Tea Race for Gitana 13!
Aboard the 32.50-meter maxi catamaran Gitana 13 designed by the Gilles Ollier Design Team and built by Multiplast, French skipper Lionel Lemonchois and his 9 crews went just to catch the new time reference between Honk Kong and Londonon the Tea Race in 41d 21h 26min & 34s, at an average speed of 15.23 knots on the 15 312 miles course.
Created in 2000 by the Gilles Ollier Design Team, Gitana 13 has today more than 150 000 miles in her rake and quite 4 Round The World. First skippers was French Loïck Peyron & American Skip Novak during The Race 2000, who finished 2nd behind her sister ship Club Med. Thus, she will be helmed as Orange by French Bruno Peyron
for a new victory in the Trophée Jules Verne in 2002. He will be after in Ellen MacArthur team for an other attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy, than in the Gitana Team in 2006 for a 2 years successful offshore records campaign. Lionel Lemonchois : "... Gitana 13 is a good boat. She remains reliable and safety year after year. She is a pleasant multihull to sail. And she gets better performances today than when she has been launched in 2000 for The Race. Major modifications done by the Gitana Team in collaboration with Multiplast as the heightening of the forward crossbeam (30 cm) make the boat s better in rough sea and waves ; and we feel in a high degree of safety. The new higher mast (plus 1.50 m) in order to be better in light airs has also been part of her right ability to sail. I believe with all of that and the improvement of the fitting done by the Gitana Team, she is a right boat. We went just to end a 2-year campaign all over the world without problem...". Words of the Route du Rhum's winner can be taken in high consideration, who have finished 3rd on The Race aboard Team Adventure, sister ship of Gitana 13 and Club Med, winner of the event.
Everybody knows Gitana 13's skipper is an aficionado of surfing on offshore multihulls, with so many miles in his rake. When you ask him what is the better time aboard Gitana 13 – it is recent – Lionel talks immediately: "... it was not so longer, during the Tea Race, when we have crossed Sunda Strait (between Java & Sumatra Islands). We were on reaching at 120° and sailing at a speed of 40 knots, with the upwind hull just over the water, in long and funny surfs. Magic!...". And as an other comparison, we can listen Lionel's affirmations who was part of Bruno Peyron's crew during his fantastic RTW record aboard Orange II – the 37-meter big brother of Gitana 13, in 50d and 16h. Lionel Lemonchois: "... Gitana 13 and Orange II have been designed and built by same architects and shipyard the Gilles Ollier Design Team and Multiplast. It's the same philosophy. Orange II is just bigger and her performances are in accordance...". In fact, Orange II has really higher free-boards and goes better in the waves. She is more powerful and quicker!
Gitana 13 highlights (ex Innovation Explorer / Orange / B & Q Castorama)
2008 / Gitana 13 / Record Route du Thé (Honk-Kong – Londres) / 41j 21h 26' 34" (Skipper Lionel Lemonchois)
2008 / Gitana 13 / Record Pacifique Nord (San Francisco – Yokohama) / 11j 00h 12' 55" (Skipper Lionel Lemonchois)
2008 / Gitana 13 / Record Route de l'Or (New York – San Francisco, via le Cap Horn) / 43j 00h 03' 18" (Skipper Lionel Lemonchois)
2002 / Orange / Trophée Jules Verne / Record tour du monde / 64j 08h 37' 24" (Skipper Bruno Peyron)
2001 / second de The Race / Tour du monde / 64j 22h 32' 38" / Skippers Loïck Peyron & Skip Novak)
Tea Race has been the playground of big maritime exploits and the beginning of sailing offshore records. At the 19th century, American and English clippers have had fantastic and strong battles to be the first on London docks. In fact, the first moored – without taking in consideration the 10 shillings bonus by ton of freight for the winner – had the privilege to fix the price and sold her cargo at the higher price. The 1866 year has been the year of reference for the Tea Race with 16 clippers on the course from China to England. The most well known "regattas" remains the one with the Taeping (60.26 m) versus Ariel (60.60 m) where the distance between the two vessels on the 15 000 miles of the course, will rarely been over 1 mile after a 99-day trip! Teaping win, being the first to disembark her freight of new tea on London docks; and in 1872, the fantastic and hard battles between the Cutty Sark (64.80 m) and the Thermopylae (64.65m). The opening of the Suez canal in 1869 will be the end of the clipper's hegemony on the Tea Road, replaced by the steamers. In modern sailing, French single handed skipper Philippe Monnet will be the first to beat the Teaping in 1990 aboard his 16-meter trimaran Elle & Vire in 67d & 10h. Trimaran with the one French skipper Philippe Poupon had had the line honours of the singlehanded transatlantic race Ostar in 1984.