Repairs in progress
After a very spicy Trophée du Conseil Général des Alpes Maritimes marked by the dismasting of Gitana 12 and the capsize of Banque Populaire IV, it's almost time for the Grand Prix de Trapani in Sicily. The Gitana Team is still hoping to line up its two trimarans under optimum conditions.

The second outing in the Café Ambassador Multi Cup following the London-Alpes Maritimes race, last weekend's event in Nice did not really give a clear picture of the forces in attendance. With gusts of over thirty-five knots and very rough short seas, the crews had to sail “within themselves” in order to protect the equipment, but in spite of their caution, a host of technical faults still arose. Gitana 12, for example, saw her mast fall as a result of a torn stay (cable which keeps the mast forward) bulkhead, while Pascal Bidégorry capsized in spectacular fashion in a squall. As a result, Gitana 12 was delivered as swiftly as possible to the La Ciotat boatyard for repairs, while Gitana 11 is allowing a strong Mistral to pass before heading for the Sicilian port.

Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, skipper of Gitana 12:

“Gitana 12 arrived at La Ciotat on Monday evening and was hauled out by crane on Tuesday morning onto the dry land of the Composites Works site. She will be repaired on site and everything possible is being done to get the trimaran ready for the Grand Prix de Trapani. It's a bit frenetic as time is severely limited, but the whole Gitana technical team is involved in rebuilding the stay bulkhead and repairing the deck. Everything was arranged from Nice, while the mast is at Lorima in Lorient: the lower section which was ruined between the mast base and the mainsheet rail, a length of about ten metres, is going to be recast, and then grafted onto the upper section, which is intact. The sails have not suffered, nor has the shrouding, with only a few halyards needing to be redone. As the mast fell quite gently to the rear, there was no other damage, but initially, we won't have the option of reinstalling the hydraulic system and using the mast rake to our advantage (longitudinal angle of the mast). The stay will therefore be fixed but that's not too prohibitive in terms of performance. We need to move fast as Trapani is still 500 miles away from La Ciotat and delivery will take two days. But it's still doable...”

Frédéric Le Peutrec, skipper of Gitana 11:

“We're leaving for Trapani on Friday morning as there's quite a strong Mistral around at the moment. The crew will join the trimaran on Sunday and on Monday morning so we can train on this Sicilian water that none of us really knows that well. As for the weekend of the Trophée du Conseil Général des Alpes Maritimes, let's just say it's consigned to the history books! We weren't able to learn that much in terms of comparisons, except that Gitana 11 seems to bear up quite well in rough conditions. But the circumstances, both on Saturday when we stopped to help the crew of the capsized Banque Populaire IV, and on Sunday when the wind was incessant and our battens broke, were not exactly productive… The boat is going quite fast and well, both downwind and upwind, which is highly encouraging for the rest of the Café Ambassador Multi Cup. Let's just hope that the sailing conditions in Trapani are more manageable!”

Café Ambassador Multi Cup rankings

After the London-Alpes Maritimes race (coefficient 2) and the Trophée du Conseil Général des Alpes Maritimes (coefficient 0.5):
1-Franck Cammas (Groupama 2): 12.5 points (10+2.5)
2-Pascal Bidégorry (Banque Populaire IV): 9 points (8+1)
3-Michel Desjoyeaux (Géant): 8 points (6+2)
4-Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11): 5.5 points (4+1.5)
5-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana 12): 2.5 points (2+0.5)

The content that appears on this website is protected by copyright.
Any reproduction or representation is strictly forbidden.

For further information, please refer to the legal notice section.
Enter at least 4 characters...