We ask top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times. Johan Salen nominates Gitana 17

“The Ultimes to me are the most technologically advanced and fastest boats that you can still go offshore with, at incredible speeds and at the same time a robustness and all round performance: 30 knots upwind on the ocean! So I think they are technically the peak of sailing at the moment,” says Salen, who nominates the giant trimaran Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, also known as Gitana 17.

Gitana 17 is a 32m fully foiling trimaran built to a Verdier design to compete in both crewed (by a team of six) and solo races and record attempts. Skippered by Charles Caudrelier, it has won the Rolex Fastnet Race, Transat Jacques Vabre and Brest Atlantiques.

Photo: Benoît Stichelbaut/Gitana SA

“Gitana in particular, even though it’s not the most recent Ultime, has very good sailors who have constantly been evolving it so that at the moment it is the most optimised boat,” continues Salen.

“It’s so big and powerful, and to see the whole thing up in the air is really incredible.”

Make sure you check out our full list of Coolest Yachts.

Gitana 17 stats rating

Top speed: 50.7 knots
LOA: 32m/104ft
Launched: 2017
Berths: 1-3
Price: c.€12million
Adrenalin factor: 98%

Johan Salen

The Swedish co-owner of The Ocean Race and former co-president of the Volvo Ocean Race, Johan Salen has been involved with the race since competing in it in the late 1980s. Also a former professional windsurfer, Salen has previously cruised around the world on an Outremer with his wife and son and now lives aboard a Fountaine Pajot Aura 51.

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