Groupama-2 is one of the latest generation trimarans and is very much at home in light air which dominated this season. Gitana 11 managed to make her mark on 5 occasions making Frédéric Le Peutrec the closest direct opponent for Franck Cammas on this type of race! The young talent on Gitana X progressed constantly and healthy results were achieved for a boat which was designed for sailing in a bit of a breeze. The last race of the season showed quite how determined the team is. Difficult conditions combined with technical problems, but both Gitana rallied the port of Salvador de Bahia, finishing 2nd and 4th.
The Baron Benjamin de Rothschild rounds off the season with the acquisition of Gitana 12, ex-Bonduelle, a trimaran designed in the same spirit as Gitana 11 by architects Marc van Peteghem & Vincent Loriot Prévost.
Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, skipper - Gitana X :
« I was launching out into the great unknown as this was my first year as skipper of an ORMA trimaran. I'm quite pleased with the season as a whole. It is not as easy as you might think heading up a shore-based team and crew of sailors. We have always got along well with each other. Relations have always been highly positive. From a sports point of view, the fact that we have mixed young newcomers and more experienced sailors on Gitana X has meant that we have been able to progress as the months have gone by. I've learnt a lot not only as team coordinator but also in racing terms as I was not familiar with the Grand Prix type of racing. I'd like to thank the team for having supported me, encouraged and shouldered me throughout the year in difficult situations. We've all gained in confidence and experience. Weather conditions were only favourable to our boat at the very start and finish of the season in Calvi and Lorient. Our circuit performance was not bad at all, from a sporting point of view and a human point of view. »
Frédéric Le Peutrec, skipper - Gitana 11 :
« Obviously we're pleased with this season's results. Second overall in the Championship and second in the Transat Jacques Vabre, our number one objective given its difficulty. On every score, racing offshore or in the Grand Prix, Gitana 11 was pretty efficient and the counter-performances are generally the result of exacerbated competition out on the course. Throughout the season, we've been able to pinpoint the shortcomings we were already suspicious about and which will be taken care of by next season. Restricted evolvability, difficulty in rotating and in picking up speed at the start, poor performance in light air. The sailing team was put together on a fine cocktail of skill, each settling into his rightful place as the year went on. Our ambition at the start of the season was to be present on the podium at each event and although we didn't win any race, we did win a few rounds ! Groupama-2 has always had a little plus in light air and in the blow in the last Grand Prix in Lorient, she did not win a single one of the last four rounds. Just goes to show that the whole fleet has managed to make good its shortfall in potential against the most recent of the ORMA trimarans. Judging by her performance in the Transat Jacques Vabre, there is every chance that she will lose her aggressive edge as the others are gradually optimised for light air sailing. All in all, the Gitana Team is in a strong position for the season ahead. Can't wait for next year to come round ! »
Rankings in the Transat Jacques Vabre 2005 :
1-Banque Populaire (Pascal Bidégorry & Lionel Lemonchois) in 14 days 01 hour 46 minutes 29 seconds, average speed of 15.37 knots.
2-Gitana 11 (Frédéric Le Peutrec & Yann Guichard) in 14 days 04 hours 50 minutes 15 seconds, average speed of 15.23 knots, 3 hours 03 minutes 46 seconds after the leader
3-Géant (Michel Desjoyeaux & Hugues Destremau) in 14 days 05 hours 27 minutes 44 seconds, average speed of 15.20 knots, 3 hours 41 minutes 15 seconds after the leader
4-Gitana X (Thierry Duprey du Vorsent & Erwan Le Roux) in 17 days 11 hours 06 minutes 33 seconds, average speed of 12.38 knots, 3 days 09 hours 20 minutes 04 seconds after the leader