Energising the team
On Monday 3 April, Loïck Peyron took up his new position as General Manager of the Gitana Team. While Gitana 11 was spending the weekend out at sea for the first time this year, after a great deal of over-winter work, this talented sailor sat down with us and talked about his new responsibilities.

To replace Yann Marilley, who had been Team Manager for the previous two seasons, the Gitana Team needed to find a coordinator who not only had the respect of the sailing community, but also the kind of character that would energise the team. As far as Baron Benjamin de Rothschild was concerned, there was only one man for the job – Loïck Peyron. The native of La Baule had been an Orma trimarans skipper for more than fifteen years, and moreover had the kind of innovative spirit, technical knowledge and solo navigation skills to be a good team manager.

“The first thing I have to say is that I'm delighted by the confidence which Baron Benjamin de Rothschild has shown in me. I'm really looking forward to the work I'll be doing with a large but highly motivated team that has a lot of specialist knowledge in every aspect of the sport. The people I've worked with have always been closely involved in sailing, such as Messrs Lacoste, Poch and Develay… I first met the Baron Benjamin de Rothschild back in 2003, just before the Transat Jacques Vabre. We were then talking about the possible acquisition of Belgacom, which he did even before we got to Bahia! We recently got in touch again and he proposed me to integrate the Gitana Team…  For the past week, I've been totally involved with the team as they go from the winter period, with all the work which has been carried out on Gitana 11 and Gitana 12, back to actual navigation.

Each member of the Gitana Team has their own area of expertise. After all, there are two boats, and it takes a lot of different specialist knowledge to run a team like this. You therefore need an overall coordinator who has a more global vision of the project without actually being involved on the water as the navigator of a specific boat. My job is really just to bring my experience, both on and offshore, and later on to make certain technical decisions, since this season is already well underway in terms of the development of the Gitana Team's trimarans.

On the water, we know how good Gitana 11 is, both in terms of the crew and the vessel itself. Big changes have been made, and we need to show that they were worthwhile. I sailed on it during the Transat Jacques Vabre 2003. Gitana 12 is of the same generation and has undergone some significant and very interesting renovations. Of course, the two vessels are by no means newcomers to the circuit, but they still have excellent potential, particularly thanks to the modifications that have included for this season.

My involvement will also see me navigating on the two trimarans so that I can pass on the benefits of my sailing background as an observer. I'll also have a coaching role for the solo navigation where I obviously have a lot of experience, even though I don't want to do anymore multihull. I think it's time for me to pass on my “trade secrets” to Frédéric and Thierry ahead of the Route du Rhum. It really is a great project – we have the technical, financial and human resources to be amongst the leaders at all the events throughout the year.”

Record of achievements

Transat Jacques Vabre 2005 : 1st on Virbac-Paprec with Jean-Pierre Dick
Route des îles (Mumm-30) 2005 : 1st on Défi Partagé-Marseille
Trophée Clairefontaine 2005 : 1st
Bol d'Or 2005 : 1st D-35 on Okalys
Challenge Ferrier-Lullin (D-35) 2004 : 2nd on Zebra 7
Quebec/Saint-Malo 2004 : 4th on Sodebo with Thomas Coville
Transat Jacques Vabre 2003 : 2nd on Belgacom with Jean-Luc Nélias
Trophée Clairefontaine 2003 : 2nd
Solitaire du Figaro 2003 : 6th on Fujifilm
Trophée Clairefontaine 2002 : 1st
Course des Phares 2002 : 1st on Fujifilm
Transat Jacques Vabre 2001 : 3rd on Fujifilm
The Race 2000-2001 : 2nd on Innovations Explorer
Transat Jacques Vabre 1999 : 1st on Fujicolor II
Course de l'Europe 1999 : 1st on Fujicolor II
Route du Rhum 1998 : 5th on Fujicolor II
Course de Phares 1998 : 1st on Fujicolor II
Transat Jacques Vabre 1997 : 3rd on Fujicolor II
Course de l'Europe 1997 : 1st on Fujicolor II
Quebec/Saint-Malo 1996 : 1st on Fujicolor II
Europe 1 Star 1996 : 1st on Fujicolor II
Course de l'Europe 1995 : 1st on Fujicolor II
Twostar 1994 : 2nd on Fujicolor II 
Transat Jacques Vabre 1993 : 3rd single hull on Fujicolor III
Course de l'Europe 1993 : 1st on Fujicolor II
Europe 1 Star 1992 : 1st on Fujicolor II
Vendée Globe 1990-1991 : 2nd on Lada Poch III 
Lorient-Saint Bath-Lorient 1989 : 1st on Lada Poch III
Quebec/Saint-Malo 1988 : 2nd on Lada Poch II
C-Star 1988 : 3rd on Lada Poch II
La Baule-Dakar 1987 : 1st on Lada Poch II
GP de Boulogne (Formula 40) 1987 : 4th on Lada Poch 
Route du Rhum 1986 : 5th on Lada Poch I
Solitaire du Figaro 1986 : 4th on Lada Poch 
Tour de l'Europe 1985 : 1st on Lada Poch I (Class III)
Quebec-Saint Malo 1984 : 5th on Formule TAG with Mike Birch
La Baule-Dakar 1983 : 4th on Lada Poch I
Lorient-Bermuda-Lorient 1983 : 5th on Transat TAG Québec avec Mike Birch 
Route du Rhum 1982 : 17th on La Baule-Teletota
La Rochelle-New Orleans 1982 : 9th  with Bruno Peyron on Jaz 
La Baule-Dakar 1981 : 21st on Accoustique HRC 
Mini Transat 1979 : 26th on Sogeport-Alcor

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