Two seasons and already a lot of ground covered
Since 17 July 2017, the lives of the team founded by Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild have been coloured by the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. Indeed, this date marks the launch of the latest addition to the Gitana fleet and the maritime beginnings of an adventure that began three years earlier. This 32-metre giant is a trail-blazer in a new era that embodies the mindset of her owners: bold, elegant and visionary! “In 2013, when we started to work on the idea of building the first flying maxi-trimaran for offshore racing, the idea was very much aimed at paving the way forward for offshore flight not creating a ‘concept boat’. The notion of flight is primarily a notion of performance so that’s the area we wanted to work on”, explains Cyril Dardashti, director of the Gitana Team.
Straying off the beaten track is not an easy thing to do. The first two seasons for Gitana 17 have been punctuated by success, the highlight of which was her recent victory back in August in the Rolex Fastnet Race, as well as some difficulties, as a machine such as this calls for precise and rigorous fine-tuning and utter commitment at all times, whether it be on land or at sea, as the team’s Technical Director, Pierre Tissier, explains: “We knew it would be a long, hard road! Making flying trimarans of this size, was a bit of a crazy dream for some… initially few people believed in it. However, we ourselves were convinced that this is where the future lay. We’re making progress every day with regards the boat’s potential and speed. A year and a half ago, we were exploiting maybe 70%. Today, I’d say we’re down to the last twenty per cent. This boat is demanding yet thrilling and the whole team is dedicated to the project.”
“We pick ourselves up, we make repairs and we go again!”
Being a pioneer is about daring, but it’s also about persevering to build up to your victories. Gitana Team had to apply this very mindset a year ago after their retirement in the Route du Rhum.“The worst memory inevitably remains the breakage of Edmond de Rothschild’s starboard float twelve hours after the start of the Route du Rhum...” admits Pierre Tissier. This sentiment is shared by Cyril Dardashti: “It really was a tough blow for the whole team. It really hurt, but damage and the incidents we’ve experienced are part of the story and this mechanical sport that is sailing.”
We often read that offshore racing is a sport that calls for a large dose of humility. Within the five-arrow team, a form of resilience has also been established: “There’s the ideal world which we imagined and then there’s the reality we’re confronted with. That’s how it is. We pick ourselves up, we make repairs and we go again!” explains the Technical Director. “I think that after the Route du Rhum, reliability has been placed at the top of the pile by all the teams! Brest Atlantiques is an ambitious challenge, a positive step forward in a bid to continue with the programme more confidently”, concludes Franck Cammas, who has been sharing the helm of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild with Charles Caudrelier for over six months.
VIDEO => a 2-year commitment, relive the highlights of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild since her launch