Initial sensations aboard Gitana 11
Since the new Gitana 11 was launched on 7th September, Yann Guichard and the Gitana Team’s technical crew have been out for a number of test sails aboard the 77 foot maxi-trimaran. Indeed, whilst the base has remained the same and is a known quantity, the transformation of various sections of the multihull is such that everything has had to be reviewed: checking and validating the various options taken, reassessing of the boat’s overall balance as well as determining whether there is a need for any improvements over the coming winter.

Just back from Amsterdam, where, with the crew of Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group, he racked up his second win in the Extreme 40 circuit at the weekend, Yann Guichard was immediately back at the helm of Gitana 11 to continue the new maxi-trimaran’s test sailing programme. From the sails through to the hydraulics, the electronics and even the structure of the boat itself, nothing has been left to chance as over the past three weeks, one after the other, the technicians have been right through the craft equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild.

As exciting as they are stressful, such are the high hopes in play with a new boat, these initial test sails provide an opportunity to make the first assessment: “Our first test sails have been highly satisfactory as, despite the extension and the resulting extra weight, we have managed to conserve the assets of a 60 footer. This means that the power/weight compromise has been well managed. For the time being, we haven’t yet had the opportunity to sail in the open ocean and the whole team is keen to experience some rather more muscly weather conditions: indeed we’re very much looking forward to seeing how Gitana 11 behaves in the waves as it was one of the principle focuses in the boat’s transformation” admits Yann Guichard.

Modified to defend her title in the next Route du Rhum and consequently dedicated to solo sailing, initial conclusions about her couldn’t be drawn in full without the first solo sail off La Trinité-sur-Mer in SW Brittany… Today’s the day for that though as this Wednesday morning Yann Guichard was alone in setting sail for a few hours aboard his maxi-trimaran.

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