Originally, this craft was a 70-foot one-design trimaran belonging to the MOD70 class. Since then though, the multihull has undergone numerous transformations to become a genuine test laboratory. Measuring 21.3 metres in length and 17 metres wide, this boat draws great inspiration from the former multihulls of the ORMA class.


Sail number

Given name
Category Multihull, Ultime Loa 21.3 m
Upwind sail area 310 m² Downwind sail area 409 m²
Year of launch 2011

Launched in late 2011, the trimaran was initially intended to compete in a one-design championship grouping together around seven identical multihulls. Within this context, she participated in 2012 in the inaugural transatlantic race between New York and Brest - The Krys Ocean Race – in which she secured 2nd place, as well as completing a European Multihull Tour. However, in 2013, due to the lack of a circuit, Gitana Team fashioned their own customised programme that included the ArMen Race, the Route des Princes, the Rolex Fastnet Race and the unforgettable participation by the Josse - Caudrelier pairing in the Transat Jacques Vabre, which was unquestionably the highlight.

In 2014, the multihull fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild was adapted to singlehanded sailing so as to participate in the Route du Rhum’s star category, the Ultimes. No longer adhering to a strict one-design format, the boat became the Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild. Before setting sail on the famous transatlantic race between Saint Malo and Pointe-à-Pitre, the trimaran underwent further transformation. This began with work on the ergonomics to adapt the deck layout to solo configuration. In this vein, additional protection was added to the helming stations and the pit, the existing cuddy being replaced by an external watch post to minimise the time spent down below. However, the key new features were architectural and were to mark a turning point in Gitana’s future projects.

Foil Attitude

Going ever faster, such is the leitmotif of offshore racing teams. In 2013, the AC72s, winged catamarans from the America’s Cup, definitively propelled the multihulls into a new era: that of flying boats. Benefiting from the expertise and experience of the Cup in this domain, the Gitana Team set off on the adventure in 2014 with its sights on the open ocean!

“There’s a full-on revolution going on in sailing, and more specifically ocean racing. We’re in the process of writing a new alphabet and we’re on letter A,” Baron Benjamin de Rothschild

2014, the first steps towards a flying oceanic trimaran

With the Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild tied up to the dock in Itajai for a couple of days after her victorious race in the Transat Jacques Vabre 2013, the aim of creating a flying oceanic trimaran was already on everyone’s minds within Gitana Team. However, the refit time available to the team the following winter is not enough to fine-tune all the envisaged modifications – new rudders, latest generation foils, work on the sail plan – before the start of the Route du Rhum in November 2014. The team gets together with Guillaume Verdier, a renowned French architect responsible for Team New Zealand’s first flights during the last America’s Cup. For the first phase of the project, it is decided that the emphasis needs to be placed on the float rudders. Over the course of the winter 2014, those which had equipped the trimaran since her launch gave way to T-foil rudders; the appendages that became a familiar sight on inshore craft (bay races) during the Cup, but are still highly unusual for a large oceanic multihull.

float rudder / T-foil rudder

The Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild’s T-foil rudders are the fruit of a close collaboration between Gitana’s design office, naval architect Guillaume Verdier and the members of Team New Zealand that are Jamie France, Bobby Kleinschmit and the Pure Design company.

“The aim of these float rudders, equipped with lifting surfaces, is to reduce the boat’s pitching at sea. This increased stability enables significant gains in average speed, as well as in the boat’s handling.” Sébastien JosseSkipper Edmond de Rothschild

2015, ready for take-off!

The appendages trialled during the Route du Rhum had proven their effectiveness, as testified by the Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild’s 3rd place against the XXL competition, as well as backing up the team’s choices. As such, Phase 2 of the initial project could commence. Over the winter of early 2015, the trimaran is kitted out with asymmetric foils – L-foils to port and C-foils to starboard – and more high volume T-foil rudders.

“Sustaining a 70-foot trimaran offshore single-handed is already a challenge in itself, but getting her to fly is something else entirely! With this 2015 iteration, we’re entering a whole new dimension; a period of essential fine-tuning and testing for the next stage in Gitana Team’s projects. The theoretical studies and simulations are essential, but they will never be enough on their own as nothing can replace practical time out on the water. We’re incredibly lucky to be able to test the architectural possibilities in real situations on the Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild.” Antoine KochHead of the design office

Asymmetric foils to continue the research

Hydro-dynamically, the C-foil is a very efficient appendage as it generates very little drag. Its ability to generate vertical lift no longer needs to be proven, but if we are considering flight, it lacks stability.

The L-shaped foil generates significant drag, but provides great stability and hence sizeable savings in relation to the platform’s drag. However, we’re still lacking information about how the boat handles in the sea with this type of appendage.

”We’ve been pleased with how the boat behaves but we’re not yet satisfied by the peak speeds attained. As such, we’ll continue with the test process until such time as we’ve reached all the goals we’ve set ourselves. The sea trials have given us a chance to check our theoretical data relating to the different behaviour of the boat according to either an L-foil or a C-foil. For the time being, we’re keen to continue our investigations along the L-foil route. The appendage currently fitted to the port float will be revised so we can quickly switch up to a V2.” Sébastien JosseSkipper Edmond de Rothschild

Track record

  • 2015
  • 1st
    Winner of the Tour de Belle-Ile holder of the event record 2 hours 24 minutes and 45 seconds
  • 2014
  • 3th
    3rd in the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 8 days, 14 hours, 47 minutes and 9 seconds
  • 1st
    Winner of the Défi Azimut
  • 2013
  • 1st
    Winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre 11 days 5 hours 3 minutes and 54 seconds
  • 1st
    Winner of the Route des Princes
  • 1st
    Winner of the ArMen Race
  • 2012
  • 1st
    Winner of the Tour de Belle-Ile
  • 2nd
    2nd in the Krys Ocean Race 4 days 22 hours 19 minutes and 49 seconds