Route de L'Or
Gitana: a genuine passion for sailing
Von New York um Kap Hoorn nach San Franzisko

Press Release No.7
Thursday 28th February – 1730 hours UT

La Route de l’Or (New York – San Francisco)
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 San Francisco at an average speed of 15.88 knots and thus set their first record time in their 2008 record campaign.

Setting out from New York on 16th January 2008, Lionel Lemonchois and his crew made San Francisco this Thursday 28th February shortly after sunrise on the Golden Gate Bridge. After over six weeks’ navigation, their names will be listed as the new titleholders of this legendary record, created in honour of the ‘Gold’ seekers of the XIXth century. The winner of the Route du Rhum 2006 at the helm of Gitana 11, now ‘captain’ of the maxi-catamaran, gives us his first impressions.

A brief history
In the 80’s, racers – whether in crewed or solo configuration - re-established the prestigious “New York – San Francisco” route as the fashion of the time and measured themselves against the time set in 1854 by the clipper Flying Cloud. The time of 89 days 8 hours, which was to reindex the reference time for over 135 years! The reasoning behind this is that the 14,000 miles course between the East coast and the West coast of America, is far from simple. Evidence of this came from 1983 to 1994, with nine yachts setting off on this historic route, and only five of then managing to make San Francisco, three of them with a new record under their belt. Dismastings, shipwrecks and capsizes were to mark the history of the Route de l’Or.
1989 was to be the year with the greatest number of attempts, a total of five yachts taking the start. Four of them made San Francisco but only two managed to get the record. Warren Luhrs and his two crew, aboard the monohull Thursday’s Child, were the first to dethrone Captain Josiah Perkins Cressy and improve on the time of the Flying Cloud by over 8 days. Some months later, the trimaran Great American tried its hand and wiped the slate clean by establishing a new reference time of 76 days 23 hours and 20 minutes. In 1994, the sailor Isabelle Autissier, who had a certain Lionel Lemonchois among her crew, then went on to snatch the record with a time of 62 days 5 hours and 55 minutes.
It is within this context that the idea of a race with 60 foot monohulls between New York and San Francisco saw the light of day … it was quite naturally christened La Route de l’Or and set off from New York in January 1998! The technological progress and the appeal of a close contact race drove Yves Parlier and his crew to cross the finish line, in the form of the Golden Gate Bridge, after 57 days 3 hours and 21 minutes.

The crew of Gitana 13 between New York and San Francisco
Lionel Lemonchois (Skipper / helmsman / watch leader) Dominic Vittet (navigator) Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (helmsman/ watch leader) Ludovic Aglaor (helmsman/ watch leader) Olivier Wroczynski (trimmer /onboard computer manager) Fred Le Maistre (trimmer) Nicolas Raynaud (trimmer / Video manager) David Boileau (No.2 / trimmer/ Manager of deck fittings) Léopold Lucet (No.1 / Supplies and Medical Manager) Florent Chastel (No.1 / trimmer)

Figures of the record
The time to beat: 57 days 3 hours 21 minutes 45 seconds, record set by Yves Parlier and his crew in 1998
Start from New York: Wednesday 16th January, at 1629 (UT)
Passage of the equator: Wednesday 23rd January at 0724 (UT), (Atlantic Coast) Passage time - 6 days 14 hours 52 minutes
Passage of Cape Horn: Friday 7th February at 2354 (UT), Passage time - 22 days 7 hours 25 minutes
Passage at the equator: Tuesday 19th February at 1256 (UT), (Pacific coast) Passage time - 26 days 17 hours 32 minutes

Gitana13 Route de l'Or

Gitana13 Route de l'Or

Gitana13, Rekordfahrt: New York - Kap Hoorn - San Franzisko
Gitana S.A.

Gitana13, Maxi-Trimaran mit Segel-Hightec auf Rekordfahrt um Kap Hoorn
Gitana S.A.

Gitana 13 an Kap Hoorn bei Rekordfahrt New York-San Franzisko
Foto: Gitana S.A.

Gitana 13, nach 6 Tagen am Äquator

Gitana 13, Rekordfahrt New York, Kap Hoorn, San Franzisko
Foto: Yvan Zedda Gitana S.A.

Maxi-Trimaran vor Start in New York
Foto: Billy Black Gitana S.A.
Gitana, a passion for sailing
Spurred on by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, the Gitana story opened towards multihulls in 2000 with Gitana IX. An ‘armada’ followed with Gitana X in 2002, Gitana 11 (Ex-Belgacom) in 2004, then Gitana 12 (Ex-Bonduelle) in 2006 to replace Gitana X. In 2007, a year after the arrival of Loïck Peyron at the head of the Gitana Team, the fleet diversified: Gitana 11, the 60 foot Orma multihull and outright winner of the Route du Rhum 2006, was then accompanied by Gitana Eighty, a 60 foot Imoca monohull, and Gitana 13, a 33 metre maxi-catamaran was devoted to discovery. Crewed records for Gitana 13 and solo races for Gitana Eighty: this new season already promises to etch some fine lines in the histories of the Gitana boats…

Discover all the latest news about the Gitana Team at
Kate Jennings
Expression. P.O. Box 26, Dartmouth, DEVON. TQ6 0YG United Kingdom +44 (0)7795 116699

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