Last week, Tuesday morning to be precise, the MOD Edmond de Rothschild Group left the sheds at Keroman Technologies and took to the water to cover the few metres separating her from the Océan Développement site, also located in Lorient, over towards the Keroman submarine base.
Although this wasn’t quite the launch of the new Gitana craft, this change of workshop remains fairly symbolic because this is when the one-design No.4 hit the water for the very first time. It also means that the end of the fit-out is fast approaching. The order placed by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild in March 2010 will thus be completed on Tuesday 25 October 2011, the scheduled date for the launch of the 70 footer Edmond de Rothschild Group.
In March 2010, Baron Benjamin de Rothschild expressed a desire for Gitana Team to be one of the protagonists on the new Multi One Design circuit by taking command of the one-design No.4. However, the construction of the new Gitana craft itself began a year later in the three nerve centres where this latest generation trimaran is created. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the different pieces are manufactured separately before being assembled in Lorient. In fact, the project management of the MOD 70s is entrusted to the company CDK Technologies, based in Port-la-Forêt, but the main focus of the Finistère-based company is the manufacture of the central hull. Meantime, a few kilometres further south, in Vannes, the Multiplast yards are getting down to the construction of pairs of floats for the 70’ one-designs.
As for the beams, these are made not far from the banks of Lake Geneva. Indeed the Décision SA yard, which has played an active role in the development of the D35 one-design class, is part of the adventure. Once these main structural pieces of the platform are manufactured, they are delivered to the sheds of Keroman Technologies in Lorient to be assembled. The work on the MOD 70 Edmond de Rothschild Group began in mid-July and was complete by the start of September. After a few weeks spent on her livery, the trimaran Gitana has now joined the Océan Développement yard, opposite the Cité de la Voile Eric Tabarly in Lorient, where she’s on the home straight in her construction programme.
Over the coming weeks, the MOD SA teams will proceed with the positioning of the deck hardware (winches, blocks, sheaves…), the installation of the electric and electronic circuit, the hydraulics and the mechanics aboard the boat, not to mention the essential attaching and tensioning of the trampolines which link the hulls together. Finally, the trimaran will be equipped with all her different appendages (float rudders, daggerboards and foils). In short, another five weeks’ work in prospect before the MOD 70 Edmond de Rothschild Group can be placed in the capable hands of the men from Gitana Team. A month’s sea trials will follow to commission the one-design. Gitana 11, guest at the Krys Match
From 6 to 8 October 2011, the first confrontation of the Multi One Design will take place in La Trinité-sur-Mer, south-west Brittany. It will certainly be a friendly encounter as the score won’t count towards the Multi One Championship, but the class’ first three trimarans and their crews will be able to size each other up during the three days of racing, where there will be alternate Races and shorter Speed runs.
As they await the arrival of the MOD No.4, the Gitana Team will nevertheless be part of the action aboard one of the flagships of Baron Benjamin de Rothschild’s fleet, Gitana 11. Spanning 77 feet, compared with the 70 that make up the MODs, Gitana 11 is very similar to the one-designs. Indeed, even though he’ll have to be patient for just a little longer before he finds himself on an equal footing with his rivals, skipper Sébastien Josse is delighted at the prospect of this meeting: 'The Krys Matches are an opportunity for us to do battle with some of our future rivals. It’s always more appealing to see how you perform against the others rather than sailing on your own.
On paper, Gitana 11 is slightly faster, but we saw during the Rolex Fastnet Race that the boats were fairly similar in terms of performance. In contrast to the Fastnet, the Krys Matches are round-the-cans races. Such an exercise is synonymous with numerous manœuvres, which the MODs are more suited to than Gitana 11. In fact, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the boat was modified for the Route du Rhum and for single-handed sailing.
However, it will all depend on the weather conditions. The idea is to get some races under our belts and see how the crew behaves during the races manœuvres, with less focus on the speed tests!'
For this Breton meeting, the skipper of the future MOD Edmond de Rothschild Group has put together a crew of experienced sailors. He’ll be accompanied by Thomas Rouxel, David Boileau, Olivier Douillard, Antoine Koch, Florent Chastel, Jean-Baptiste Levaillant and Christophe Espagnon. The MOD 70 Edmond de Rothschild Group
No. in the series: No.4
LOA: 21.2 m
Overall beam: 16.8 m
Air draught: 29 m
Water draught: 4.50 m
Light displacement: 6.3 tonnes
Upwind sail area: 310 m2
Downwind sail area: 409 m2
Scheduled delivery: 25 October 2011 http://www.gitana-team.com/