Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild

Belonging to the IMOCA class, the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild was launched in August 2015 after a year-long build at the Multiplast yard. This Verdier design with her planing forms is a latest generation 60-foot monohull designed with a view to the Vendée Globe 2016 - 2017.

FRA 16

Sail number

GITANA 16
Given name
Category Monohull, IMOCA60 Length 18,28 m
Year of launch 2015 Naval architect(s) Verdier / VPLP
Upwind sail area 290 m² Downwind sail area 490 m²

Since its creation, the Gitana Team has constantly explored the multiple thrilling aspects of multihulls. However, in its fifteen-year history, a few monohulls have managed to make a niche for themselves within the Gitana fleet. An agreed ‘bending of the rules’ for the beauty of the race we nickname the Everest of the Seas and the sporting and human challenge that it represents: the Vendée Globe.

In this way, eight years after Gitana Eighty, the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild, alias Gitana 16, makes her entrance into the legendary Gitana Saga. And the very least that can be said is that the boat is sleek in her styling: planing hull equipped with a very high volume bow to enhance the boat’s speed performance, a so-called tumblehome hull shape (meaning that the beam at the sheer is less than the maximum beam of the hull) so as to limit the beam of the deck and thus make her more lightweight, reduction of the freeboard, which further accentuates the sensation of the boat’s beaminess, a flat deck and open cockpit, not to mention foils instead of the old generation conventional daggerboards… Gitana 16 certainly doesn’t lack character.

Adhering to the new class measurement in force in the Imoca class since December 2013, the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild will be equipped with a one-design keel and mast (identical materials, forms and suppliers). These rules, voted in at the end of the last Vendée Globe so as to increase the safety coefficients and reduce the costs of these incredible machines.

Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild in the Breeze

The Vendée Globe for goal

The third boat from the new generation (the 5th already!) to come out of its ‘box’, the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild is the fruit of collective work! Keen not to take any chances whilst retaining its singularity, the Gitana Team formed an in-house design office made up of Antoine Koch, Armand de Jacquelot and Sébastien Sainson, whilst the technical monitoring of the build was entrusted to Pierre Tissier. This quartet worked in close collaboration with the project’s naval architects - Guillaume Verdier and Daniele Capua at VPLP Yacht Design – and Yann Penfornis’ teams at Multiplast. From this collaboration a latest generation 60-foot monohull has seen the light of day, equipped with lifting surfaces that meet both the expectations and the requirements of Sébastien Josse: solidity, reliability and ergonomics.

« Solidity, reliability and ergonomics. » Sébastien JosseSkipper Edmond de Rothschild

The architectural particularities

Aerodynamic roof and mast foot bowl
to lower the rig

Open aft section
to facilitate stacking

Recentered and lowered cockpit

More high volume
to increase the boat’s power

New daggerboards
with lifting surfaces (foils)

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Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild 3D Profile by ©Olivier Michon / GITANA SA

The foil, how does it work?

This is one of the major new features of this 5th generation Imoca monohull. Since their arrival on the scene the foils have caused a lot of ink to flow and unleashed great passion. Indeed, there are both supporters and opponents of these new appendages, whose very shape is reminiscent of the moustaches of a famous Spanish painter. An unquestionable architectural development, foils are nonetheless a daring challenge for those who have opted to equip their steed with such a device.

Principles and actions

« Innovation is in Gitana Team’s DNA. As such, when the naval architects suggested these new appendages to us, there’s no way we were going to do away with them, even though at this stage there is still a degree of uncertainty as to their efficiency. These foils remain experimental, but we were aware of that in taking this path. We know that, on paper at least, there are fairly considerable gains to be made on certain points of sail, as well as some losses on others. As such, it’s all about compromise and we are not preventing ourselves from going back to past configurations or developing the shapes of the daggerboards according to the results of our sea trials. Put simply, the boat performs less well when sailing close to the wind (headwind, upwind, reaching), but the minute the sheets are eased a little more (on the beam, downwind) and the foil goes into operation it’s really effective and the differential can extend to as much as 2 knots. As such the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild is geared up specifically for the Vendée Globe and she is optimised for competing in races where there is 80 to 90% downwind conditions and very little upwind. » Sébastien JosseSkipper Edmond de Rothschild

The cockpit in detail



At first sight, the cockpit of the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild is certainly eye-catching. The watchwords that have guided her design are safety and ergonomics, which go together with performance. We take an in-depth guided tour with Sébastien Josse.

Very open like the VORs of the Volvo Ocean Race

The mainsheet traveller on the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild is attached to the sole whilst on the rivals’ boats it forms an arch, which closes off the back of the boat around 80cm above the ‘sole’ at deck level. This improved configuration provides an optimised workspace and a stacking zone aft that is within shoulder width, without having to clamber over the imposing sail bags on deck.

Ergonomics

The lower the centre of gravity, the less energy a boat needs to move around and the more stable it is. With this in mind, we sought to lower the centre of gravity as much as possible. The upshot of this was the footwell area in the sole beneath the cuddy. Not only did it enable us to lower the latter and hence improve the aerodynamics, but also to do the same thing with the deck hardware, the pit chute and the other structural elements in this zone, at the crux of which was a significant weight saving. Similarly, the decision was taken to make a central chute for the pit so as to favour the boat’s fore and aft axis (bow - keel - transom).The final benefit of this footwell area: we retain a significant height under the cuddy, which will enable me to manoeuvre in the upright position rather than hunched up like my rivals. Down below, it’s fairly uncluttered. There are no frills but I’m leaving myself the time to develop the fit-out prior to the start of the Vendée Globe.

Safety

The fact that the cockpit sole is very low enables guardrails at chest height, whilst on deck these are knee-level. This configuration is a safety element, particularly in bad weather and heavy seas.

Track record

  • 2016
  • 2nd
    2nd of the TRANSAT NEW YORK - VENDÉE 9 days 19 hours and 26 minutes
  • 2015
  • 1st
    1st of the TRANSAT SAINT-BARTH - PORT LA FORÊT 10 days 5 hours and 18 minutes

Photos & videos

Aerial view offshore of the Kerguelen Islands
4 Photos
Day 27 - Mission Kerguelen