A rich and eclectic source of talents and abilities, the Gitana Team is keen to make the most of its collective strengths. With these changes designed to enhance the boat's performance, the aim is to offer Gitana 11 the best possible chance of clinching a first place on the podium, a challenge made all the more difficult by Groupama-2's current domination of the circuit. Frederic Le Peutrec remains totally committed to the project and will continue to play a key role within the team as a whole and as tactician aboard Gitana 11. This modification should therefore be perceived as an additional boost to propel Gitana 11 towards victory.
“Since 2003, I have put a great deal into this project, but the results at the start of this 2006 season have not been what we'd hoped for. Out of respect for the faith shown in me by Benjamin de Rothschild over the last two years, I've agreed to this change of role to become tactician on Gitana 11. I'd be lying if I said it was easy for me, but the team's objectives are paramount and if Loick taking over enables them to be reached more easily, I can't stand in the way. I'm still very committed to the values promoted by the Rothschild family and I will continue to give 200% to help the Gitana Team develop and win!”
Loick Peyron joined the Gitana Team in April 2006 as Sporting Director. His appointment as Gitana 11 skipper will now be combined with his initial role within the team, created at the instigation of Baron Benjamin de Rothschild with the aim of perpetuating the family tradition of the quest for excellence and the transmission of knowledge within the Gitana Team. A helmsman and skipper of distinction with a lengthy list of sailing honours to his name, Loick cannot hide his excitement at this reunion with what was his great passion. His remit will now be not only to accompany Gitana 12 skipper Thierry Duprey du Vorsent in his apprenticeship and in the training of his young crew, but also to do what he has always done best: namely skipper a multihull.
“I joined the Gitana Team two months ago and in that time, I've been busy discussing with, observing and analysing a team that reaches almost 45 people in season. It's difficult, but I have to make certain observations and draw conclusions. That's what I'm here for; I have to use my experience for the benefit of the Gitana Team. Baron Benjamin de Rothschild has chosen me to take Gitana 11's helm. I'm honoured by this sign of trust and I'm very happy to get the chance to sail with Frederic Le Peutrec again, as we made a formidable team on Fujicolor in the past and the idea of seeing what I can do on the water with a new generation is a real challenge for me. I hope to prove that I'm up to it and I know that whatever happens, this team contains a good number of fine individuals with real expertise waiting to be exploited. We've got our work cut out for us, but that's the way I like it.”
Daniel Souben is also replacing Frederic Guilmin as mainsail trimmer.
Gitana 12 is back on sailing for the Grand Prix de Marseille after her dismasting on 18 May in Nice.
Gitana 11 crew:
Loick Peyron (skipper/helmsman), Baron Benjamin de Rothschild (performer / navigator), Frederic Le Peutrec (tactician), Daniel Souben (trimmer), Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant (trimmer), Jean-Baptiste Epron (trimmer), Ronan Le Goff (wincher), Christophe Lassègue (bowman – no.1), François Denis (foredeck – no.2), Antoine Mermod (piano), Alexandre Quiblier (wincher)
Gitana 12 crew:
Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (skipper-helmsman), Erwan Le Roux (tactician), Mayeul Riffet (navigator), Alexandre Marmorat (trimmer), Nicolas Raynaud (trimmer), Mathieu Tatibouet (trimmer), Arnaud Derrendinger (trimmer), Antoine Carpentier (piano), Yann Le Govic (trimmer), Leopold Lucet (bowman – no.1), Fabrice Blondel (wincher)
Loick Peyron, an impressive list of achievements…
- 38 Atlantic crossings, 15 of them solo
- 2 round-the-world voyages
- 5 ORMA Champion titles
- 16 Grand Prix victories
- 2 English Transat solo victories
- 2 Transat Jacques Vabre victories in 1999 and 2005
- 2 Course des Phares victories
- 4 Course de l'Europe victories
- 7 Trophée Clairefontaine victories