News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Gitana 13 attacks 2006 North Pacific record

Gitana 13 attacks 2006 North Pacific record

'Gitana 13'    © Gitana S.A. /Yvan Zedda    Click Here to view large photo

The stopwatch is back in action aboard Gitana 13. On standby in San Francisco since 28th February – the completion date of La Route de l'Or-, the maxi-catamaran equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild set off this Saturday 29th March at 22h45'45' UTC, for a record attempt between San Francisco and Yokohama.

The new holders of La Route de l'Or (New York – San Francisco), Lionel Lemonchois and his ten crew are today tackling the North Pacific crossing. And, in order that the men of the Gitana Team rack up another victory they'll need to make Yokohama, Japan, in less than 14 days 22 hours 40 minutes and 41 seconds. The latter is the current reference time set by Olivier de Kersauson and his team aboard Geronimo since 27th April 2006.

Eleven men have embarked on this second record.

'The crew has been slightly changed in relation to that of La Route de l'Or, since Jacques Vincent, Jean-Baptiste Epron, Cyril Dardashti Stefan Fodor and Kojiro Shiraishi are joining us. There were ten of us onboard Gitana 13 between New York and San Francisco, but there will be eleven of us for the North Pacific crossing. Personally, I shall have a greater involvement in the weather since the crew no longer has an appointed navigator aboard' explained the skipper of Gitana 13, prior to giving us a more in depth look at the 4,500 miles which lie ahead.

'According to the latest weather information, we should benefit from a fairly quick start for the first few days and once we're out of San Francisco Bay, we'll hit a good NW'ly air flow. The first part of our crossing is shaping up rather nicely but, for the time being, things aren't very established for the second half, particularly with the lows, which are piling in one after the other off the Japanese coast.'

The presence of the Japanese sailor Kojiro Shiraishi, who was 2nd in the Velux 5 Océans 2006-2007, will be a considerable asset for the crew of the 33 metre maxi-catamaran; especially at the approach to the Japanese coast, renowned for its complexity.

The weather is always a tricky element and the Gitana Team are keeping to their usual routine and will once again be able to count on the talent of Sylvain Mondon (Météo France). The router shows us the weather configuration for the start of this new record attempt: 'Gitana 13 has set off at the rear of a front in order to benefit from a NW'ly breeze, currently blowing along the Californian coast.

This wind, comprising an average of between 20 and 25 knots, may gust to between 30 and 35. It's quite a feisty start but it will be interesting as the NW'ly wind angle will enable Lionel Lemonchois and his men to make good headway whilst gaining ground in the SW and then quickly the W, that's to say not too far off the direct course. The start of the record promises to be quick but in the first 36 hours, the crew of Gitana 13 will have to negotiate a first high pressure passage. The Pacific Ocean is not a very appropriate name as this ocean has rather a bad reputation. Given its expanse, the systems which are circulating there often grow in size during their crossing.'

A brief history
The current record holder, the crew of Geronimo set off on this same attempt on 12th April 2006. Olivier de Kersauson and his men snatched the previous record set by Steve Fossett back on 23rd May 1996. The American adventurer set a reference time of 19 days 15 hours 18 minutes 9 seconds on the 60 foot trimaran Lakota.

Ten years later, when Olivier de Kersauson and his ten men set off, the conditions reigning over the Pacific forced them to choose a very southerly route over the first few days at sea, distancing them from the direct course. Though Geronimo made the most of it to pass between the Hawaiian islands and rounded the mark of 'Diamond Head' after 4 days and 19 hours. In so doing it established a new reference time between San Francisco and Honolulu (Hawaii). This passage off Honolulu, also proved to be an opportunity for Olivier de Kersauson and his crew to glean the record between Honolulu and Yokohama, previously owned by Steve Fossett, in 13 days and 20 hours.

On crossing the finish line of this North Pacific crossing on 27th April 2006, after 14 days 22 hours 40 minutes and 41 seconds at sea, the so-called 'Admiral' racked up yet another win.

The crew of Gitana 13
Lionel Lemonchois (Skipper / helm / watch leader)
Jacques Vincent (helm / watch leader)
Ludovic Aglaor (helm/ watch leader)
Olivier Wroczynski (trimmer /computer manager)
Nicolas Raynaud (trimmer/ Video manager)
David Boileau (N°2 / trimmer/ head of deck fittings)
Léopold Lucet (Bowman/ head of supplies)
Jean-Baptiste Epron (trimmer)
Stefan Fodor (trimmer)
Cyril Dardashti (trimmer)
Kojiro Shiraishi (trimmer)

A few figures
Route de l'Or (New York – San Francisco, via Cape Horn):
43 days 3 minutes 18 seconds (time approved by the WSSRC), improving on the reference time set by Yves Parlier by over 14 days.
Lionel Lemonchois and the crew of Gitana 13 have held this record since 28thFebruary 2008.

North Pacific Crossing (San Francisco – Yokohama):
Time to beat – 14 days 22 hours 40 minutes 41 seconds
Departure from San Francisco – Saturday 29th March at 22h45'45' UTC
Latest arrival date to beat the record - Sunday 13th April at 21h25'26' UTC

Find all the latest about the Gitana Team at

by Kate Jennings


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

1:40 AM Sun 30 Mar 2008 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

News - USA and the World

2014 Detroit Cup - Sam Gilmour leads by Dobbs Davis, Detroit, Michigan

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Riding the AC45 - VIDEO by Crosbie Lorimer, Hamilton Island

America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/,

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad talks Time and Money (Part II) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,

AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos by American Windsurfing Tour,

America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature by Richard Gladwell/,

Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia by International Maxi Association,

Leaderboards take shape at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games 2014
IFDS Worlds - Hot competition on first day of racing
Challenging Conditions - CORK OCR
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 for the US Sailing Team
2014 Melges 20 World Championship - Countdown begins
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 3
America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature
Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2   
2014 IFDS World Championship: Opening Ceremony images   
Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships   
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people   
IFDS World Championships - US Paralympic hopefuls ready for racing   
Sopot Match Race - Poland's Tour debut deemed a triumph   
Vineyard Race celebrates 80th running of the East Coast classic   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games: Young sailors begin racing on Lake Jinniu   
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Victory for Morgan Noireaux   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Day 8: Test of endurance   
Bart's Bash: Over 2300 entered from 588 yacht clubs - Join here   
Halifax ready to welcome the world at 2014 IFDS World Championships   
RC44 World Championship title to Bronenosec + Video   
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Day 2 Images by Crosbie Lorimer   
IFDS Worlds - Gary Jobson to attend opening ceremonies   
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Dalton DeVos crowned champion   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Canfield wins   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Varuna takes overall lead   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT