Launched on 7 August in Vannes, after an eleven-month build at the Multiplast yard, le Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild was able to put in her first tacks just ten days later offshore of the team’s base in Lorient. However, on Monday of this week, thanks to a boisterous low off the north-west tip of Brittany, Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier (his co-skipper for the Transat Jacques Vabre) opted to trial the machine in some blustery conditions. It proved to be a rather bracing sail which photographer Thierry Martinez and cameraman Christophe Castagne captured in full for Gitana Team.
It’s been a very studious summer for Gitana Team! Indeed, the whole of the team fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild has been working flat out in a bid to complete the build and, on 7 August, ensured the success of the launch of this latest addition to the Gitana saga: the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild. Delivered from Vannes to nearby Lorient immediately afterwards, the latest generation 60-footer went on to have her keel and mast stepped before undergoing a series of tests to check her compliance with the IMOCA class measurement. On 17 August, Sébastien Josse and his men were finally able to cast off and get a first taste of helming this new steed.
At the start of this week, on Monday 24 August, the weather reports announced that a particularly active and deep low was set to roll across Brittany, dishing up 28 to 35 knots of north-westerly breeze accompanied by a 2.5 to 3-metre swell! Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier saw it as the perfect opportunity to validate the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild’s performance in blustery conditions: “It was really interesting to get a chance to sail in these boisterous conditions on what was only our 3rd outing! Our current phase is all about discovering and breaking-in the boat. Even though this type of sailing is giving us some positive signs as to how the boat handles, these outings are just sprints for now so they’re much too short to draw any real conclusions from them. We’ll have to wait till the finish of the Transat Jacques Vabre for that. The very demanding 5,400-mile course (nearly quarter of a round the world circuit) offered up by this double-handed transatlantic race serves as a fantastic trial run,” explained the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild.
With a little less than two months till the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, which sets sail on 25 October from Le Havre, the pace is picking up. Indeed, to stand a chance of being ready to set sail for Brazil, the Edmond de Rothschild duo has a very tight schedule to stick to. In this way, the training sessions will intensify, notably including a 1,000 nautical mile qualifier aboard the new boat, and every opportunity for time on the water will be exploited to the full as Sébastien Josse stresses: “The Transat Jacques Vabre is tomorrow! As a result there’s no time for deliberation. If we get a chance to go sailing, we’re going.”