Gitana is making big changes to its sailing program. The French team is to drop monohull sailing and focus on multihulls. The ORMA 60, Gitana 11, which shattered the Route du Rhum record, with Lionel Lemonchois at the helm, is to get new floats and an extended central hull and will become a 70 footer. This is to keep it competitive in a the Route du Rhum that is getting back to its roots and opening its doors to large ocean going multihulls: from the ORMA 60 footers to the maxis from the G Class. This recaptures the initial idea by Michel Etevenon, the event’s creator, that the Route du Rhum should be a transatlantic race associated with freedom.
Gitana will also take part in the iShares Cup along with Groupama. The casualty is Gitana 80, which has been sold to Barcelona’s Fundació per la Navegació Oceànica, an organization which aims to promote ocean sailing in Spain. After a technical fine tuning at La Trinité-sur-Mer, the boat, in its new livery, will begin an intense preparation program with a view to participating in the second edition of the Barcelona World Race.