|New Chapter in Offshore Racing
The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, measuring 32 metres long and 23 metres wide, is undergoing her final few months in the yard after a build process spanning over a year and a half. Scheduled to launch this July, the mission has been to create a flying offshore maxi-trimaran.
A new chapter in the history of offshore racing is very likely being written. Who could have wagered just ten years ago that a multihull of this size would be capable of flying around the world driven by just one skipper? And yet, this is the gamble accepted by owners Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild.
Designed by naval architect Guillaume Verdier and his team in collaboration with the Gitana design office, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is paving the way forward for a new generation of large offshore multihulls. Indeed, it will be part Archimedean boat (submerged hull), part flying craft.
Built at the Multiplast yard in Vannes, the boat features purposeful planing hulls beneath the waterline that are both aggressive and innovative and a far cry from those used on the current fleet of oceanic multihulls. Everything about the forms of the floats and the central hull shouts flight.
With everything geared towards flight, she will be equipped with T-foil rudders and L-shaped foils. A great deal of care having gone into the aerodynamics of the platform, for which the forms of the beams in particular testify to this as does the integration of the living space/ cockpit between the two beams.
The broad outline of the sports programme for the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has already been established for the next three seasons. Christened Gitana 17, she has been devised, developed and built with the focus on solo sailing, though she will also be the ideal boat for crewed races as well as the major records.
Entrusted to the expert hands of Sébastien Josse, the skipper of the Edmond de Rothschild craft since 2011, the first official competition for the Maxi will take place this November for the famous double-handed transatlantic race, the Transat Jacques Vabre between Le Havre and Salvador de Bahia, in Brazil. For this trial run, Sébastien Josse will be accompanied by the navigator Thomas Rouxel.
Hailing from the Figaro network of excellence, the Breton sailor is one of the loyal members of the sailing team on the Edmond de Rothschild craft and boasts a wealth of offshore experience that notably includes a Volvo Ocean Race and a Jules Verne Trophy. The Route du Rhum 2018 and a solo round the world in the autumn of 2019 will round off this programme.
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