GITANA

GITANA
Given name
Category Steamship Length 24,45 m
Year of launch 1876 Naval architect(s) Thornycroft shipyard
Rig Gaff schooner Propulsion Propeller

Gitana, the first of the name, was built in 1876 in the English Thornycroft shipyard at the request of Baroness Julie Caroline de Rothschild, Baron Adolphe de Rothschild’s wife. Made of metal, this steamship designed on the banks of the River Thames, was delivered to Switzerland in separate parts then reassembled near Lausanne by the yard belonging to the Compagnie Générale de la Navigation (CGN).

Gitana was equipped with a steam engine that was supposed to propel her along at 50km/hr. Though it was not exactly a done deal, it was aboard this boat that the Baroness became known as the world’s fastest yachting lady on the water reaching 20.5 knots, or nearly 38km/hr on the waters of Lake Geneva. Later sold on to one of her sailors, who would transform her into a cargo vessel, Gitana sunk some 80 metres to the bottom of Lake Geneva near Corzent in November 1913 after a violent storm. There she remains today.