Since that time the team have been carrying out sufficient repairs to ensure that Yann Guichard can continue with his single-handed sail trial in the best possible conditions. However, the timing of his departure will depend on the weather conditions.
Gitana 11 making a technical pit stop in Dingle
After setting out from her home port of La Trinité-sur-Mer, Brittany, on Tuesday 13th April 2010 for a four to five day solo sail, Gitana 11 has been forced to make a technical pit stop in southern Ireland. Seventy-two hours after her departure, whilst heading up towards the famous Fastnet Rock after a long downwind stretch offshore, Yann Guichard noticed some slight damage to the starboard float. In order to avoid taking any risks and given the windy conditions over the zone in question, it was collectively agreed that the skipper should make for the nearest port to reinforce the platform and head back out to the sea as soon as possible.
As a precautionary measure, the maxi-trimaran equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild has been alongside in the Irish port since yesterday, Sunday. Following the discovery of slight damage to one of Gitana 11’s floats, Yann Guichard has had to interrupt his solo training for a few days. Initial observations suggest to the team that the damage is the result of either colliding with a UFO (Unidentified Floating Object), or repeated impact from big, boat-breaking seas. For the time being though, it’s still too early to have any degree of certainty and the exact causes will only be defined on the multihull’s return to her home port.
On arriving in the bay of Dingle on Saturday, the skipper of Gitana 11 had to wait for nearly 24 hours before setting foot on terra firma again. Indeed the transportation of the technical team has been hampered by the aerial blockage that Northern Europe has been experiencing for several days. The préparateurs from Gitana Team didn’t make it into Dingle until late afternoon on Sunday after a long ferry crossing and a few hours’ drive across the emerald isle.