Baron Benjamin de Rothschild has unveiled at the Yacht Club de France (Paris), the tenth yacht in the Gitana saga, a 60 ft (18.28 m) trimaran which is set to break the mould

Baron Benjamin de Rothschild has unveiled at the Yacht Club de France (Paris), the tenth yacht in the Gitana saga, a 60 ft (18.28 m) trimaran whose construction is being finished at the Multiplast yard.

Whilst the rules dictating the building of Orma (1) multihulls are relatively simple, 18.28 m (60 ft) long and a maximum air draught of 30.40 m (100 ft) above the water, and a ban on lateral ballast tanks, these constraints have resulted, like in Formula 1, in a real homogenisation of the fleet. So to gain in performance without loosing reliability, it is therefore necessary to search for new solutions by taking a fresh look, with calculated management of the risks. This was the approach that preceded the building of Gitana 10.

Whilst the Multiplast yard was quickly selected by the Gitana Team to build this new trimaran, her design was the result of a significant mix of cultures and architectural know-how. Indeed, Gitana 10 was born out of the close collaboration of three design offices: the Swiss Sébastien Scmidt, the American Duncan Maclane and the French Gilles Ollier Design Team, bringing together widespread experience from as many nationalities. An ambitious programme because it envisaged reinventing a 60 ft multihull by posing all the fundamental questions, the first being should it be a trimaran or a catamaran. This lengthy approach needed a reflection period of a year to fix the current concept.

Being very keen on pure regatta type races, the Gitana Team wanted a boat that would perform well round three cans and with a full compliment of crew, but it also had to perform well single-handed on the open ocean. It was around this difficult compromise that the new Gitana was designed.

The most visible of the solutions chosen to satisfy the required demands is the “X” formed by the crossbeams that link the central hull with the floats. Apart from excellent weight centring and increased stiffness of the platform, it enables a huge cockpit to be organised in the aft part of the central hull, ideal for manoeuvring with a full crew. The mast is stepped at the point where the “X” crosses, a place that was particularly delicate to design and build.

In a spirit of future evolution, the mast that cants both longitudinally and laterally, has a fairly narrow chord (width), weighing less than a wing mast. This will reduce pitching and the boat will accelerate quickly after tacking and gybing.

The boat should be complete soon, at which time she will undergo sea trials in preparation for, amongst other events, the Route du Rhum later this year.