Minor changes
With three days to go to the first Grand Prix of 2005, the Gitana Team is ready and waiting in Calvi harbour after a brief spell in the shed in La Ciotat. Both trimarans needed to undergo minor repairs sustained during the tough pace of the Lorient-Nice race. And four new crews have joined the team in Corsica.

Yann Guichard is tied up with commitments he has with the national Tornado squad in the World Championship due to start in La Rochelle on 12th June and could not free time for the Grand Prix de Calvi. Daniel Souben, has spent four years on the Orma circuit (with Lalou Roucayrol, Franck Cammas and Stève Ravussin), and will be taking over temporarily for tactics on Gitana 11. He knows Frédéric Le Peutrec very well as he too is a Tornado and high performance catamaran specialist. No communication problems are likely therefore between the helm and tactician. Yann Marilley is temporarily out of action for health reasons and Gitana Team Technical Director Jean Le Huérou-Kérisel will be standing in for him as trimmer. « Jean-Jean » has a lot of multihull sailing experience, having sailed a lot with Paul Vatine and Jean-Luc Nélias. A new recruit, Alexandre Quiblier has joined Gitana 11 for the Grand Prix events as wincher. Alexandre used to sail with the trimaran Banque Covefi belonging to Stève Ravussin in 2004. Lastly, on Gitana X, Alex Marmorat is devoting himself to the construction of his Mini Transat, so Arnaud de Boringer is to replace him as wincher. He is more often found crewing on 49ers, a highly technical class of dinghy and a very physical boat to sail, inspired by the 18 foot Australian (over-canvassed, highly unstable with ladders in addition to the trapezes).

In La Ciotat, the technical team on Gitana X has repaired the sheet padeyes and the gennaker halyard attachment, the mainsail hook and a delamination problem on the aft crossbeam, highly solicited during the IB Group Challenge, between Lorient and Nice. The whole team is now in Corsica, the delivery passage of Gitana X having been undertaken two-handed -  Thierry Duprey du Vorsent and Erwan Le Roux – a life-size training session for the November two-handed transatlantic race (Le Havre-Salvador de Bahia). Conditions were ideal with a fifteen knot headwind throughout the passage from La Ciotat to Calvi. Pilots and onboard computers were checked over. The crew of bright young things on Gitana X has been in situ since Friday and were out on the water on Saturday in a moderate breeze. The aim is to familiarize themselves with the specificities of the course and to improve coordination for manœuvres in this first crewed event of the season. On Sunday, a 30-knot breeze grounded the boats in the marina and by today, Monday, all was calm in the Bay of Calvi… A training session organised by the Pôle Voile Finistère sail training centre will be taking place on Monday afternoon with the whole fleet and again on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. 

Gitana 11 made it to Calvi on Sunday evening after minor work in La Ciotat. Just like the rest of the fleet, the trimaran had suffered a little as had her fellow competitors in very varied conditions which were even a little heavy going in the Mediiterranean between Gibraltar, Malta and Nice. After a general debriefing session, to check over the work done in the winter and on the optimisations, the dagger board was picked up from the CDK yard after the crash-box had been torn off. (This part serves to protect the lower part of the fin in the event of an impact), the mainsheet is now made of textile and is no longer hydraulic. This accelerates and speeds up trimming in Grand Prix. The odd piece of hardware has been repaired also. Gitana 11 will undertake her first training session on Monday afternoon in the Bay of Calvi. On the programme, a Round Corsica race (250 miles) weather permitting, then 8 courses in the Bay on Saturday and Sunday.

Crew - Gitana X

Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (skipper-helm)
Erwan Le Roux (tactician)
Mayeul Riffet (pit-navigator)
Mathieu Tatibouët (mainsheet)
Yann Le Govic (mainsheet)
Jacques Guichard (trimmer)
Caroline Vieille (trimmer)
Arnaud de Boringer (wincher)
Xavier Dagault (wincher)
Antoine Carpentier (foredeck/n°2)
Léopold Lucet (bowman/n°1)

Crew - Gitana 11

Frédéric Le Peutrec (skipper)
Baron Benjamin de Rothschild (performer-navigator)
Daniel Souben (tactician)
Jean-Baptiste Levaillant (trimmer)
Jean-Baptiste Epron (mainsheet)
Jean Le Huérou-Kérisel (trimmer)
Alex Quiblier (wincher)
Loïc Le Mignon (wincher)
Antoine Mermod (pit)
François Denis (foredeck/n°2)
Christophe Lassègue (bowman/n°1)

Trimarans entered in the Grand Prix de Calvi

Foncia : Armel Le Cléac'h
Banque Populaire : Pascal Bidégorry
Géant : Michel Desjoyeaux
Gitana X : Thierry Duprey du Vorsent
Gitana 11 : Frédéric Le Peutrec
Groupama-2 : Franck Cammas
TIM-Progetto Italia : Giovanni Soldini

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