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sail-world.com -- Jam-packed week ahead for Gitana Team

Jam-packed week ahead for Gitana Team    
Mon, 29 Apr 2013

It’s the beginning of a busy week for Sébastien Josse and Gitana Team. Between the training aboard the Multi 70 Edmond de Rothschild, a day in Paris for a press conference and finally a participation in the Tour de Belle-Ile on 4 May with Gitana 11, there certainly won’t be any downtime for the members of the stable created by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild.

This Monday lunchtime, the crew of the Multi 70 Edmond de Rothschild left their base in Lorient and cast off for La Trinité-sur-Mer. Indeed Sébastien Josse and his men decided to accept the invitation from Spindrift Racing for four days of training. On the programme, some long coastal courses to work on speed and some detailed trimming when in close contact: 'I’m delighted to be able to link up with one of our rivals again. These training sessions are important as it is through confrontation that we progress. At the start of April, during our training session in Port-la-Forêt, our lessons were mainly focused on inshore type races with the start phases, which are essential. This week, in the company, of Spindrift, the objective is centred more on our offshore sailing. That’s why there will be six of us aboard, which equates to the configuration of the crew for the offshore legs,' explained Sébastien Josse

Of note is the fact that on Tuesday, the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild will put his training session to one side momentarily and spend a few hours in Paris where, among other things, he will be participating in the press conference for the Route des Princes. Indeed, with a little over a month until the launch of this new event, which will set out from Valencia, Spain, on 9 June 2013, the sailors which make up the line-up are scheduled to meet in the capital.

Never two without three?
The end of the week will be spent aboard Gitana 11, the stable’s prototype maxi-trimaran. In this way, from Friday, Sébastien Josse and his crew will be researching the location offshore of La Trinité-sur-Mer.

On Saturday 4 May at 1000 hours, the start of the sixth edition of the Tour de Belle-Ile will take place. Every year, this event gathers together professional and amateur sailors and enjoys considerable success, with over 500 craft expected in the bay of Quiberon. It’s a figure, which makes this the biggest event of its kind in France in terms of yachts registered.

Reigning champion with the Multi 70 Edmond de Rothschild and race record man with a time of two hours and 42 minutes set in 2011 on Gitana 11, the Gitana Team enjoys this 44-mile sprint, which enables a combination of close-contact racing and a few more offshore tacks off the West coast of the island of Belle-Ile-en-Mer:

'In 2011, the Tour de Belle-Ile was my first official race for Gitana Team and my first multihull race as skipper! Conditions were bracing, with a SSW’ly breeze of over 25 knots and squalls which made the race zone very shifty. With this weather, the start was even more impressive… powered up at 20-25 knots amidst 500 other boats. This race was really about having the chance to get a feel for the boat and I was lacking training on the multihull. That’s why I believe that with the same weather, the record can be improved on by at least thirty minutes or so. For now the grib files are indicating good conditions for Saturday; a North to NW’ly wind of around 10 to 15 knots. However, it’s still a bit far off to have 100% reliable forecasts so we’re going to have to watch the evolutions over the coming days. Whatever happens with the boats announced for this sixth edition, it’s sure to be a spectacle,' concluded Sébastien Josse.

A sprint around Belle-Ile-en-Mer
Spanning around 44 nautical miles, the course will start in the bay of Quiberon. The yachts have to adopt La Teignouse channel before heading out to the Pointe des Poulains, situated to the far North-West of Belle-Ile. They then head along the West coast of the island to make for Pointe de Kerdonis, to the far East of the island. Back in the bay of Quiberon, the fleet will once again have to pass through La Teignouse channel before sprinting for the finish line, positioned not far from the entrance to the port of La Trinité-sur-Mer.

Of note is the fact that during the Tour de Belle-Ile, Yvan Zedda – the Gitana Team’s official photographer – will be aboard Gitana 11 if weather conditions allow. In this way, he’ll be able to provide us with first hand images from down below, live from the racetrack. The images will be available on the Gitanta Team website a few minutes after kick-off.

The Sailors 2013
Sébastien Josse (skipper)

Charles Caudrelier – Thomas Rouxel – Antoine Koch – Florent Chastel – Olivier Douillard – Jean-Christophe Mourniac - David Boileau – Cyril Dardashti - Sébastien Col

Gitana Team 2013 Races

Gitana 11

Tour de Belle-Ile, 4 May
Artemis Challenge, 8 August
Rolex Fastnet Race, start on 11 August

Edmond de Rothschild (Gitana XV)
ArMen Race, from 9 to 12 May
Route des Princes, from 7 to 30 June (Valencia – Lisbon – Dublin – Plymouth – Morlaix)
Transat Jacques Vabre, start on 3 November (Le Havre – Itajaï)

by Kate Jennings Translation



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