Built by Jean Le Cam in 2000, the ex-Bonduelle had practically not been sailed for two years and, with the exception of a few improvements made in 2001 and some repairs after the Route du Rhum 2002, this trimaran has remained unchanged. The platform (crossbeams, floats, central hull) was the first of the second generation of plans by Marc van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot-Prévost, who later inspired the Italian yacht TIM-Projeto Italia, then Belgacom (now Gitana 11), Sodebo, Géant, Foncia, before the creation of Groupama-2. Gitana 12 is therefore very similar in conceptual terms to Gitana 11 and the major work carried out this winter at the Gitana Team base was aimed at bringing it as closely as possible into line with the “Eleven” in all areas.
“When it went back into the shipyard, there were clearly things that needed changing, the aim being to have a boat as effective as the other trimarans while considering possible changes for the two Gitanas. It was therefore necessary to incorporate the modifications and the new features to be tested while bringing it into line with the configuration of the 2006 version of Gitana 11,” explains Thierry Duprey du Vorsent.
Consequently, the original right foils were replaced with new-generation curved foils with a greater radius of curvature so that the profile would be as close as possible to the float's keel line, and also to increase their length for the same projected area (the Orma class measurement limits the surface area of the foils). The Gitana 11 centre-board was installed on the “Twelve” without modification of the box, since the “Eleven” this season has a new appendage and the Gitana 12 is now equipped with the Gitana 11's spare mast. Similarly, the rudders are new with optimised profiles but with the same central hull mountings and the same stock on the floats.
“The idea is to be able to interchange the sails of one boat with the other, but also the appendages after having tested the 2006 changes on the water. We will thus be able to proceed in stages and also while exchanging crew, in order to have a more detailed analysis of the benefits or disadvantages of each modification.”
The deck layout has also been transformed to bring it into line with that of Gitana 11 by enlarging it, reducing the size of the casquette and installing “tubs” on the sides for the winchers.
“As the Gitana Team has invested in a brand-new stripping machine that works by projecting tiny grains of starch under pressure, the two boats have been stripped entirely bare to remove all paint and coatings. In this way, we have been able to make weight savings of several dozen kilograms and have used this to also refit the entire interior in terms of electrical and electronic cabling. We had to be sure that the Gitana 12 would be perfectly reliable in all areas but that has necessitated four and a half months' work… with almost two teams involved over recent weeks!”
The trimaran, with the opposite decoration to the Gitana 11, was launched at evening tide on Tuesday 18 April and masted immediately. After a few days spent refining the settings (rigging, sails, appendages, hydraulics), Gitana 12 will make its first ocean forays at the end of the week.
Optimisation of Gitana 12
*Total stripping bare to remove all coatings and carry out new decoration
*Enlargement of the cockpit, redesign of the deck
*Change of boxes and installation of curved foils (new 2006 version)
*Interior entirely refitted (electrics, electronics, hydraulics, etc.)
*Adaptation of the Gitana 11 daggerboard to the box
*Rudder set (new 2006 version profiles)
*Central ballast of 400 litres
*Adaptation of the Gitana 11's spare mast
*Rigging changed, new Incidences sails
Skipper Thierry Duprey du Vorsent
Architects Marc van Peteghem & Vincent Lauriot-Prévost
Builder MAG Ocea
First launch September 2000
Overall length 21.00 m
Hull length 18.28 m
Width 18.30 m
Air space 30.48 m
Draught 5.00 m
Light displacement 6,100 kg
Structure Nomex-carbon sandwich
Foils 06 version curves
Mainsail surface area 198 m² Incidences
Genoa surface area 120 m² Incidences
Gennaker surface area 265 m² Incidences