Gitana 13 reaches Hong Kong in 1 day 46 minutes and 59 seconds
This fourth Asian record promised to be quick and that's exactly what happened. 1 day 46 minutes and 59 seconds after leaving the island of Taiwan, Lionel Lemonchois and his men reached Hong Kong aboard their trusty steed, Gitana 13. The maxi-catamaran in the colours of the LCF Rothschild Group crossed the finish line at 1119 UT this Saturday 31st May, thus establishing a new record between Taipei and Hong Kong. The sailors of Gitana Team have improved on the previous reference time by over 1 day and 14 hours.

Gitana 13 was able to benefit from a steady NE'ly wind throughout the 465 mile course, averaging around 25-30 knotsm but climbing to 35 knots during the course of the night. Conditions were favourable for enabling them to slip along gently downwind, though around ten gybes punctuated the journey. “A series of gybes were necessary according to the wind shifts, and there were six of us on deck permanently to deal with the manœuvres. Prior to our departure from Taipei, the grib files forecast that the wind would clock round at the end, leading to some close-hauled sailing for the last few miles. On the water though, things were a little different: the wind did indeed clock round but less so than forecast… so we were able to round off the record with some E'ly and continued to sail downwind” confided the skipper a few minutes after crossing the finish line.

Lionel Lemonchois then gave us a brief lowdown on the record between Taipei and Hong Kong: “We would have liked to have completed the course in less than a day… however the big seas in the strait and the freshening wind at this point forced us to be very careful. Last night the wind climbed to 35 knots and we were under two reefs and solent. As ever, we saw a fair bit of shipping in the area, with a lot of fishing boats. However, there was a lot less traffic than in the East China Sea… (laughs). This was a wet sprint but also quick and efficient. It is now 1940 hours in Hong Kong and night has fallen already. It's stormy and misty and Gitana 13 is pushing her way between the numerous islets to make her mooring” explained Lionel Lemonchois, happy to have added another line to Gitana 13's list of records.

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