Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Gitana Eighty ready for Vendée Globe

by Gitana-Team.com - Kate Jennings on 11 Sep 2008
Gitana Eighty © Copyright : Gitana S.A. http://www.gitana-team.com/en/

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.

The traditional summer work came to an end last week in the technical base in Saint-Philibert, SW Brittany. After a month and half’s work, Gitana Eighty is afloat in the port of La Trinité-sur-Mer once more. Now well grounded in the familiar manœuvres of relaunching and keel stepping, the Gitana Team competently conducted these operations. Despite this there was a rather ‘formal’ air to proceedings: 'It’s our last launch and in particular our last keel stepping prior to the Vendée Globe, so everything has to be perfect!' underlined one of the members of the shore crew.

The objective of making the existing keel reliable has been the dominant feature in all the work, as the boat captain William Fabulet confirms: 'Mid July our objective was clear. To develop Gitana Eighty in certain areas but above all, to make those elements which had already proven their worth, reliable. Every aspect of the boat was examined and we’ve replaced the parts which needed changing, either as a result of wear, or as a precautionary measure. The running and standing rigging has seen fairly radical changes, the electronic and computer installations have been checked with a large amount of work on the automatic pilot systems, which are especially important during a Vendée Globe. Our composite specialists have reviewed the appendage profiles too. Added to that we have naturally sought to improve the comfort of our skipper by working on the interior ergonomics (reinforcing the watertightness of the portlights, positioning of the chart table…). Every detail is vital and nobody has been sparing of their efforts. The outcome will be our greatest satisfaction.'

Registering in the Imoca class ruling, the 60 foot monohulls have to respect a certain number of safety rules in order to conform with the specifications imposed. 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… Indeed the Gitana Team were performing a so-called 90° test: 'this consists of heeling the boat over to 90° in order to check the vessel’s righting moment. Once the boat is canted over with the help of a crane, we measure the traction at the masthead with a dynamometer. 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. It is worth nothing that if this test had been imposed during the first Vendée Globe, we wouldn’t have seen the kind of incident with Philippe Poupon off South Africa, which required an intervention by Loïck. Finally, after scoring 10/10 for this 90° manoeuvre, an equally as important but a lot less spectacular exercise was completed in order to gain an entry ticket to the Vendée Globe: 'it was a question of completely filling the ballasts, whilst pushing the keel over as far as it would go and ensuring that the hull didn’t exceed a heeling angle of 10°.'

For understandably practical reasons the class measurement tests require the boat to be as empty as possible. In this way, since last week’s launch and keel stepping, the Gitana Team have had to wait a few days before heading out to sea.

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.

www.gitana-team.com
Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Zhik Dinghy 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82

Related Articles

RS Aerocup - Another magic day at Lake Garda - Day 2
Per Christian continued his domination with a string of firsts showing magical downwind speed through the waves. Per Christian of Norway continued his domination with a string of firsts showing magical downwind speed through the waves.
Posted on 25 Sep
2016 Star Sailors League Finals – Count down to Nassau
The reigning Star World Champion, Miami's Augie Diaz (USA) will be competing in Nassau but is yet to announce his crew. As always the top 12 skippers in the SSL Ranking for the year are invited to challenge and join 13 VIPs sailors selected for the successes achieved in their sailing career.
Posted on 22 Sep
Southern Spars en route to Monaco – Stand QSE2
It’s been another big year for the NZ based company, there's lots of exciting things to talk about the Monaco Yacht Show It’s been another big year for the New Zealand based company, giving us lots of exciting things to talk about at the 2016 Monaco Yacht Show like our two big projects Adix and Aquijo. Adix, the three-masted 65-metre Dykstra schooner, has been transformed by a rig refit by Southern Spars and Future Fibres.
Posted on 22 Sep
America's Cup - Ken Read reflects on the recent World Series - Toulon
Commentator Ken Read on the recently completed round of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Toulon, France. North Sails President, Ken Read, doubles as a live commentator for the official TV feed from the America's Cup World Series. Here's his thoughts, from his blog on the North Sails website on the recently completed round of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Toulon, France. Read also looks ahead to the final round of the America's Cup World Series is Fukuoka, Japan and the strategies
Posted on 22 Sep
North Sails pays tribute to former owner Terry Kohler
Terry Kohler’s vision, leadership, and generosity will be felt within North Sails, and the sport for many years to come The North Sails Group is deeply saddened by the passing of Terry Kohler, owner of North Sails from 1984-2014. North Sails and all of its employees around the world would like to pass their condolences to the family Terry leaves behind, especially his wife Mary. Terry Kohler’s vision, leadership, and generosity will be felt within North Sails, and the sport for many years to come.
Posted on 22 Sep
America's Cup - CNN Mainsail goes inside the teams in Bermuda and UK
CNN goes inside four of the America's Cup teams in Bermuda and Portsmouth, UK for an insight into the design processes Double Olympic Gold medallist and presenter of the outstanding CNN Mainsail series, Shirley Robertson, goes inside four of the America's Cup teams in Bermuda and Portsmouth, UK for an insight into the design processes and angles being pursued by the teams. Then she goes on the water and sees the design teams and sailing teams working together.
Posted on 20 Sep
WIM Series moves on to the US
Next week will see the WIM Series midway event, the Buddy Melges Challenge in Sheboygan, USA. Next week will see the Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) midway event, the Buddy Melges Challenge in Sheboygan, USA.
Posted on 19 Sep
52fter Worlds - Another level of excellence
Quantum Racing kept up their amazingly high level of consistency to extend their overall lead to 13 points From a difficult, and at times confusing second day of racing at the 52 World Championship 2016 on the beautiful waters off Menorca, Quantum Racing kept up their amazingly high level of consistency to extend their overall lead to 13 points at the top of the high calibre 12-boat fleet.
Posted on 16 Sep
New Sailing World Cup strategy snub to Southern Hemisphere
Australian Sailing expressed its disappointment in elements of World Sailing’s new strategy/format for Sailing World Cup Australian Sailing has expressed its disappointment in elements of World Sailing’s new strategy and format for the Sailing World Cup released earlier this week.
Posted on 16 Sep
2016 Rolex Big Boat Series begins tomorrow
A record fleet of 127 boats has registered for the 52nd edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series. A record fleet of 127 boats has registered for the 52nd edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series. The regatta begins tomorrow and is hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay.
Posted on 15 Sep