright winner of the Route du Rhum 2006, was then accompanied by Gitana Eighty, a 60 foot Imoca monohull, and Gitana 13, a 33 metre maxi-catamaran was devoted to discovery. Crewed records for Gitana 13 and solo races for Gitana Eighty: this new season already promises to etch some fine lines in the histories of the Gitana boats…