The MOD 70 Edmond de Rothschild Group hits the water
In March 2010, Baron Benjamin de Rothschild ranked among the very first boat owners to commit to the new Multi One Design circuit; a design involving 70 feet one-design trimarans, whose sailing programme includes transatlantic races, tours of Europe, Round the World races with stopovers as well as city races. A year and seven months on, the project has become a reality with the launch of the MOD 70 Edmond de Rothschild Group. The fourth one-design of the Multi One Design class, this multihull forms part of a long line of Gitana craft, which have marked the marine history of the Rothschild family. She will be helmed by Sébastien Josse.

By nature, Sébastien Josse is a patient sailor. However, the various confrontations with his future rivals during the Krys Match, held in La Trinité-sur-Mer, Brittany in early October, certainly whetted his competitor’s appetite. This afternoon, he shared with us his feelings as he saw this trimaran finally taking to the water: “It’s been a complex week for the Gitana Team. We’ve been eagerly awaiting this launch and today it was with a great deal of emotion that we accompanied the MOD team down the final home straight. This delivery gives concrete expression to the project and marks the start of a new adventure for the team. This 70 feet multihull is the first brand new boat I’ve ever been entrusted with. It’s an honour and I could never thank Baron and Baroness Benjamin de Rothschild enough for the trust they have shown in me and the opportunity they have given me by allowing me to take the helm of this new craft.”

The singularity of the Multi One Designs isn’t just down to the common architecture of the trimarans and the resulting philosophy. Indeed, membership to this new class upsets the routine of offshore racing teams somewhat: “It is very rare for a team like ours not to participate in the design and then the manufacture of the boats we sail on. Usually, at this stage in proceedings, even if we haven’t been out for sea trials yet, we have the boat well in hand through having built her. Today it’s a discovery for us all.” Now afloat in her new port of registry, the MOD fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild will undergo so-called static tests from tomorrow. This trial involves dockside tests to measure the strength of the various mechanical elements by pushing them to their maximum limit. The first sea trial will then ensue on Thursday, weather permitting, assuming the results of the static tests prove satisfactory of course.

At that point, Gitana Team will begin a further series of sea trials during November so as to check that the trimaran conforms and ensure she can be signed off at the definitive handover.

The Gitana Team takes root in Lorient

Though the launch of the MOD Edmond de Rothschild Group is the headline news today, it coincides with a major change for the Gitana Team. Set up in Saint-Philibert, a village separated from La Trinité-sur-Mer by the river from Crac’h, from the very outset, the offshore racing stable founded by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild is now installing its logistics and technical base in nearby Lorient. Team manager, Cyril Dardashti, explains the reasoning behind this move: “The Gitana Team is taking root in Lorient from today onwards. In fact we’re taking up position in a shed situated in the Kéroman submarine base and the Gitana boats will be moored immediately alongside. This move comes ten years on from our installation in La Trinité-sur-Mer and was guided by a desire to optimise our logistics as well as make gains in terms of performance. Indeed, with the arrival in the stable of the MOD 70 Edmond de Rothschild Group, we were keen to be closer to our future rivals as the one-design nature of this latest craft will call for a series of joint training sessions so as to make steady progress and stay at the top of our game. With the Keroman submarine base, where the vast majority of offshore racing teams are gathered, Lorient has pulled off what was a difficult challenge in transforming the existing site and setting up a recognised skills hub here. Within the Gitana Team, we are aiming to remain at the core of innovation and technological advances, which is why this new base seemed like the obvious step forward. However, the team is still extremely attached to La Trinité-sur-Mer and its marina as the Baie de Quiberon is the perfect spot for sailing.”

Norbert Métairie, President of the Cap Lorient area and Mayor of Lorient, welcomes the arrival of Gitana Team to his town with open arms and was keen to be in attendance this Tuesday: “I’m delighted that the prestigious Gitana team, led by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, is settling here. This move is an extension of the appeal of Lorient’s submarine base as an offshore racing hub. Close to the yards where the MOD70s are assembled, this latest relocation confirms the dynamism of the marine businesses in the area, as well as complementing Lorient’s skills and provisions.”

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