Designed and built by Gilles Ollier, the 60-foot trimaran initially went by the name of Elf Aquitaine III, then Laiterie de Saint-Malo, before becoming Gitana IX. Purchased in 1999, the move heralded a new line of Gitanas and enabled the offshore racing stable created by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild to dip its toes in the deep end of multihull competition.
GITANA IXGiven name
|Category Open 60-foot multihull||Length 18,28 m|
|Year of launch 1999||Naval architect(s) Gilles Ollier|
|Upwind sail area 220 m²||Downwind sail area 350 m²|
Known as Elf Aquitaine III originally, this trimaran enjoyed a dazzling career at the end of the eighties in the hands of skipper Jean Maurel: victory in the Transat Québec Saint-Malo 1988, the Lorient Saint-Barts 1989 and the Two Star 1990, with further successes in the numerous Multihull Trophy Grand Prix events. A very fine compromise between an oceanic trimaran and a large Formula 40, she was certainly original. Indeed, not very wide, initially she was designed with beams that could be dismantled so she could be transported on a cargo ship in several separate parts.
With this first acquisition, Baron Benjamin de Rothschild is continuing the maritime tradition of the Rothschild family and putting his own unique spin on it by propelling it into the age of multihulls and professionalisation. Considered to be a ‘solid boat’, Gitana IX’s objective wasn’t about winning; rather it was about enabling the members of Gitana to start out on their trimaran career.
Aboard the boat, and notably during the Transat Québec Saint-Malo 2000 and again in the Challenge Mondial Assistance the following year, the owner of the Gitana fleet was to definitively confirm his passion for these carbon dragonflies. In her own way, Gitana IX contributed to the launch of the incredible multihull saga, which continues today.
Sold on in 2003, the trimaran is still sailing and is at the start of the major races like the Route du Rhum.