Saturday, July 24, 2021
Home Sailing Gitana Team on a fresh attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy record

Gitana Team on a fresh attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy record

h-west tip of Brittany prior to 20 February at 01 hours 3 minutes and 15 seconds UTC. In the meantime, the crew has nearly 22,000 nautical miles to cover and a high-speed planetary adventure awaits.

Second attempt and second nocturnal departure

It would seem that moonlit departures are all the rage for the sailors on the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. On 25 November 2020, for Gitana Team’s first attempt at securing the Jules Verne Trophy, te start line was crossed in the intimacy of a pitch-black night, at 02:26 UTC on the dot. A month and a half on, history is repeating itself. Under the cover of darkness, at 01 hours 33 minutes and 46 seconds UTC, Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier and their four crew once again set the stopwatch in motion for this planetary adventure aboard the first maxi-trimaran designed to fly in the open ocean.

It’s worth noting that in late November, the six men had to interrupt their passage down the North Atlantic following damage to the giant’s port rudder and foil after colliding with a UFO (unidentified floating object). Back in Lorient by early December, they were able to count on the reactivity of the shore crew to make a rapid repair and return to standby before the festive season. Since then, everyone has been awaiting the right weather window and in recent days the eagerness to get back out on the racetrack as quickly as possible has been evident. .Gitana Team on a fresh attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy recordGitana Team on a fresh attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy record

A rapid course and some compromises

“We’ll have a NE’ly breeze of 15-20 knots on the line, with a very manageable sea. However, things will fill out rapidly and the first 24 hours should involve quite a lot of wind and manœuvres, especially around Cape Finisterre, before we can hook up with the trade wind”, explained Franck Cammas briefly. Along the length of the Iberian peninsula, everything will already be about compromise and the crew will have to thread its way along a narrow corridor of breeze to gain southing, whilst ensuring they are neither too close to the coast where the wind could run out of puff, nor too far offshore where they may be subject to heavy seas that do little to benefit speed.
The real difficulty of this start of the Jules Verne Trophy attempt is to try to pinpoint and then get a handle on the highly decisive weather sequence between the north and south so as to get down to the Southern Ocean as quickly as possible. To do this, the Cammas-Caudrelier pairing and their four crew know that they must be precise in their trajectory if they are to keep pace with the tempo set by the weather pattern. According to the latest routing, the passage times for the first third of the course are promising. The equator is accessible within a sub-5-day time and Cape Agulhas could be in their wake in under 12 days.

A whole team in their wake

Whilst the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild was preparing to cast off to the applause of a public who had come out in force despite the wintry atmosphere reigning on Saturday afternoon, Cyril Dardashti, the director of Gitana Team, made no secret of his delight: “We’re launching off on our second departure this winter and we’re very happy that this window is opening up to enable the crew to get out on the water and show what they’re made of. It’s been a month since the boat was repaired and we’ve been preparing to snap up a favourable opportunity. Taking on the Jules Verne Trophy is one of the main objectives in our programme. Together with Team Verdier, we devised and designed this boat for this type of major record with the goal of experiencing offshore flight. It’s a real pleasure to truly fulfil the brief. The times planned by Marcel van Triest and the routing are good to both the equator and Cape Agulhas, the crew and the boat are ready to go, so it’s safe to say that we couldn’t ask for more! The guys are keen to get going and our owners, the shore crew and all the associates of the Edmond de Rothschild Group are behind them. For the boat to set sail and pit itself against this fabulous record is just what we were all waiting for!”

Sailors’ impressions

Franck Cammas: “We’re delighted to have this fine window opening ahead of us. It’s our second attempt and we’re approaching it with a great deal more hope than the first. Added to that, the conditions are in our favour for this nocturnal, moonless yet star-studded departure. It’s sure to be chilly, but we’ll very soon hook up with warmer latitudes. Everything’s going to play out very quickly. I hope that we’re going to be successful, even though it’s a lengthy adventure taking shape ahead of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild’s bows. After the start, we have 24 hours with quite a lot of breeze and some manœuvres, especially around Cape Finisterre, before we hook onto the trade wind. It’s really nice to find ourselves in the thick of the action as a crew. Fingers crossed that we’ll make it back to Brest as soon as possible after fully completing our big lap of the planet.”

Charles Caudrelier: “It was a bit of a long wait. At Christmas, when the window closed back up, we were a bit worried. We could have set sail two or three days ago as the North Atlantic was very good, however the South Atlantic remained very average. We’ve tried to combine the two, which isn’t easy as there is still a degree of uncertainty. Again it’s not perfect, but we’re into January and we’ve rarely had such a good window. Our first attempt had the benefit of enabling us to get out sailing together in some boisterous conditions. Today, we’re more than ready and the team has done a fantastic job with great attention to detail. Beyond the performance element, we’ve made gains in reliability and that is essential for beating this record, which will be very hard to achieve. For the past week, our impatience to get going has become ever greater. We’ve been observing, analysing and shifting the departure slot every day. This will be my third crewed round the world following on from two Volvo Ocean Races, but the first one in record mode. It’s a whole new adventure and I’m delighted to get the opportunity to experience it and I realise just how lucky we are to be able to live out our dreams.”

Yann Riou: “On a personal level, I find this is more pleasant than the first departure; the weather’s good, it’s daytime, there’s a big crowd and our nearest and dearest are here so it’s really lovely to be leaving today. That said, it’s still a bit tough to bid farewell to your family when you set off on a round the world. However, I’m very happy to be stepping aboard this magnificent boat once again. I have a dual role in this Jules Verne Trophy as I’m both a sailor and a media man. Start days, like those related to the intermediate passage times for example, are very busy days. After sending off the departure images to enable you to get a real insight into the passage across the line in the middle of the night, I’ll be able to gradually get into my role as crewman and take up my watches! I cannot wait…”

Erwan Israël: “The Jules Verne Trophy may well be the finest sailing record there is and with it comes the opportunity to sail on some extraordinary boats. I know Franck and Charles very well having competed in the Volvo Ocean Race with them nearly ten years ago. To be sailing with them once again, aboard what is a fine machine for breaking this record, is absolutely brilliant!”

- Advertisment -

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.


Heesen is delighted to announce the delivery of YN 19550 MY Ela

Heesen is delighted to announce the delivery of YN 19550 MY Ela, formerly known as Project Altea. This magnificent yacht set sail...

Ice Yachts presents the Ice 70, designed by Felci Yacht Design

Elegance in the style choices, harmonious both internally and externally, in which classic and modern style elements are based, thus emphasizing exclusivity and...

Royal Huisman’s launch of the 58.5m / 192ft motoryacht PHI

One of this year's highlights is the launch of the 58.5m / 192ft motoryacht PHI at Royal Huisman's newbuild facility in Vollenhove,...

ISA Super Sportivo 100ft GTO, naval engineering by Studio Arnaboldi

Born into the profession, Marco Arnaboldi inherited the passion for yacht design from his father Angelo, but also his love for speed....

ClubSwan One Designs will compete at the 39 Copa del Rey MAPFRE

ClubSwan is the prestigious marque for those one-design boats built by the prestigious Finnish shipyard Nautor's Swan. ClubSwan first joined the Copa...

The Italian Sea Group: delivery of the new EVO120 motor yacht

Tecnomar, brand by The Italian Sea Group, global operator in the luxury yachting industry, active in the construction and refit of motor...

Zeelander Yachts’ flagship Z72 will debut at Cannes Yachting Festival

Zeelander Yachts is going to Cannes Yachting Festival (September 7-12) with a strong presence as the renowned Dutch shipyard will display two...

Canyon di Caprera project: research activities on cetaceans continue

From the 20th to the 23rd of July, One Ocean Foundation will be in in Sardinia for the positioning of three acoustic...

Lürssen presents project 13800 at the upcoming Monaco Yacht Show

Lürssen is delighted to reveal that they will be displaying the latest delivery from the yard at the Monaco Yacht Show this...

Record breaking Sanlorenzo Superyacht: 3 launches in 15 days

Three new launches for Sanlorenzo Superyacht which, in just 15 days, has launched the fourth and fifth units of the ALLOY and...