Please select your home edition
Doyle Sails 2020 - By Sailors For Sailors 728x90 TOP

Maxi Edmond de Rothschild Jules Verne Trophy record attempt: Settling into life in the fast track

by Gitana Team 26 Nov 2020 12:41 PST 26 November 2020
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild - Jules Verne Trophy © Eloi Stichelbaut / polaRYSE / GITANA S.A

Since Tuesday evening, at 20:37 UTC on the dot, and their departure from the dock in Lorient to make for the start line off the north-west tip of Brittany, the pace has continued to pick up for the men of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild.

At 02:26 UTC, on Wednesday 25 November, on a pitch-black autumn night on the back of a rainy front, the 32-metre giant crossed the virtual line stretching between Ushant and Lizard Point, the southernmost tip of England, thus triggering the stopwatch for its first Jules Verne Trophy attempt. Since that time, Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier and their four crew have already covered over 1000 miles in relation to the goal.

This morning, they passed the latitude of the Azores and will this evening pass that of Madeira... The pace is quick, very quick, but of course that is the aim of a speed record. At the 14:30 UTC position report, the crew boasted a lead of 71.6 miles in relation to the record held by Francis Joyon and Idec Sport.

A corridor southwards

By setting sail from Ushant in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild's weather cell, comprising the two skippers and their router Marcel van Triest, were targeting a vein of quite clean air, synonymous with high speeds along a virtually straight-line course towards the trade wind of the northern hemisphere and then on to the equator. However, this fine trajectory involves quite a work-up and aboard the latest addition to the Gitana fleet, the crew has had to quickly throw themselves in at the deep end.

In fact, during the passage of over 30 hours, the six sailors have had to put in two gybes to stay inside this corridor of breeze, with the emphasis on a number of headsail changes in a constant bid to adjust their trajectory to face the conditions, which Charles Caudrelier described yesterday morning as shifty: "The first night was lively and intense! The wind was very shifty and though the seas weren't very high, they were very messy and we spent our first night under autopilot as it was impossible to hand steer." Last night, whilst Gitana 17 was beginning her second day of the record attempt, the wind and the seas picked up considerably offshore of the Iberian peninsula with "4.5 to 5-metre waves and a powerful 25-30-knot NNE'ly breeze gusting up to 40 knots." Suffice to say that being constantly powered up at over 30 knots is proving to be a bracing introduction for the sailors of Gitana Team.

The latest generation maxi-trimarans, of which the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is the pioneer, are sending the speedos into turmoil at the start of this record. The 2019 edition of the Brest Atlantiques gave us a chance to witness this in action, with a blistering pace from the get-go and an express exit from the Bay of Biscay despite the boisterous conditions. A year on, history is repeating itself and the intensity of the start of this Jules Verne Trophy is certainly living up to expectations. At 13:45 UTC, the Cammas - Caudrelier pairing and their crew had devoured over 1,200 miles over the ground at an average speed of 35 knots!

A record attempt albeit with some semblance of a due

"The writing of one of the legendary pages of this Jules Verne Trophy began last night", stated Yann Eliès yesterday, during the live broadcast filmed at the Gitana Team's base.

Indeed, it won't have escaped anyone that not one but two boats set sail from the foot of Le Créac'h lighthouse in the early hours of Wednesday. Sodebo set off at 01:55 UTC and the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild followed in her wake 31 minutes later at 02:26 UTC.

These virtually simultaneous starts may be reminiscent of a race set-up, but there's one key point to remember: the two giants are on the hunt for the record set by Francis Joyon and hence it is a race against the clock to better the time set by Idec Sport in 2017. However, it would be an untruth not to mention the adversary and the mano a mano currently playing out in the descent of the Atlantic.

"Setting sail as two boats? The idea of setting sail at the same time as Sodebo was very much on our minds since Thomas Coville team was on standby at the same time as us. From the outset, the prospect of two boats setting off was quite appealing. It's a chance to emulate one another, added motivation! And in terms of safety it's good too," admitted Franck Cammas prior to the start.

Related Articles

Speed, flight and adrenalin
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild celebrates four year anniversary Four years ago to the day, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, the pioneer of a new generation of oceanic maxi-trimarans, was first unveiled and launched into the salty water of the Gulf of Morbihan. Posted on 18 Jul
Rolex Fastnet Race, TJV…and the Jules Verne Trophy
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild unveis its sports programme for 2021 With 10 days to go till the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is relaunched, the five-arrow racing stable is unveiling its sports programme for 2021. Posted on 29 May
Spring refit for the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild
The week is kicking off with the platform being hauled out Having returned to Lorient a fortnight ago, after her Jules Verne Trophy attempt was cut short due to the breakage of a float rudder, it's now time for the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild to go into refit. Posted on 23 Feb
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild homeward bound
After having to abandon their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt Just a matter of hours was all it took for the Gitana Team to go from the satisfaction of a record time for its descent of the Atlantic aboard its flying maxi-trimaran to the great disappointment of discovering damage on its rudder. Posted on 27 Jan
Jules Verne Trophy record attempt abandoned
After a thorough inspection carried out by David Boileau, the boat captain, the verdict is in The men of Gitana Team were positioned at 48 degrees28 south at 11:00 UTC with a lead of over 860 miles over the record when they informed their shore team of damage to the giant's float rudder to starboard. Posted on 22 Jan
Best time ever recorded to the tip of South Africa
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has entered the Indian Ocean After 11 days 14 hours and three minutes at sea, Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier and their four crew are attacking the Southern Ocean with a lead of more than one day seven hours and 19 minutes over Francis Joyon and the men on Idec Sport. Posted on 22 Jan
Top-speed flight and some 'me time'
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild ticking off the miles at very high speed For the past 24 hours, since they made a perfectly controlled turn to the east offshore of Brazil, the men of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild have clearly been lengthening their stride. Posted on 19 Jan
Baron Benjamin de Rothschild passes away
Founder and owner of the Gitana Team It is with deep regret and great sadness that Gitana Team announces the death of Benjamin de Rothschild following a heart attack at his home in Pregny (Switzerland), on the afternoon of 15 January 2021. Posted on 16 Jan
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild crosses equator
Navigating the southern hemisphere in their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt The crew of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild crossed the equator this Friday 15 January at 14h48'32'' UTC, after five days 13 hours 14 minutes and 46 seconds at sea. Posted on 15 Jan
Round 2 for Maxi Edmond de Rothschild
A fresh attempt for the Jules Verne Trophy record underway With clockwork precision, it was at 01 hours 33 minutes and 46 seconds UTC that the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild set sail this Sunday 10 January on a fresh attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy record. Posted on 10 Jan
Henr-Lloyd BLU FOOTERUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERLloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px3 BOTTOM