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Gold Route

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Arrival of Gitana 13 in San Francisco
Gitana 13, Interview with Lionel
Gitana 13 rounds Cape Horn
Gitana 13 approaches Cape Horn
Gitana 13 en route to Cape Horn
Gitana 13 crosses the equator
Aboard Gitana 13
Gitana 13 leaves New York
Start of the Route de l'Or

News from Gold Route

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Gitana 13's Route de l'Or, week for week

On Wednesday 16th January at 1629 (UT), Gitana 13 set off on the first record attempt of its 2008 campaign: bound for San Francisco via Cape Horn against the prevailing winds. Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crew got off to a great start in a NNW'ly air flow, which was very shifty in strength.

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28 February
Article

New record for Gitana 13 of 43 days 38 minutes

Gitana 13 crossed the finish line of La Route de l'Or, situated just off the infamous island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay, at 1707 (UT). After over 43 days 38 minutes at sea, including a forced five and a half day stand-by at Cape Horn, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crew improved on the reference time held since 1998 by Yves Parlier and his men by 14 days 2 hours and 43 minutes. The maxi-catamaran in the colours of the LCF Rothschild Group covered the 14,000 miles, which separate New York from...

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28 February
Article

Gitana 13 expected into San Francisco this afternoon (UT)

At the 0930 position report, Gitana 13 still had 105 miles to go to make San Francisco Bay, the final destination of its adventure in the Route de l'Or. Now positioned on a direct course towards the finish, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crew are set to cross the finish line situated on the outskirts of the island of Alcatraz in the next few hours. According to the latest estimates from their meteorologist, Sylvain Mondon, the arrival may well take place between 1200 and 1500 hours (UT), which would...

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28 February
Article

The adventure continues

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27 February
Article

A game of cat and mouse towards San Francisco

After setting out six weeks ago in the conquest of a record never before coveted by a maxi-multihull of Gitana 13's dimensions, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crew are experiencing their final hours at sea on this Route de l'Or. However, the weather situation currently reigning off the American coast, is forcing the men of Gitana Team into a series of tacks, upwind, to reach their final destination. A configuration, which will require them to cover some extra miles.

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26 February
Article

Change of tack towards the finish

Aboard Gitana 13, the countdown is on! Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crew are set to conclude their Route de l'Or record attempt within the next two days, with the new reference time between New York and San Francisco thrown in. Making the most of these last few moments at sea, the ten men aboard the maxi-catamaran are concentrated on sailing their steed at its full potential over the 500 miles, which separate them from the finish this morning.

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25 February
Article

A question of time

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25 February
Article

Less than 1,000 miles to the goal

After setting out from New York over thirty nine days ago to challenge the Route de l'Or record, Gitana 13 passed under the symbolic barrier of 1,000 miles to go, shortly before midnight last night. Currently off the coast of Mexico (State of Lower Southern California), Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crew are on the final sprint to San Francisco.

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23 February
Article

Climbing upwind

Aboard the maxi-catamaran equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild the speed has picked up again. Finally free of the zone of calms yesterday morning, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crew have got back together with weather conditions, which are more favourable to their progress towards San Francisco. These miles nevertheless involve a beat against the NE'ly tradewinds, upwind... a point of sail which isn't really to the taste of the 33 metre catamaran.

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22 February
Article

The Doldrums after the Doldrums

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22 February
Article

Lack of wind

This climb towards San Francisco is proving to be very difficult… Sailing abeam of the coast of Central America this Friday morning (Costa Rica, Nicaragua), the maxi-cataraman equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild is hobbling along to its final destination, still some 1,880 miles away. The reason for this, as stated by the skipper of Gitana 13 yesterday, is that the final stretch of this Route de l'Or course isn't shaping up to be very favourable: this is a result of both the point of sail, which...

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21 February
Article

Final ‘sprint' for Gitana 13

The fifth week at sea for Gitana 13 in the Route de l'Or has been marked by a change of hemisphere – early on Tuesday night – and by the crossing of the tricky Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. And it was with a Doldrums, which proved considerably less cooperative than its Atlantic homologue, that Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crew had to work with. Setting out from New York on 16th January, they are currently positioned less than 2,050 miles from the final destination of San Francisco, after 35...

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21 February
Article

Eclipse of the moon

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20 February
Article

Getting through the doldrums

Gitana 13's recent return to the northern hemisphere corresponds to the second encounter with the Intertropical Convergence Zone for Lionel Lemonchois and his crew on this trip. The various difficulties in this meteorologically complex zone will dominate the attention of the ten men onboard.

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19 February
Article

Gitana 13 back in the north

Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man crew are again plying northern-hemisphere waters. They crossed the equator today, Tuesday 19 February, at 1:56'39' (French time), at a longitude of 97°W. Team Gitana thus spent 26 days 17 hours and 32 minutes covering the 7,500 miles between equator crossings in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

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19 February
Article

Back to the northern hemisphere

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18 February
Article

From one Pacific to the next

The Route de l'Or stretches along both sides of the American continent, where unusual sailing conditions are the norm. Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man crew will have experienced similar weather phenomena only weeks apart. As suggested by its slowing speeds, Gitana 13 is readying for its second tangle with the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and its second equator crossing.

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16 February
Article

One month to the day

As the weekend begins, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man crew are sailing toward the Pacific doldrums as they continue their attempt on the Route de l'Or record. The team left New York on 16 January on this, their second record attempt. The doldrums, well known for unpredictable weather conditions, will break the routine that the maxi-catamaran's men have gotten into over the past few days.

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16 February
Article

Heading northward

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15 February
Article

Climbing the steps

At the end of the afternoon, the maxi-catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild will complete its 30th day at sea. Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man crew are still jibing their way toward the northern hemisphere at a good clip in southeasterly winds blowing at an average of 12 knots.

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15 February
Article

A hive of computer activity

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14 February
Article

Gitana 13 sails up the coast of Chile

Four weeks have already gone by since Gitana 13 left New York on 16 January. After an epic passage around Cape Horn—the ten sailors had to wait five days before being able to round the famous rock due to poor weather—Lionel Lemonchois and his crew entered the Pacific Ocean in blustery conditions.

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14 February
Article

Faster than the route plan

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13 February
Article

The clock is ticking

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13 February
Article

Route selection

This afternoon, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man crew will celebrate the end of their fourth week at sea. They left New York on Wednesday 16 January. As of this morning, the team still has 4,688 miles to go out of the 14,000-mile total distance.

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12 February
Article

The southern-hemisphere trades fill Gitana 13's sails

Gitana 13 is currently sailing up the coast of Chile, 26 days into its attempt on the record from New York to San Francisco. The maxi-catamaran left New York on 16 January.

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12 February
Article

Proper use of the bunk

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11 February
Article

Expected slow-up

Onboard Gitana 13, the thrill of rounding Cape Horn is fading as the crew gets back to business in blustery conditions. Lionel Lemonchois and his crew of nine had a busy weekend, as they had to deal with unstable winds along the coast of Chile.

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11 February
Article

Adios, southern latitudes

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09 February
Article

New low-pressure system coming up

As if to compensate Lionel Lemonchois and his team for the five days they had to wait at the door to the Pacific Ocean, the wind god Zephyr accorded his clemency yesterday to the men of the maxi-catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild. This reprieve was highly appreciated by the team, especially since Gitana 13 was set to run into another low-pressure system off the Chilean coast several hours later.

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08 February
Article

Gitana 13 rounded Cape Horn at 11:54(UT) pm

Gitana 13 rounded Cape Horn from east to west tonight at 11:54 pm (UT). The maxi-catamaran equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild left New York on 16 January to take on the Route de l'Or. With a time of 22 days, 7 hours and 25 minutes, the team has set a new record for this first part of the trip, despite having to spend five days in a holding pattern due to poor weather in the area around the famous rock.

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07 February
Article

Cape Horn here we come

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07 February
Article

FULL STEAM AHEAD!

The maxi-catamaran equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild had to wait five days at the doorstep of Cape Horn due to bad weather. Following one last night in the shelter of Tierra del Fuego, Gitana 13 should be back on its way to San Francisco this morning. Lionel Lemonchois and his crew of nine are back to the business at hand: trying to beat the Route de l'Or record.

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07 February
Article

Awe-inspiring rock

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06 February
Article

Lying low!

For over three days, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crewmates have been sidelined from their attempt on the Route de l'Or record. They have been biding their time of the coast of Tierra del Fuego. Violent storms pummeling the tip of South America have thwarted any attempt at reaching the Pacific Ocean...for now.

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04 February
Article

Gitana 13 in a holding pattern off the coast of Tierra del Fuego

On 16 January, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man crew set out on their attempt to break the record on the Route de l'Or: New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn. But the ten sailors onboard the maxi-catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild have been held up since Saturday evening by the tumult common at the tip of South America.

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02 February
Article

Cape Horn put on hold for Gitana 13

Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man crew knew that the window was small but still thought that they might slip through this morning. Unfortunately, they had to turn back and seek shelter when they learned of the violent winds and high seas forecast for Cape Horn overnight from Sunday to Monday. The ten sailors hope to find somewhere safe to spend a few days along the Tierra del Fuego near the mouth of Lemaire Channel.

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02 February
Article

Cape Horn for his Birthday

For more than 24 hours, Gitana 13's crew has been focusing more on surviving than on sailing. Off the coast of Tierra del Fuego, the maxi-catamaran equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild experienced blustery conditions as it was hit by two successive cold fronts.

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02 February
Article

Lemaire as watchdog

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01 February
Article

Lemaire Channel This Evening

After more than 15 days at sea, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man crew are readying for one of the trickiest sections of their attempt at breaking the record between New York and San Francisco: Cape Horn. The maxi-catamaran, fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, is currently headed toward Tierra del Fuego.

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31 January
Article

The pause before the Horn

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31 January
Article

Gitana 13 off the distant coast of Patagonia

Yesterday, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crewmates were again stopped in their tracks. Forced to cross a high-pressure ridge, the maxi-catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild had to crawl its way out of the system's calm seas in order to get back into some better wind conditions.

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30 January
Article

Gitana 13 to round Cape Horn this weekend

Lionel Lemonchois and the Gitana 13's crew passed the Statue of Liberty over 14 days ago at the start of their journey from New York to San Francisco. This is the first attempt at breaking this legendary record using a maxi-multihull. More than 6,500 miles have already passed beneath the hulls of the 33-meter catamaran equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, and the men of Team Gitana are currently sailing along the coast of Argentina in the "Roaring 40s.”

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29 January
Article

Off the coast of Buenos Aires

Since Sunday afternoon, Gitana 13 has taken advantage of a sustained southeasterly wind to once again chalk up boat speeds more in keeping with its potential. Still cruising along the Uruguayan coast and nearing Argentina—the route chosen to keep a good distance from the Saint Helena high-pressure system—Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man crew are preparing to enter another zone of unstable winds.

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28 January
Article

Here we Go!

Gitana 13 will enter its 12th day at sea at the end of the afternoon. The maxi-catamaran set up by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild left New York on 16 January to attempt to beat the record on the legendary Route de l'Or. After a week of slow progress along the coast of Brazil, the boat is once again enjoying more clement weather conditions and high average speeds.

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26 January
Article

In the arms of Morpheus

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26 January
Article

Putting on the brakes

The maxi-catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild left New York on 16 January in attempt to beat the record on the prestigious Route de l'Or. Gitana 13 entered its 10th day of sailing at the end of the afternoon today. But if Lionel Lemonchois and his crew had hoped to make good time in the southern-hemisphere trade winds, current conditions are not cooperating. The boat's average speed in recent hours has been below 10 knots.

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25 January
Article

Struggle with the elements

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25 January
Article

Approaching a stormy low-pressure system

Lionel Lemonchois and his crew of nine have been sailing along the coast of Brazil for the past 24 hours. At 14° south latitude, the mood is summery onboard Gitana 13. The stifling heat inside the maxi-catamaran's hulls requires shorts and t-shirts. On deck, however, oilskins are quickly donned once the speedometer tops 20 knots.

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24 January
Article

Cape Horn at the end of the month

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24 January
Article

Off the coast of Brazil

Gitana 13 exited the Doldrums yesterday morning and since then has gradually picked up a more sustained air current in the form of easterly winds from the Saint Helena high-pressure system. On Thursday morning, the maxi-catamaran equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild was sailing off Recife, on the northeast coast of Brazil.

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23 January
Article

Gitana 13 crossed the equator on Wednesday at 8:24am

Skipper Lionel Lemonchois and the rest of Gitana 13's crew are entering the second week of sailing along the Route de l'Or (New York – San Francisco via Cape Horn). They left New York on Wednesday, 16 January at 5:29pm (French time). The 33-meter maxi-catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild has already reached the southern hemisphere. After seven days at sea and more than 4,000 miles, skipper Lionel Lemonchois summed up the situation: “We were sure kept busy onboard Gitana 13 these...

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23 January
Article

Chronicle of a successful crossing

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22 January
Article

Entering the Doldrums

On day five of its attempt to break the record from New York to San Francisco, Gitana 13 is now approaching the Doldrums. The boat speed, while kept above 20 knots on average, has considerably slowed onboard the maxi-catamaran owned by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild. This serves as confirmation that Lionel Lemonchois and his crew of nine are currently nearing the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

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21 January
Article

Riding the northeast trades

Gitana 13 left New York on Wednesday, January 16 and is continuing its southward journey on the Atlantic Ocean at a fast clip that should allow Lionel Lemonchois and his crew to reach the Doldrums on Monday.

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20 January
Article

“Little by little, the bird builds its nest”…

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19 January
Article

Through a mouse hole

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19 January
Article

Racing against the high-pressure system

“In recent hours, the chop has turned to swells and we are being shaken around less.” These are the first words from Dominic Vittet, describing more comfortable sailing onboard Gitana 13..."

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18 January
Article

A blustery start

On Wednesday 16 January at 5:29 pm (French time), Gitana 13 raced out of New York in its first record attempt of 2008: the Route de l'Or. Lionel Lemonchois and his crew of nine are headed for San Francisco via Cape Horn.

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18 January
Article

Attacking, with a dose of caution

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17 January
Article

Let the adventure begin!

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16 January
Article

Gitana 13 and Lionel Lemonchois go for new records

Wednesday January 16 will see Lionel Lemonchois and his crew on the Gitana 13, a 33-m-long maxi-catamaran kitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, embark on their 2008 record-breaking spree at 8.00 pm French time. The Gitana Team's program this year will include legendary trails from New York to London and the Asian coastline.

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