Relaunched last week, Gitana 13 has been wisely sitting it out in Sai Kung marina, situated to the NE of Hong Kong, awaiting the right gap in the weather. In this way, Lionel Lemonchois, Dominic Vittet – the onboard navigator – and Sylvain Mondon have been examining the forecasts in the China Sea for several days in order to target a suitable window. The various scenarios observed seem to have been confirmed and tomorrow is likely to see the 33 metre catamaran and its ten crew bid farewell to Asia. Bound for London, Gitana 13 will have to cover more than 15,000 miles.
It is worth remembering that the sailors of Gitana Team are preparing to set off on their seventh and final record attempt in their 2008 campaign; a succession of records which have already proven successful, with most notably the new reference time on the Route de l'Or (New York – San Francisco, via Cape Horn) as well as the North Pacific Crossing between San Francisco and Yokohama.
The exact time selected by the skipper of Gitana 13 for casting off remains to be decided however.
Crew aboard Gitana 13 for the Tea Route
Lionel Lemonchois (Skipper)
Dominic Vittet (navigator)
Ludovic Aglaor / Pascal Blouin / David Boileau/ Léopold Lucet / Ronan Le Goff / Olivier Wroczynski / Ronan Guérin / Laurent Mermod
Gitana 13's records
Route de l'Or (New York – San Francisco, via Cape Horn): in 43 days 3 minutes 18 seconds (February 2008)
North Pacific Crossing (San Francisco – Yokohama): in 11 days 12 minutes 55 seconds (April 2008)
Yokohama – Dalian: 3 days 20 hours 19 minutes and 11 seconds
Dalian – Qingdao: 23 hours 50 minutes and 20 seconds
Qingdao – Taiwan: 3 days 52 minutes and 15 seconds
Taipei – Hong-Kong: 1 day 58 minutes 27 seconds