On 21 September 1876, baroness Julie de Rothschild inaugurated her auxiliary schooner, La Gitana, on Lake Geneva where she smashed the speed record. Back then, nobody suspected that this passion for on-the-water competitiveness would continue through to the modern day in the Franco-Swiss line of the Rothschild family. As such, in 2016, Ariane and Benjamin are celebrating a quite unique maritime-themed family saga, 140 years of daring, performance and human adventure through the legendary history of the Gitana fleet. It’s a name that conjures up the image of a line of boats, which has constantly defied both time and technology. In order to mark this anniversary in style and reflect on what has been an exceptional season of sport, whilst also making the most of the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild’s participation in the prestigious Vendée Globe, Gitana Team’s owners were keen to create a travelling exhibition in order to share their maritime heritage with as many people as possible and present today’s sailing as one of tomorrow’s challenges.

Christened Gitana, entering into the legend, this creative and recreationalinstallation is a genuine invitation to travel, which is structured around themes that are accessible to adults and children alike. Relying on a contemporary, minimalist set design, which showcases the aesthetic quality so cherished by those who have created the saga, this exhibition aims to recount the Gitana epic penned by five generations of Rothschilds. Through the prism of this pioneering, iconic family, the visitor is transported behind the scenes of the evolution in watersports and competition from the 19th century through to the present day. To achieve this, the public will be able to feast their eyes on artefacts, architectural pieces, ancient and contemporary photographs, as well as a wealth of multimedia content in a space spanning some 200m2.

Museography straddling history and modernity 

- Gallery retracing the history of the Rothschild generations involved in the evolution of the Gitana fleet and incorporating an exclusive tour of the family artefacts.

- A 1:1 scale model of the cockpit of the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild’s, the monohull skippered by Sébastien Josse for the Vendée Globe 2016-2017 (start on 6 November)

- Material staging by the members of Gitana Team of foils and other prototype parts used on the racing stable’s current boats.

- Immersive space enabling the public to sail aboard the latest Gitana boats using virtual reality (360° immersive video)

- Kids’ space

- Video screenings giving viewers an insight into the offshore competition and racing world

- Discovery of the mobile application all about the exhibition 

The three key dates for the exhibition

 GENEVA - From 14 to 25 September in Port Noir, Geneva

 SABLES D'OLONNE - From 15 October to 6 November in the Vendée Globe race village in Les Sables d’Olonne

 PARIS - From 3 to 11 December at the International Paris Boat Show 

Gitana, entering into the legend: free exhibition, open to all and bilingual (French – English).


In conjunction with the exhibition, Gitana Team’s owners are preparing a beautiful book published by La Martinière publications in the autumn of 2016. The fruit of extensive research, this work, Gitana, 140 years of Rothschild yachting history, presents the personal archives of this pioneering family with a wealth of hitherto unpublished content, which will showcase the daring and modernity of this remarkable saga.

Gitana, 140 years of Rothschild yachting history
36.5cm x 28.5cm - 240 pages, available in bookshops in October – November 2016


From 1876 to 2016, 140 years of Rothschild maritime passion, 5 generations, 27 boats

21 September 1876: 1st sail by Gitana on Lake Geneva, Julie de Rothschild creates the legend
1879: 20 knots, Gitana shatters the world speed record across the water 

1898: 26 knots, new speed record set by Gitana II 

1960: Edmond de Rothschild relaunches the saga
1965:Gitana IV wins the Fastnet Race and goes on to hold the race record for nineteen years
1984: Launch of the Maxi class and victory in the Nioulargue with Gitana VIII 

1986: Gitana Sixty wins the 8mJI World Cup
2000: Benjamin de Rothschild sets up Gitana Team
2006: Gitana 11 wins the Route du Rhum in a record time of 7 days 17h 19’ 6’’
2008: Victory to Gitana Eighty in The Transat 

Gitana 13’s record-breaking round the world circuit (New York-San Francisco, TransPac, Tea Route…)
2009: International promotion with the Extreme Sailing Series 

2013: Gitana XV (Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild) wins the Transat Jacques Vabre
2014-2015: The age of flying boats begins and Gitana Team dares to stray from the beaten track by kitting out Gitana XV (Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild) with T-foil rudders and counting on a new generation of foiling monohull.
31 March 2016: Gitana XV (Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild) takes flight and secures a new record with 43 knots of boat speed in 20 knots of breeze 

6 November 2016: Start of the Vendée Globe with Gitana 16 (Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild)
And tomorrow, 2017...: Launch of GitanaMaxi, a 33-metre Ultime trimaran 

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