From that point its history was coloured by the multihull: from the purchase of Gitana IX, which marked the start of the adventure, to the construction of Gitana X and then the purchase of Gitana 11, Gitana 12 and Gitana 13, not to mention the design of Gitana eighty, and more recently the acquisition of the extreme 40 edmond de Rothschild and the multi70 of the same name, thirteen years have elapsed and nine craft have passed through the expert hands of the members of Gitana Team.
Though the team has been able to adapt and evolve with the times, the values which led to the creation of the stable remain: seeking new challenges, team spirit, the taste for undertaking new things and the search for excellence to name but a few. Today, despite managing three yachts, the Gitana Team remains a human scale stable, as Baron Benjamin de Rothschild intended. In this way, around twenty or so full-time staff – shore crew and sailors combined – work hand-in-hand year-round to prepare, modify, improve and guide the Gitanas towards the competition podiums. Men and women, driven by passion, working in the background, without whom the finest marine stories quite simply wouldn’t have been possible. Though it’s on the water that races are won of course, it’s on shore in the hangar of the technical base that the members of Gitana Team pave the way for the constantly evolving performances.
The organisation put in place by Cyril Dardashti, the team’s General Manager, requires versatility and adaptability from each person. The small size retained by the team is one of the cornerstones of the spirit, which reigns within the Gitana stable: “The Gitana Team is a small SME, which enables the erasing of hierarchies peculiar to larger companies. Here, the shore crew and the sailing team work hand in hand to achieve performance gains. To my mind, this sharing of skills is one of the Gitana Team’s successes.”
After ten years spent at Saint Philibert, a village in Brittany’s morbihan region, separated from La Trinité-sur-mer by the River Crac’h, Gitana Team transferred to the city of Lorient, just a few kilometres further North, at the end of 2011.
The stable has been set up in one of the elements of the keroman submarine base infrastructure. Today this former military site, whose redevelopment began in 2001, is one of Europe’s hubs of excellence in terms of offshore racing and it groups together racing teams and flagship businesses in the French marine industry, not to mention the cité de la voile Eric Tabarly (museum).
“Our change of location has been guided by a concern for the optimisation of our logistics, as well as a desire for a gain in performance. The infrastructure available to us today has been specially created for teams like ours: the size of the hangar, the ease of launch, the pontoon space, access to the port as well as the proximity of our suppliers... with the keroman submarine base, where the vast majority of offshore racing teams have gathered, lorient has pulled off a tough challenge by transforming the existing site and setting up what is considered today to be a recognised skills’ hub,” the team manager explains.