Gitana in Cherbourg
Nineteen hours after having left La Trinité-sur-Mer (French Atlantic coast), Gitana has arrived without a hitch in Cherbourg (Channel coast), the start of the Challenge Mondial Assistance. Sailing most of the time in rather strong leading winds, the trimaran covered 260 miles (481 km) for a high speed delivery.

Marc Guessard, navigator : "Apart from the first few hours when we had a light headwind, from the north of Belle-Ile (30-35 miles/56-65 km north-west of La Trinité), we had decent wind all the time. We passed the Raz de Sein and the Chenal du Four at the extreme western tip of Brittany in a squall, reminiscent of Cape Horn. We manoeuvred with the headsails and gybed a little, but that's all. All of the crew helmed, to get an idea of how she handles. We were often at between 25 and 28 knots (46 and 52 km/h)".


The first point to note after this rather windy delivery following on from the Grand Prix de Lorient where there was a lot of wind too, is that things are falling into place on board. Nothing has broken... Marc Guessard : "Touchwood, it's true, everything is fine. The shore crew have done a great job this winter. We have checked over many improvements, such as mast rake aft for example when the wind kicks in. It worked absolutely right and is very efficien, setting the centre of load in the sails further aft clears the bows and reducing pile driving".

No sooner ashore, the crew returned to its technical base to fine-tune its preparation. They will be returning to Cherbourg on Thursday morning.

Challenge Mondial Assistance Crew

Lionel Lemonchois
Benjamin de Rothschild
Yann Marilley
Olivier Wroczynski
Marc Guessard
François Denis

Challenge Mondial Assistance

Cherbourg (F) Channel / Rimini (It) / Adriatic. 2734 miles (5063 km)
Start 11th May 2003
Finish between 19th and 23rd May 2003
Races in Rimini on 23rd and 24th May

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