Gitana 11 on the Penn ar Bed Challenge - 13, 14 and 15 July 2007 - Douarnenez
An official part of the 2007 ORMA Championship, the Penn ar Bed Challenge is the third event of the year to be contested by the four 60-foot multihulls taking part in the Championship. Currently 2nd in the overall standings, Lionel Lemonchois and Gitana 11 will be accompanied by a talented crew and watched by a Finistere region public that has shown great loyalty to the event. The skipper and his cohorts will be determined to hold onto the record for the Penn ar Bed Challenge set by Gitana 11 in 2005. Identical each year, the race's course was completed by the Gitana Team trimaran two years ago in 9 minutes and 12 seconds.

From Friday 13 July, Douarnenez Bay in Finistere will be the scene of hotly disputed races and spectacular flat-out runs. The ORMA Championship is making a stopover there to allow the four 60-foot multihulls to test themselves against each other in front of a public enamoured with these environmentally friendly Formula 1s of the sea. Since the SNSM Trophy, during which Gitana 11 suffered a minor technical problem that forced the crew to throw in the towel, Lionel Lemonchois and his crew have been fine-tuning the boat for this third sortie of the season. A crew with considerable experience will be on deck trying to ensure that Gitana 11 features strongly in this event. Each of the three days will be organised in the same manner with, in the morning, the ORMA class multihulls taking part in coastal races. The afternoons, meanwhile, will see the same multihulls, along with some IMOCA class monohulls, kite surfers and all manner of speed craft, offer a breathtaking spectacle on an identical course for all competitors. 

Thrills for the spectators!

A few hours before the start of the Penn ar Bed Challenge, Lionel Lemonchois voiced his pleasure at the prospect of getting to grips with his ORMA Championship rivals again: ”Although Gitana 11 is more of an ocean-going vessel, I'm happy to be back with her and my crew taking on our rivals. The weather conditions look likely to be average, with winds fluctuating between 10 and 15 knots over the 3 days of the Challenge. After the repairs to the pulpit and the boom, the boat's ready for action at last. What's more, I'm quite satisfied with the different foil size tests we've carried out over the past fortnight. It's the second time I've taken part in the Penn ar Bed Challenge, as I was part of another boat's crew 2 years ago. It's actually quite a fun and unusual type of event. We race each other in the morning and then, in the afternoon, we take turns doing speed runs with yachts of various classes, but also with kite surfers, for example. It all makes for magnificent entertainment for the spectators, whom I hope will be numerous.”

Gitana 11's crew for the Penn ar Bed Challenge:

Lionel Lemonchois – skipper.
Baron Benjamin de Rothschild – performer.
Loïck Peyron – tactician.
Thierry Duprey du Vorsent – navigator.
François Denis – bowman.
Sébastien Petiot – foredeck.
Léopold Lucet – mainsail trimmer.
William Fabulet – piano.
Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant – trimmer.
Ronan Le Goff – wincher.

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