News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Gitana Eighty ready for Vendée Globe

Gitana Eighty ready for Vendée Globe

'Gitana Eighty'    © Copyright : Gitana S.A.

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.

by - Kate Jennings


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

11:09 PM Wed 10 Sep 2008 GMT

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

News - USA and the World

International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine /,

International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video by Mark Jardine /,

Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature by Richard Gladwell/,

Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games by Anna Tunnicliffe, Pittsburgh, PA

No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video
International Moth Worlds: Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh
U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3
International Moth Worlds: Thunderstorms delay racing on Day 1
Fuerteventura World Cup - Impressive tricks on day 1
2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals
America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature
Wilson and Roble remain number one match racers in U.S.
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video   
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Marstrom 32 fleet off to anxious start   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Max Ranchi   
CYC Race to Mackinac - Cruising fleet sets sail in 106th edition   
Team Alvimedica getting a touchup   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Plenty of drama on day 5   
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - Day 5 Videos   
NYYC Race Week - High performance classes put on shoreside show   
2014 Pacific Cup - 'Invisible Hand' the first boat to finish   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - B.C.'s Eric Holden skippers wins   
America's Cup: Updates on Team Australia withdraw   
J/70 North American titles - Brian Keane moves to top of leaderboard   
2016-2017 America's Cup - Team Australia withdraws   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander takes charge   
America's Cup: Team NZ disappointed, but on track after Australians go   
America's Cup: Hamilton Island decides not to proceed with Challenge.   
America's Cup: Challenger of Record withdraws from Regatta   

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