Week-long check-up for Gitana 11
With the Route du Rhum fast approaching the team’s schedule is being fined down to the nearest millimetre… For Yann Guichard and the Gitana Team’s shore crew, the first three weeks of September have been entirely devoted to preparing the flagship of the Gitana fleet. Indeed the skipper of Gitana 11 has used the varied conditions of the past few weeks to best advantage by making a number of solo sails. Alternating between day sails and nights spent at sea, Yann has been able to improve and perfect his knowledge of the ‘machine’.

Yesterday, the team made the most of another session on the water with Gitana 11 before the maxi-trimaran revisits the familiar surroundings of the team’s hangars. This final return to the yard prior to the start of the Route du Rhum will be an express pit stop, dedicated exclusively to service checks prior to a solo transatlantic crossing, as well as a thorough clean of the hull. “It’s a short but perfect timeframe. Yann is overseas for virtually the whole week to defend the colours of the Edmond de Rothschild Group at the helm of the team’s Extreme 40, and we’re spot on with our pre-start timing. Following the May refit we had thought that would be the last time we would lift the boat out onto the hard. However, this latest session in the yard doesn’t alter Gitana 11’s sailing and preparation programme in any way so it was important to make the most of this opportunity. We’re once again working along the principle of precaution as the team always prefers to give the boat a general check-up before an event like the Route du Rhum, especially as certain inspections require Gitana 11 to be out of the water” explains Cyril Dardashti, General Manager of the Gitana Team.

Gitana 11’s technical manager and boat captain, William Fabulet, explains the aims of this final pit stop: “We have a week to inspect the boat, which will take the form of a visual scan and possibly a sounding check. This general check-up isn’t compulsory but given that the schedule allows for it we prefer not to leave anything to chance. All the lines and onboard systems will be checked and anything which shows signs of wear will be replaced. We’re also going to concentrate on the mast so as to dismantle the various elements which make it up, degrease and put everything back in place. To round all that off, the team will make the most of the opportunity to buff up the hull so that Gitana 11 can slip along perfectly.”

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