The MOD Edmond de Rothschild Group shows off her style
In the ocean racing environment, aside from the round the world years, January is traditionally a month devoted to refits. This year however, the men of Gitana Team have upset the usual schedule. Indeed the winter refit for the MOD 70 Edmond de Rothschild Group has only taken a matter of weeks, which was just enough time for the shore crew to give the latest trimaran of the Gitana fleet a unique livery, created by the graphic designer Jean-Baptiste Epron. Sébastien Josse and his crew will be putting in their first tacks of 2012 over the coming days, before making for the latitudes of Agadir, in Morocco, where the team’s winter training is scheduled to take place.

The members of Gitana Team have taken all the necessary steps to ensure they respect the schedule initially thought up for 2012. This Monday 9 January it’s a done deal with the MOD 70 Edmond de Rothschild Group now tied up alongside at the foot of the Cité de la Voile Eric Tabarly in Lorient. After the first launch on 25 October 2011, followed by some essential sea trials prior to the boat’s official handover, the MOD No.4 was returned to the Gitana Team’s sheds. A short-lived winter break ensued and, several weeks on, the 70-feet one-design trimaran has now returned to the liquid element, keen to get her teeth into an action-packed opening season.

Getting back down to business so early in the season certainly isn’t down to chance. Indeed, given the delivery date for the MOD Edmond de Rothschild Group, Sébastien Josse and his men haven’t been able to benefit from the same running-in period as their future rivals. As such, keen to make up this deficit prior to the initial confrontations of 2012, the Gitana skipper has decided to make the most of the winter months to get in some practice. In this way, after warming-up for a few days off Lorient, the Gitana Team’s new port of registry, the team will cast off on their first trial run offshore. Sébastien Josse and five crew will head South next week, bound for the Moroccan port of Agadir, some 1,250 miles away. The crew of the MOD 70 Edmond de Rothschild Group will set up their winter base there, in optimum conditions, so as prepare for the intense 2012 sailing season lined up by the Multi One Design circuit. Baron Benjamin de Rothschild’s team will be joined there by Roland Jourdain’s men, who have the one-design No.2 and were keen to take up the Gitana Team’s invitation. Together for nearly one month, they’ll alternate between races around the bay, under the leadership of coach Tanguy Leglatin, and offshore courses.

Sébastien Josse, the Gitana Team skipper, is the man behind the idea for this winter training in the sunshine. He explains what led him to this decision: “My experience in the Volvo Ocean Race affected my perception of competition and notably the way in which to prepare for a competition. Within Gitana Team, we’ve set up a fairly substantial physical preparation programme and sea trials, but we are still less extreme than the Anglo-Saxon crews, who are currently competing in the Volvo. In the Multi One Championship, we all have the same steeds and solely the crew and its ability to drive the boat will make a difference. As such, discovering what’s required of us, practising and then honing our skills are an absolute must. The city of Agadir, which we are very grateful to for playing host to us, has a great deal going for it and that’s why we’ve selected it for our ‘winter camp’. The climate there is ideal for sailing during this period: wind from the tradewinds and a temperature bordering on 20°C, which augurs well for some very full working days. We’re delighted that Véolia’s crew, led by Roland Jourdain, agreed to join us there. I’m sure that this joint work will be an unquestionable asset for the competitions which lie ahead.”

An innovative and daring livery

For a number of years, Jean-Baptiste Epron has successfully combined his passion for sailing and his business as a graphic designer. Responsible for the majority of the liveries on the Gitana Team’s boats (Gitana 10, Gitana 11, the “Eighty”, the Extreme 40 Edmond de Rothschild Group…), this adopted Breton has now created his 9th piece for the Rothschild family. Today’s launch enabled onlookers to discover the latest decor and Jean-Baptiste explains to us what led him to the final design for Gitana XV: “In the various projects I put forward, I always try to provide innovative and cleverer versions. In the majority of cases, it’s the more classic propositions which are unanimously approved. To my very great delight, Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild were attracted by this version which is very different from those which the Gitana fleet have sported up till now. On the MOD 70 I had a technical constraint because, due to the way the materials behave in UV light, the hulls have to be predominantly white. This parameter had its positive points and it enabled me to create a livery which stands out from the previous editions. The graphics on the hulls are in fact a close-up of the compass which unites the five arrows which are emblematic of the Rothschild family. To give it volume, I outlined it in the different colours which make up the family’s coat of arms and the Gitana Team’s logo: blue, grey and finally yellow.”

Hats off to Hubert Corfmat, the stable’s talented painter, who brought Jean-Baptiste Epron’s design to life.

The Gitana Team wishes you a very happy new year!

The 2012 programme for the MOD Edmond de Rothschild Group

  • Winter training in Agadir: from January to March
  • Grand Prix de Douarnenez Guyader: From 3 to 6 May
  • ArMen Race: From 18 to 21 May
  • SNSM Trophy: from 1 to 3 June
  • Krys Ocean Race (Crewed transatlantic race): start on 7 July from New York – ETA in Brest on 13 July
  • European Tour (Crewed configuration): start from Kiel (Germany) on 2 September
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