Deprived of Grand Prix...
Stopped over in the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer (France/Channel) for the last 48 hours, following damaged sustained to the starboard forward crossbeam, the trimaran Gitana X will not be participating in the Grand Prix of Zeebrugge (Belgium).

Indeed, despite repairs carried out on site by the builder Multiplast and which would have enabled her to put to sea again, Gitana X was compelled to remain on the dock following a decision by the experts.

Although the "radiography" of the crack that had appeared on the starboard forward beam had been carried out by ultrasound - the most reliable process for analysing structures - the specialists, out of precaution, requested the trimaran to return to the yard without going by the Zeebrugge "square", so that more in depth analyses could be carried out. Lionel Lemonchois, the boat's skipper: "Of course I'm disappointed not to be taking part in this first Grand Prix and not being able to pit Gitana against her "mates". But we cannot take any risks. We are right in the middle of sea trials with the boat and we have only done about fifty hours sailing since the launch !".

As the weather is fine, Gitana X should leave Boulogne tomorrow Saturday July 13th around midday, heading for Vannes (Atlantic), with a short-handed crew including Benjamin de Rothschild, president of the LCF Rothschild Group , owner and member of crew of the boat.


As soon as the assessments have been carried out, any necessary measures will be taken by the Gitana Team and carried out by the builder Multiplast, so that the trimaran can continue her sea trials and development. And more especially for single-handing: "Lionel Lemonchois must carry out his qualification for the Route du Rhum (that starts on November 10th) before September 15th. We've still got a lot of work to do. But that's the lot of these very technical boats" , said Olivier Besse, the Gitana X project manager.

As for the next appearance of Gitana for a crewed race, this will be for the 3rd Orma "9 Telecom" Grand Prix of the season in Fécamp (France) from 12th to 15th September 2002 where she will competing with most of the 19 trimarans of her class (the 60 ft Orma class) entered in the Route du Rhum.

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