Since the Baroness Adolphe de Rothschild beat the speed record in 1876 on his steam boat by the name of Gitana, water has been beating in the family's heart. As time has gone by, the medium has switched from freshwater to seawater. The Baron Edmond de Rothschild sailed the seven seas and won many prestigious trophies on his Gitana boats. A passionate multihull sailor, the Baron Benjamin de Rothschild has perpetuated the family tradition entering two trimarans on the ORMA circuit covering ocean races and Grand Prix. On Gitana X, an original design with her X-shaped cross beams, the crew comprises young sailing talent headed up by Thierry Duprey du Vorsent. The family tradition of handing down savoir-faire and training talented young people goes on. On Gitana 11, a trimaran which was bought in 2004 and optimised last winter, Frédéric Le Peutrec has taken on high-flying crew and is aiming for victory in the ORMA Championship. Second in the Grand Prix de Corse and once again in the Grand Prix de Marseille, this trimaran is currently the only one to have shaken the domination of Groupama-2, the newest boat on the circuit.
A first in Spain
For the first time since the ORMA Championship was created back in 1996, the trimarans are going to be racing Vigo Bay, a course which is exceptional in terms of its configuration and weather conditions. With the Cies Islands providing shelter from the swell, the ria is a highly technical course with tidal currents, specific local phenomena, winds from the hills and short seas. Excellent fodder for the tacticians who have to take all of these parameters into account in addition to keeping a check on their opponent. The whole fleet will be rallying Vigo this weekend, giving them time to get some training done and to become familiar with the course.
A Grand Prix competition comprises nine rounds, and includes a coastal race and eight windward leeward loops, the competition being run over two or three days. A warm-up regatta has been organised for 14th July to lay the course. Initial prognostics will start to be put forward before the Grand Prix de Galice itself actually starts, scheduled for 10h30 on Friday.
Having won fifteen of the sixteen rounds which have been run since the start of the season, Groupama-2 is still favourite among the six strong fleet entered in Vigo, also the start town for the crewed round the world yacht race on 12th November 2005. In mid-July, if a healthy wind kicks in, Gitana 11 is able to threaten Cammas' light air supremacy. Likewise, Gitana X has shown that in winds of more than 15 knots, the youngest fleet member was not to be sniffed at. Halfway into the season, the Grand Prix de Galice marks a turning point in the ORMA Championship. Points scored in Vigo may affect Cammas' tendency to dominate, Pascal Bidégorry is not consistent, Frédéric Le Peutrec is incisive, and Michel Desjoyeaux is progressing, Armel Le Cléac'h is in full ascension and Thierry Duprey du Vorsent has managed to surprise a number of people. Water, wind and boats – Vigo can look forward to a colourful and eventful show!
Entered in the Grand Prix de Galice
Pascal Bidégorry (Banque Populaire)
Michel Desjoyeaux (Géant)
Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11)
Franck Cammas (Groupama-2)
Armel Le Cléac'h (Foncia)
Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X)
Crew - Gitana X
Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (skipper-helm), Erwan Le Roux (tactician), Mayeul Riffet (pit-navigator), Jochen Krauth (trimmer), Mathieu Tatibouët (mainsheet), Yann Le Govic (mainsheet), Jacques Guichard (trimmer), Caroline Vieille (trimmer), 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), Yann Guichard (tactician), Jean-Baptiste Levaillant (trimmer), Daniel Souben (trimmer), Jean-Baptiste Epron (mainsheet), Alex Quiblier (wincher), Loïc Le Mignon (wincher), Antoine Mermod (pit), François Denis (foredeck / n°2), Christophe Lassègue (bowman / n°1)
Provisional rankings in the ORMA Multihull Championship:
After the IB Group Challenge (weighting 3), the Grand Prix de Corse (weighting 1), the Giraglia Rolex Cup (weighting 0.5) and the Grand Prix de Marseille Métropole (weighting 1) :
1-Pascal Bidégorry (Banque Populaire) 9 points (0+3+2+4)
2-Michel Desjoyeaux (Géant) 14,5 points (6+4+1,5+3)
3-Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11) 16,5 points (9+2+3,5+2)
4-Franck Cammas (Groupama-2) 21 points (21+0+0+0)
5-Armel Le Cléac'h (Foncia) 25 points (12+7+1+5)
6-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X) 29,5 points (15+5+2,5+7)
7-Giovanni Soldini (TIM-Progetto Italia) 66 points (51+6+3+6)
8ex-Thomas Coville (Sodebo) 96 points (51+18+9+18)
8ex-Yvan Bourgnon (Brossard) 96 points (51+18+9+18)