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Brest Atlantiques - A return to the racetrack for the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild

by Gitana 13 Nov 2019 02:17 PST
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild - Brest Atlantiques 2019 © Maxime Horlaville / Gitana S.A.

On Sunday, having been first across the equator in the Brest Atlantiques, the duo on the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild announced its intention to make a pit stop in Salvador de Bahia, in Brazil. Indeed, forty-eight hours earlier, whilst she was passing offshore of Cape Verde, the latest addition to the Gitana fleet suffered impact with the daggerboard.

Aboard the boat, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier were able to assess the damage and given the many miles still to cover - around 10,000 miles! - the decision to make a technical pit stop was imposed. After around a dozen hours dockside, including a brisk operation to change the lifting surface of the daggerboard, the 32-metre giant was back in business having amassed a deficit of nearly 200 miles in relation to the new leader.

Mission accomplished: "the team has been amazingly efficient!"

This morning, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild made her entry into the Bay of All Saints and, shortly before 09:00 UTC, moored up at the entrance to the Marina de Salvador de Bahia. Very quickly, the shore team present on site took the Maxi in hand. Indeed, a genuine race against the clock was launched at that very moment for the members of Gitana Team. Nearly 12 hours later, at dusk, the commando operation was complete and the boat was able to set sail again at her full potential, as detailed by Cyril Dardashti, director of the five-arrow team:

"With the impact, the lower section of the daggerboard and hence the lifting surface that formed the tip of this appendage was seriously damaged. Just a quarter of the way into the race, we couldn't allow ourselves to continue with such a handicap. This daggerboard with its lifting surface is one of the key elements of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild as it ensures stable flight at very high speeds. Fortunately we have a spare part in Brittany and the team arrived in Brazil with it on Sunday evening. The last few days have been very intense, even more so today with this latest intervention. The team, under the supervision of Pierre Tissier, set to with what proved to be a crazy amount of work today at lightning speed! Removing a part like this that is over 4m, pulling out the damaged element, replacing the lifting surface, laminating the whole thing and taking care of the finishing touches despite the tight timing... An operation like this usually takes several days! A massive congratulations to everyone."

Back out on the racetrack

It is 22:05 in Brittany, four hours earlier on the other side of the Atlantic Coast, when Gitana 17 finally casts off and makes for the point at which she halted her race, which is some 8 miles or so offshore, at the entrance to the bay. Charles Caudrelier shared his thoughts with us before heading back out to sea after this forced stopover: "We're okay! We've managed to really optimise our time here with lots of rest for Franck and I as the team had the situation very much in hand. It's never easy this type of stopover as it's a very short turnaround and we will need to very quickly get back into the swing of things! This is heightened by the fact that we had a good lead over the fleet and we were sailing well. Right now, we're setting out behind two of our rivals, so inevitably that's difficult. However, we're staying very positive! There's still a long way to go. The upcoming weather situation is quite clear and there look to be a few opportunities on the cards over the coming days. Together with Franck, we're going to try not to pay too much attention to the rankings and to sail the best possible course."

At the 19:00 UTC ranking this Tuesday 12 November, François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet were leading with a 167.9-mile lead over the Maxi Edmond Rothschild. However, the new leaders were right in the midst of a windless transition zone and Macif had been making no more than 4 knots over the past thirty minutes! A weather scenario that wasn't unwelcome news for the duo on Edmond de Rothschild, even though Charles Caudrelier and Franck Cammas will also have to negotiate this buffer zone to get to the first passage point in the Brest Atlantiques, the Ilhas Cagarras off Rio de Janeiro.

Ranking on Tuesday 12 November at 19:00 UTC

1. MACIF (François Gabart / Gwenolé Gahinet / Jérémie Eloi) - distance to the goal: 9,517 miles - average speed over the past 30 mins: 3.7 knots
2. SODEBO ULTIM 3 (Thomas Coville / Jean-Luc Nelias / Martin Keruzoré) - 45.2 miles behind the leader - average speed over the past 30 mins: 11.4 knots
3. MAXI EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD (Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier / Yann Riou) - 167.9 miles behind the leader - On a technical pit stop in Salvador de Bahia
4. ACTUAL LEADER (Yves Le Blevec / Alex Pella / Ronan Gladu) - 319.9 miles behind the leader - average speed over the past 30 mins: 17.1 knots

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