Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

Sprint to the finish for Gitana 13 - Route de l’Or

by Gitana 13 media on 28 Feb 2008
Gitana 13 nears the finish - The Route de l’Or © Copyright : Gitana S.A. http://www.gitana-team.com/en/

After setting out six weeks ago in the conquest of a record never before coveted by a maxi-multihull of Gitana 13’s dimensions, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crew are experiencing their final hours at sea on this Route de l’Or.

However, the weather situation currently reigning off the American coast, is forcing the men of Gitana Team into a series of tacks, upwind, to reach their final destination. A configuration, which will require them to cover some extra miles.

In the guise of a final sprint, the crew of Gitana 13 are weaving their way towards San Francisco. “We are trying to gain the maximum of northing in order to make headway along the course, but the weather conditions are forcing us to tack” explained Dominic Vittet from the chart table of the 33 metre catamaran.

Trapped between two very different weather situations, Lionel Lemonchois and his men have had no option but to zigzag from one to the other: “To our West? There’s a zone of high pressure synonymous with light winds, whilst to our East a corridor of steadier winds has formed along the coast. The aim over these final 24 hours is going to be to successively play these two phenomena off against each other. The direct course is guiding us northwards, but as soon as the wind eases too much we put in a tack to regain more pressure. Then as soon as the wind fills in again, we make for the edge of the zone of high pressure again… and vice versa” resumed the onboard navigator.

These numerous manœuvres are not hampering the organisation of the watch system aboard Gitana 13 however, the latter a very well oiled machine after over 41 days at sea, as Dominic Vittet confirmed: “We're fully into the rhythm and we are still applying our system of three watches of three crew, which rotate on deck every three hours. Off watch, dedicated to the weather and the optimisation of Gitana 13’s trajectory, I nevertheless take part in the 0900 and 2100 hour watch in order to relieve the crew who are permanently on watch.”

The maxi-catamaran equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild is still expected into San Francisco on Thursday morning, where it will cross the finish line situated just off the infamous prison of Alcatraz.

Last Friday, at the exit to the Doldrums, Lionel Lemonchois envisaged Gitana 13’s last few days at sea as a ‘punishment’; with long hours of upwind conditions, unfavourable to the performance of the 33 metre catamaran. However, despite having to try to make headway in headwinds, they are benefiting from a slightly more open angle – from the NE – as well as a less powerful air flow than that forecast. A combination, which is enabling them to rack up over 370 miles per day despite slightly bigger seas over the past few hours: “We have suffered the remains of a N'ly swell stemming from a large low, which crossed the latitude of San Francisco. However, the seas should gradually become more organised and enable us to slip along again. We are doing better than the routing but we’re sailing safe and as soon as the wind climbs beyond 25 knots we’ll ease off the pace. Gitana 13 really performs well close-hauled between 13 and 18 knots. This corresponds with the conditions we have benefited from in the main throughout the weekend and yesterday” specified Lionel Lemonchois.

At the start of the afternoon, the crew of the maxi-catamaran, equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, should change over onto a port tack towards San Francisco, in a NW’ly air flow. The miles covered now will count towards the number of miles made good along the course, that is unless Lionel Lemonchois and his men have to perform any further manoeuvres to adapt to the wind fluctuations.

In a good humoured atmosphere, the end of this course is being accompanied by some great moments aboard Gitana 13. In this way, the symbolic barrier of 1,000 miles left to go was crossed on Sunday night and was rightly celebrated: “Certain ‘small pleasures' were embarked to celebrate a few important passages such as crossing the equator on two occasions… We drank to our passage under the 1,000 miles to go with a small ginger rum and some squares of chocolate!' said the skipper of Gitana 13 gleefully.

http://www.gitana-team.com/en/

Insun - AC ProgramC-Tech Emirates TNZRS Sailing 660x82

Related Articles

MAPFRE set the Volvo Ocean Race bar with overall Leg Zero victory
Newer teams know they have more work to do, but there are still plenty of positives to take from the progress they made Charlie Enright’s Vestas 11th Hour Racing became the third team to grab a victory from four stages in Leg Zero – a series of pre-race qualifying stages for the next edition of the round-the-world race – as they sneaked ahead of MAPFRE in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Posted on 16 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – MAPFRE seal overall Leg Zero victory
ast-improving Vestas 11th Hour Racing took the stage win with the shortest Distance to Finish at 0430 UTC. The decision to call a halt to the racing came late on Tuesday night as the stage had become a drifting contest, with the teams making a series of expensive gybes in a bid to find some wind, and latest ETAs predicting that the boats would not reach Lisbon until well into Thursday.
Posted on 16 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – What the skippers say
What a start to 2017-18 Leg Zero has given us! It's been exciting, intense, frustrating – and a great form guide We had an email a couple of hours ago from Race Control saying that the forecast was no wind at all and they decided to shorten the race which I think is a good decision because this Leg Zero was already becoming quite long and we are looking forward to finish and have a good rest.
Posted on 16 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - MAPFRE invest in west – and it's looking best
With the exception of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, fleet remained close together to the east of front throughout the night With the exception of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, the fleet remained close together to the east of the front throughout the night, experiencing light northeasterly winds as they sailed down wind towards Cape Finisterre.
Posted on 16 Aug
2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race - Leg Zero - Light wind as calms continue
The fleet restarted on Monday morning from the south coast of Brittany in the same order they finished yesterday The fleet restarted on Monday morning from the south coast of Brittany in the same order they finished yesterday, so it was no surprise to see MAPFRE and Vestas 11th Hour Racing take an early lead.
Posted on 15 Aug
2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race - And they're off!
The fleet restarted fourth and final stage of Leg Zero at 0615 UTC on Monday – with boats spread just over five minutes The fleet restarted the fourth and final stage of Leg Zero at 0615 UTC on Monday – with the boats spread just over five minutes apart from front to back.
Posted on 15 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – MAPFRE continue Leg Zero dominance in final stage
Extended periods of extremely light weather meant that the Saint-Malo to Lisbon leg had to be split into two parts. As expected, the Volvo Ocean 65s stayed tightly bunched on the first of those, a drag race towards Le Grand Lejon. Vestas 11th Hour Racing were neck-and-neck with MAPFRE for the lead, with the Spanish side just pipping them to the line.
Posted on 13 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – MAPFRE win qualifying sprint
MAPFRE had a lead of seven nautical miles when they crossed the finish line off the French sailing city of Saint-Malo. Team Brunel took second place in their first race sailing with new recruit Peter Burling, the Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winning helmsman, whose signing was announced just hours before the fleet's departure from England's south coast.
Posted on 11 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – Leg 0 start
The third stage of the Volvo Ocean Race 'Leg 0' kicked off at 1300 GMT today from Plymouth. The third stage of the Volvo Ocean Race 'Leg 0' kicked off at 1300 GMT today from Plymouth.
Posted on 10 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - Sailing superstar Peter Burling joins Team Brunel
The Kiwi joins his long-time sailing partner – and now Volvo Ocean Race rival – MAPFRE's Blair Tuke Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winning helmsman Peter Burling is joining Team Brunel for the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. The signing of the world’s most in-demand sailor is a major coup for Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking – and sets up what should be a compelling rivalry with Burling’s long-term sailing partner Blair Tuke
Posted on 10 Aug