ULTIM. GITANA launches construction of new maxi-trimaran


The announcement was eagerly awaited. It is a new maxi-trimaran that the Gitana Team is going to build. Designed by Guillaume Verdier’s team and the Gitana design team, Gitana 18 is due to be launched in September 2025.

With 150 years of maritime history, the Gitana boats are undeniably part of the history of sailing. A lineage that is not about to end with the official announcement – this Thursday – of the launch of the construction of a new Maxi Edmond de Rothschild.
If Gitana 17 shook up the standards nearly seven years ago with the advent of ocean racing, its successor, a 32-meter-long, 23-meter-wide Ultim, should not be lacking in arguments either. Designed to respect the architectural framework of the class (dimensions and main rules), this new unit will nonetheless retain a certain freedom for targeted developments, as was the case with Gitana 17, notably on servoing issues. In the words of its principal architect, this maxi will once again be a 2-in-1: archimedean and flying, solo and crewed, racing and record-breaking; a veritable Swiss Army knife that will be the fruit of a high-flying design team bringing together Guillaume Verdier and his team, joined on this project by Benjamin Muyl in particular, and the Gitana design office, headed by Sébastien Sainson, more involved than ever in the design.

An even more distinctive boat for long crossings and great challenges
At first glance, Gitana 18 may resemble her predecessor, but in reality the two giants will be very different, despite a similar platform geometry. The specifications for the new five-arrow unit are based on two unchanging principles: improving the “engine”, i.e. the sails and everything above deck, and limiting drag. In terms of aerodynamics, a major effort will be devoted to the platform, since this Maxi will be the first to be built around a new visibility rule, as well as to the rigging. In terms of hydrodynamics, all the appendages (foils, rudders, daggerboard) will be redesigned to fly earlier, and will benefit not only from the state of the art, but also and above all from the expertise acquired thanks to the wealth of data collected on Gitana 17. Last but not least, the new Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has been designed with the clear intention of having a boat that is even more suited to long crossings and major challenges, in particular to improve performance at high speeds in rough seas.

Built at CDK Technologies
The Gitana 18 project also includes a major innovation: the new giant will be built at CDK Technologies. The team with the five arrows has chosen to place its trust in Stéphane Digard and his teams at CDK Group. Their recent achievements with Ultims and other classes, the seriousness of their approach, the quality of their infrastructures with a state-of-the-art industrial tool that meets all expectations and manufacturing processes motivated the final choice. And let’s not forget the proximity of Gitana, an asset both for project management and for the impact management approach in place at Gitana. Pierre Tissier, Gitana’s technical director, will oversee construction.
The first carbon plies of this new giant will be draped in the coming weeks, while the launch is scheduled for September 2025.

Guillaume Verdier, architect of Gitana 17 and the future Maxi Edmond de Rothschild:
In the project for the first Maxi Edmond de Rothschild I liked the challenge, the blank page, but also the collective approach thanks to which we designed the boat. The teamwork with my collaborators – Véronique Soulé, Romaric Neyhousser, Hervé Penfornis, Loïc Goepfert and Romain Garo among others – but also the trust in which the fine-tuning with the Gitana team took place. It didn’t all work out straight away – that’s a bit inherent when you’re really innovating – but we found the solutions together, and the results are there for all to see. We had to dare, and Ariane (de Rothschild) and Gitana dared! Today, we want to continue the story. With this new boat, we’re all keen to take the next step, and there’s a lot of material out there. We’re still perhaps a third of the way through our knowledge of ocean flight. In the new project, studies have shown that there is potential. There will be small steps and big technological breakthroughs. And it’s the arbitration of all this that will create this new Maxi. We’re working on a boat which will have the same strengths in terms of performance, but which will make up for what we’ve identified as weak points. Sustainability is also a key criterion in our approach, and we’re looking for as many innovative solutions as possible to minimize impact and the resulting damage. We’ve also given a lot of thought to integrating the sailor into the platform, as the efforts made by these boats are not at all on a human scale, and it’s also our responsibility to make this accessible to the sailor. I’m always interested in seeking out and discovering things that aren’t necessarily expected along the way, and then meeting new people. Today, we form a unique design team with Gitana’s design office, which is certainly one of the keys to success”.

@Voiles & Voiliers