Lively delivery to Zeebrugge...
After leaving La Trinité-sur-Mer (Atlantic/France) on Monday July 8th at the end of the afternoon - heading for the Grand Prix de Zeebrugge (Belgium) - Gitana X reeled in the miles in a moderate wind. During one of the inspections programmed for this first major sailing, a crack in the trailing face of the forward starboard crossbeam fairing was discovered, and it was decided to stopover in Boulogne (North of France).

And yet all had been going well since the start, with Gitana X covering 400 miles (740 km) at an average speed of about 20 knots (37 kph). At 13.00 French time (11.00 Gmt), Olivier Besse, project manager and member of crew on board stated: "This delivery is astonishing. We spend our time slipping over the water between 25 and 28 knots (46 and 52 kph). We have even managed a peak of 32 knots (60 kph). Gitana X is really nicely balanced. We haven't even nose-dived. Everything works perfectly".

For the record, Gitana is on sea trials and the crew's main task is to test everything...: operation of the appendages (foils, daggerboard, rudders), the canting of the mast, the on-board computer systems and the hydraulics.

Safety halt

But an hour after these serene comments, during a routine inspection of the boat whilst Gitana X was sailing on starboard tack (wind coming from the right), a crack on the trailing face of the starboard forward crossbeam was observed. Immediately, after speaking with the builder Multiplast, it was decided to call into Boulogne 20 nautical miles (37 km) away. On board for this sail, Jack Michal from the Gilles Ollier Design Team and a member of the Gitana Design Team which designed the boat, confirmed this wise decision.

On Wednesday, Gilles Ollier, boss of Multiplast and a team from his yard drove to Boulogne to carry out a deeper assessment of the damage. Gilles Ollier: "We used ultrasonics for the test, which enables us to make an in-depth analysis of the zone concerned. A similar approach to the one used on the boat before she was rolled out of the yard".

After this test, repairs were decided. They were immediately started so that the trimaran can put to sea again and continue her sea trials.

Weather conditions permitting, Gitana X should be able leave Boulogne with the midnight lock tonight July 11.

Next news tomorrow Friday 12th July.

Delivery crew

Lionel Lemonchois / Skipper
Benjamin de Rothschild / Owner / Crewman
Olivier Besse / Project Manager / Crewman
Marc Guessard / Navigator
Yann Marilley / Crewman
François Denis / Crewman
Olivier Wroczynski / Crew
Jack Michal / Gitana Design Team & Multiplast / Crew

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