"But wind shifts and squalls dotting the maxi-catamaran's route leave little time for Gitana Team to rest. The team is constantly adapting the sail configuration to suit the weather conditions: “on deck, all sails are being put to use. There have been a lot of maneuvers and sail changes to deal with. That's why, since leaving New York, it's been difficult to stick to the watch system. When conditions stabilize a bit, we'll have to get back to it, since we have a long way to go to San Francisco!” said Lionel Lemonchois.
Continuing its southeasterly route, Gitana 13 is in a race against the Bermuda high-pressure system and the immediate threat of weak winds typical of such anticyclones. This is why they need to keep up the pace.
But the efforts of Lionel and his crew of nine should pay off soon, as Sylvain Mondon said yesterday: « Saturday evening...whispers of the northeast trades will finally reach the maxi-catamaran's sails.”
The watch system on Gitana 13
Onboard the 33-meter maxi-catamaran equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, the ten men are divided into three watches of three: a helmsman, a trimmer and a bowman—more commonly called the No. 1. Under normal conditions, the watches take turns on the deck every three hours to get the most out of the rig. The tenth sailor, in charge of navigating and monitoring the weather, is off-watch. But he is regularly called on to give a helping hand during maneuvers.
Watch 1: Lionel Lemonchois (skipper) / Olivier Wroczynski / Florent Chastel
Watch 2: Ludovic Aglaor / Fred Le Maistre / David Boileau
Watch 3: Thierry Duprey du Vorsent / Nicolas Raynaud / Léopold Lucet
Off-watch: Dominic Vittet