Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gitana 13 on it's way...

Whilst the Summer Olympics are in full swing in China, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crew have bid farewell to Asia. The maxi-catamaran in the colours of the LCF Rothschild Group crossed the start line of the Tea Route – Hong Kong / London – this Thursday 14th August at 0755’32” UT (1555’32” local time). On this course spanning over 14,000 miles the sailors of Gitana Team are targeting a time of around forty days to make Europe and the city of London.

It is already over eight months that Lionel Lemonchois and his men have been sailing the length and breadth of the world’s oceans aboard Gitana 13. This morning, they cast off once again, bound for the open sea. Ahead of the 33 metre catamaran lies a seventh and final reference time to beat in order to conclude a record campaign, which has already provided them with a wealth of lessons and discoveries.

Following on from the Route de l’Or, for which they’ve held the new record of 43 days 3 minutes 18 seconds since last February, the sailors from Gitana Team are tackling another legendary course: the Tea Route. This prestigious commercial route has seen some of the largest clippers of the XIXth century battling across this selective course, which begins with a close-hauled navigation across the China Sea and then the Java Sea, prior to entering the Indian Ocean. -