Delayed launch of Gitana 11
Like a number of French school children who will be heading back to school tomorrow, it was scheduled for the revamped Gitana 11, to return to her natural element alongside the quays in the Breton port of La Trinité-sur-Mer on Wednesday 2nd September. However, a disturbed weather system, forecast over the tip of Brittany from tomorrow, has forced Yann Guichard and the shore crew from Gitana Team to delay the expected launch a few days.
The ten months refit to extend Gitana 11 was due to be completed tomorrow by the return to the water of the modified trimaran. However, the weather has decided otherwise: according to the latest forecasts, a 20 to 25 knot SW’ly wind is expected for Wednesday, prior to veering round to a still strong NW’ly at the end of the week. Such muscly wind conditions unfortunately won’t permit the various handling and lifting operations necessary for the launch of the 77 foot maxi-trimaran. Nevertheless, the current forecast shows that another potential launch slot may open up early next week, though for now it’s too early to say if the weather will once again see fit to scupper the plans of Baron Benjamin de Rothschild’s team.
For Gitana 11, which it is worth remembering has been modified with a view to her participation in the Route du Rhum 2010, a few days delay in the initial schedule won’t be a disadvantage, as Yann Guichard explains: “After some long months being refitted, all of us were naturally keen to see Gitana back in the water. However, nothing’s pressing and I prefer to wait for an optimal weather window for the first ‘outing’ of the new trimaran. The crew, managed by William Fabulet, have done a remarkable job over the winter and the boat will very soon reveal if our choices were pertinent. In the meantime though, we just have to be patient! We’re going to make the most of these few days delay to finalise and polish up the details.”
The new date for the launch will be announced very shortly.