Gilles Ollier, member of the Gitana Design Team and builder of Gitana X : "At the end of the mast construction, we carried on ultrasound tests and it turned out to be perfectly homogenous. The option of a monolithic and narrow mast had the advantage of being lighter than the traditional wing masts. Alain Gautier has the same mast, and he is still racing ! For the moment, we cannot say anything. We are waiting for the first expertise results before being able to examine the two mast portions ashore".
Next step, back to the yard
Next Saturday, November 17, the fair weather should allow to un-step Gitana X's mast (depending on the expertise results) and to take her out of the water. The trimaran will then go back to her yard, Multipole 56 in La Trinité sur Mer. Olivier Besse, project manager : "This premature retirement from the Route du Rhum was obviously not planned. This will allow us to lengthen our winter working session and set-up period. The whole Gitana Team is already at work. We know there's a lot to be done on sails, appendages, and of course we have to build a new mast. Our objective is to re-launch the boat before a mid-March 2003 deadline. We have long training sessions planned before the opening race of the Orma Championship, which will begin in the spring of 2003".