The Gitana Team in 2007
Gitana 13, the Gitana Team's new multihull, was launched on 30 January at Vannes. But this 33-metre maxi-catamaran, skippered by Lionel Lemonchois, will not be the stable's only newcomer during 2007. Armed with his solo experience gained on the recent Route de Rhum aboard Gitana 12, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent will this season be at the helm of Figaro, Domaine du Mont d'Arbois, marking the return of the monohulls to the Gitana story. As for Gitana 11, the 60-foot trimaran that triumphed in the Route du Rhum, she'll be taking part in the 2007 Orma programme which has as its highpoint the Transat Jacques Vabre, contested double-handed at the end of the season, but still with Lionel Lemonchois at the controls! April 2007 will also offer an opportunity to delve into the history of all these legendary boats, from Gitana to Gitana 13, courtesy of a book to be published by Editions du Chêne retracing the history of the Gitanas. A unique iconography will illustrate the family's love affair with sailing spanning over a century!

Gitana vessels have been turning heads since 1876: the steam schooners on the waters of Lake Leman with Baroness Adolphe de Rothschild, then Baron Edmond's monohulls, and lastly the multihulls of his son, Baron Benjamin de Rothschild. In 2006, Lionel Lemonchois offered the Rothschild Family a superb victory thanks to his performance in the Route du Rhum / La Banque Postale, which is sure to forever remain a highpoint in the Gitana history. But the story goes on and the team run since March 2006 by the sailor Loick Peyron has just welcomed some new arrivals in the shape of the maxi-catamaran Gitana 13 and a figaro, Domaine du Mont d'Arbois.

While the Gitana team's passion for sailing and competition will remain undimmed in 2007, their primary objective was achieved with victory in the Route du Rhum; so Loick and Co. now have a chance to explore new horizons. While it will be difficult for Gitana 13 to compete with the latest-generation G class vessels like Groupama-3 or the future Banque Populaire-5, she remains nonetheless a boat with a stunning track record. Consequently, the catamaran will test out the modifications made this winter by having a tilt at two early-season records: La Route de la Découverte, Cadix-San Salvador (held by Steve Fosset on Playstation in 9 days, 13 h, 30 m and 18s) and Miami–New York (2 days 5h 54 m 42s). Depending on Gitana 11's sporting programme, it's possible that her stable mate will also attempt other symbolic records during the 2007 season. But Gitana 13 will also be dedicated to initiation and discovery courtesy of a programme that should start to take shape come 2008…

Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, meanwhile, is making his debut on an exceptional circuit this year, the Figaro class, with the aim of perfecting his solo preparations under the colours of Domaine du Mont d'Arbois*, a property owned by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild at Megève. But judging by the big boys he is going to have to face, his first season is unlikely to be a gentle introduction. Nevertheless, the prospect is in no way dampening the motivation of Thierry, who, for the occasion, is taking over the Figaro (ex-Groupe Bel) of Christophe de Pavant, winner of the Transat AG2R 2006, whom he twice partnered in the Cap Istanbul race… after a solo warm-up on the BPE Trophy and before the Everest of the class, la Solitaire Afflelou / Le Figaro.

Gitana 11, meanwhile, will be present on the entire Orma circuit with the ambition of building on an exceptional 2006 season. Lionel Lemonchois will skipper Gitana 11 for the 8th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre double-handed race, which sets off from Le Havre on 4 November for Salvador de Bahia in Brazil. The trimaran has undergone very few modifications this winter: changes in deck layout, optimisation of the helming system and post, modification of the centreboard casing and centreboard, change of staysail chain plate, revision of the hydraulic systems, rigging and electronics, and inspection of the platform and appendices.

Gitana Team Programme for 2007:

Gitana 11 –60' trimaran (To be confirmed)
- Double-handed ocean race to be confirmed
- SNSM Trophy from 23 to 25 June
- Challenge at Douarnenez from 13 to 15 July
- Fastnet from 7 to 10 August
- Transat Jacques Vabre – Le Havre / Bahia: start 4 November

Gitana 13 – 33-m catamaran
- Route de la découverte, Cadix-San Salvador: March 2006
- Miami –New York: May 2006

Domaine du Mont d'Arbois – Figaro
- BPE Trophy – Belle-Ile / Marie-Galante: start 25 March
- Cap Istanbul – Marseille / Istanbul: start 26 May
- La Solitaire du Figaro: Start Caen 31 July

*About the Domaine du Mont d'Arbois…
Created in 1922 by Baroness Maurice de Rothschild, the Domaine du Mont d'Arbois illustrates the Art of Living in the purest family tradition: refinement, simplicity and elegance. The Chalet du Mont d'Arbois, a **** hotel affiliated to the Relais et Châteaux chain, is a unique location which was designed as a private chalet. But the Domaine du Mont d'Arbois also means 6 restaurants, a golf course, a spa and the new La Ferme Duvillard/Hôtel du Golf*** situated beneath the winter pistes and at the edge of the greens in summer. Since the creation of the Gitana Team, the Domaine du Mont d'Arbois has been doing its bit by supplying cooked meals to the crews for the ocean races. This year, it will be the special partner of Thierry Duprey du Vorsent for the entire Figaro season, while continuing to work with the whole Gitana Team on each boat's individual programme!
For more info, visit …

In the world of sailing, the name Gitana is inseparable from the French-Swiss branch of the Rothschild family. It conjures up century old images of a particular lifestyle where passion, team spirit and the quest for excellence come together. Under the aegis of the Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, the Gitana history turned to multihulls in 2000 when the Gitana IX entered the Transat Québec/Saint-Malo. After 3 seasons contested with 2 multihulls, in 2007, the Gitana Team is diversifying: Gitana 11, the 60-foot multihull victorious in the Route du Rhum 2006, will now be accompanied by Gitana 13, a maxi-catamaran dedicated to initiation and discovery, and a Figaro-Bénéteau, Domaine du Mont d'Arbois,  skippered by Thierry Duprey du Vorsent! Tradition, innovation and transmission…

For more info, visit…  www.gitana–

Photo Image Bank: Yvan Zedda Video Image Bank: Nefertiti Productions

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