Bound for Cagliari / south Sardinia...
Tuesday 3rd June 2003, Gitana has been put back in the water after a brief spell on the quayside in Ciotat (Marseille) on France's Mediterranean coast. Hauling out proved to be necessary following damage to the dagger board during the Challenge Mondial Assistance, before the 2nd Grand Prix of the season in Cagliari in Sardinia (12th to 15th June).

Although Gitana was only on terra firma for a short week, the Gitana Team was mobilised full time. The repairs needed were not extensive but did require a great deal of precision. Lionel Lemonchois, skipper : "First of all, the submerged part of the dagger board casing was inspected by ultra sound, known as tapping, to ensure that the hull had not been damaged when the dagger board broke off the coast of Portugal last month. Fortunately, just a few scratches and dents were apparent and have been touched up. Some of the marine paint has been touched up here and there and the underwater part of the central hull and floats have been sanded down to make her smoother and glide through the water more efficiently.

At the same time, as it was easy to gain access to the foil (skate) housings on the floats, we took the opportunity to change the incidence of the skate wedges, thereby changing the angel at which they enter the water and make them more efficient....". A small change of just 3 degrees which has necessitated moving the centreline of the manœuvres by more than 25 millimetres, representing 4 days work.

Lastly, this year's brand new mast has been checked over from tip to toe – nothing to report.


Nicolas Engel, one of the Swiss crew members announced at the start of the season that he would not be able to take part in the Grand Prix de Cagliari – he is racing his boat on Lake Geneva along with 450 others in the 65th edition of the Bol d'Or. He will be replaced in the pit (manœuvres with halyards and trim in the cockpit) by Frenchman Thierry Barot, a fellow America's Cupper. Barot loves racing at close quarters and has experience of racing60-foot multihulls like Gitana as he has sailed with Paul Vatine (Groupe André) and Banque Populaire (Lalou Roucayrol). Thierry Barot : "...I've wanted to come and sail these boats in a Grand Prix, as I am not an ocean racer. I like battles where the result can be seen straight away..."

So the crew will be 11-strong once again for the 2nd Grand Prix where Gitana will still be lacking a little bit of power, as she has not yet recovered her new dagger board (the trimaran will be racing with a borrowed board).

Gitana will be leaving on her delivery voyage on Thursday 6th June with a crew of 5 on board (Lionel, Olivier W., Yann, François et Thierry), arriving in Cagliari on 7th if the weather in on their side, with some 400 miles (740 km) to cover between Marseille and the south east of Sardinia.

Crew for the Cagliari Grand Prix
Lionel Lemonchois / F : Skipper
Benjamin de Rothschild : Performer
Nicolas Berthoud / CH : Mainsail
François Denis / F : N°1 / Bowman
Philippe Durr / CH : Tactician
Thierry Barot / F : Pit
Jean-Baptiste Epron / F : Mainsail trimmer
Marc Guessard / F : Navigator
Jean-Paul Levrel / F : Grinder
Yann Marilley / F : Runner
Olivier Wroczynski / F : Runner
More information about Cagliari Grand Prix

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