MULTI70 EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD
Originally, this craft was a 70-foot one-design trimaran belonging to the MOD70 class. Since then though, the multihull has undergone numerous transformations to become a genuine test laboratory. Measuring 21.3 metres in length and 17 metres wide, this boat draws great inspiration from the former multihulls of the ORMA class.
GITANA XVGiven name
|Category Multihull, Ultime||Length 21.3 m|
|Year of launch 2011||Naval architect(s) VPLP yacht design|
|Upwind sail area 310 m²||Downwind sail area 409 m²|
Launched in late 2011, the trimaran was initially intended to compete in a one-design championship grouping together around seven identical multihulls. Within this context, she participated in 2012 in the inaugural transatlantic race between New York and Brest - The Krys Ocean Race – in which she secured 2nd place, as well as completing a European Multihull Tour. However, in 2013, due to the lack of a circuit, Gitana Team fashioned their own customised programme that included the ArMen Race, the Route des Princes, the Rolex Fastnet Race and the unforgettable participation by the Josse - Caudrelier pairing in the Transat Jacques Vabre, which was unquestionably the highlight.
In 2014, the multihull fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild was adapted to singlehanded sailing so as to participate in the Route du Rhum’s star category, the Ultimes. No longer adhering to a strict one-design format, the boat became the Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild. Before setting sail on the famous transatlantic race between Saint Malo and Pointe-à-Pitre, the trimaran underwent further transformation. This began with work on the ergonomics to adapt the deck layout to solo configuration. In this vein, additional protection was added to the helming stations and the pit, the existing cuddy being replaced by an external watch post to minimise the time spent down below. However, the key new features were architectural and were to mark a turning point in Gitana’s future projects.
Going ever faster, such is the leitmotif of offshore racing teams. In 2013, the AC72s, winged catamarans from the America’s Cup, definitively propelled the multihulls into a new era: that of flying boats. Benefiting from the expertise and experience of the Cup in this domain, the Gitana Team set off on the adventure in 2014 with its sights on the open ocean!
2014, the first steps towards a flying oceanic trimaran
With the Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild tied up to the dock in Itajai for a couple of days after her victorious race in the Transat Jacques Vabre 2013, the aim of creating a flying oceanic trimaran was already on everyone’s minds within Gitana Team. However, the refit time available to the team the following winter is not enough to fine-tune all the envisaged modifications – new rudders, latest generation foils, work on the sail plan – before the start of the Route du Rhum in November 2014. The team gets together with Guillaume Verdier, a renowned French architect responsible for Team New Zealand’s first flights during the last America’s Cup. For the first phase of the project, it is decided that the emphasis needs to be placed on the float rudders. Over the course of the winter 2014, those which had equipped the trimaran since her launch gave way to T-foil rudders; the appendages that became a familiar sight on inshore craft (bay races) during the Cup, but are still highly unusual for a large oceanic multihull.
The Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild’s T-foil rudders are the fruit of a close collaboration between Gitana’s design office, naval architect Guillaume Verdier and the members of Team New Zealand that are Jamie France, Bobby Kleinschmit and the Pure Design company.
2015, ready for take-off!
The appendages trialled during the Route du Rhum had proven their effectiveness, as testified by the Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild’s 3rd place against the XXL competition, as well as backing up the team’s choices. As such, Phase 2 of the initial project could commence. Over the winter of early 2015, the trimaran is kitted out with asymmetric foils – L-foils to port and C-foils to starboard – and more high volume T-foil rudders.
Asymmetric foils to continue the research
Hydro-dynamically, the C-foil is a very efficient appendage as it generates very little drag. Its ability to generate vertical lift no longer needs to be proven, but if we are considering flight, it lacks stability.
The L-shaped foil generates significant drag, but provides great stability and hence sizeable savings in relation to the platform’s drag. However, we’re still lacking information about how the boat handles in the sea with this type of appendage.