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The Next Step For Gitana 17

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  • The Next Step For Gitana 17

    After a busy summer, which saw Maxi Edmond de Rothschild sign his first victory at the Rolex Fastnet Race but which also allowed the duo Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier to validate his qualification for the Brest Atlantiques, the giant 32 meters had found its technical base on August 26 for a few weeks. Scheduled in the 2019 calendar, this grounding had a double objective for the members of the Gitana Team. Two months before the departure of Brest Atlantiques, a general check structure, appendices and systems was needed but the team with five arrows also took advantage of these three weeks to continue its development and install a great novelty aboard the Maxi; a rear arm fairing that completes the aerodynamics of the platform.

    To stand still is to retreat from the competition"
    These few words of Franck Cammas summarize the philosophy of the skipper alone but they are also a perfect synthesis of the state of mind in which the members of the Gitana Team work daily: to pursue innovation to reach the goal set as of genesis of the project.

    A novelty appeared on Monday aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and it did not go unnoticed! 32 m 2 of stretch fabric was added to the rear of the rear link arm. A fairing that perfectly fits the shape of the arm and finish it elegantly. But as you can imagine, aesthetics was not the first concern of the team with five arrows and it is the performance that guided this new innovation.
    This rear arm fairing existed in the initial design of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and Guillaume Verdier had even thought of the front and rear arms as sections of aerodynamic geometry. The aero CFD studies showed a real gain to proceed with this addition and the timing allowed us so we did not hesitate for a long time to do it " confided Franck Cammas who was one of the pioneers in this way with Groupama 2 on the front arm fairings.

    "With the current speeds of our boats, the aerodynamic brake is almost as important as the hydrodynamic brake. But the hydrodynamic part is neat for many years by designers and sailors, much more than what happens above. Until recently, aero was often in the background on the scale of concerns. The strength of Gitana and Guillaume Verdier was to think and build the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild with this aerodynamic vision, which allows us today to make improvements that are consistent with the boat, "said the skipper.
    A gain of almost 1 knot at certain speeds

    "This new shape not only reduces drag, because it retains the flow but also creates lift which will have a lightening effect on the platform. This fairing has been made in Oratex, it is a soft interlining such as found on the wings of glider or ULM. This represents an additional area of ​​about 32 m 2 for a weight of nearly 50 kg. Optimally, studies predict a gain of more than 1 knot at 30 knots boat speed. Finally, this canvas can grow up to 10 times its weight, " explained S├ębastien Sainson, the director of the Gitana design office.

    This type of fairing has become commonplace on the boats of the America's Cup but it is the first time that an offshore racing team has set up a structure of this type on a boat dedicated to the high seas:"Dogzilla, the American multihull of Oracle, with whom they won the Cup in Valencia, was the first to dare this novelty. Then eventually all the AC 72 and more recently the F50 of the last Cup were equipped. In our case, it is more implementation and realization that have requested studies because unlike the boats of the America's Cup we can not afford to dismantle or redo the system every night. We had a stakes of solidity to propose a structure able to withstand days of navigation at high speeds. Now the timing seemed good, especially since the addition of this fairing does not affect the reliability of the Maxi. If it were to be damaged at sea, it would of course be unfortunate but it would in no way detract from the intrinsic performance of the boat. "

    The addition of the rear arm fairing in the time allotted is a new illustration of the strength of the collective that reigns in the armed team by Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild. Indeed, it took nearly two months of work in terms of studies; seven versions of shapes were made before obtaining the final version and three manufacturing schemes were proposed before the one finally selected. In terms of achievement, ten people were mobilized within the Gitana Team to help meet the tight deadline of two and a half weeks.

    Earn double miles
    This release marks the resumption of training and the beginning of the countdown to Brest Atlantiques. Indeed, in 49 days, on November 3, the four duos in the running for this 14,000-mile premiere on the Atlantic will start from the tip of Finistere. In the meantime, the navigation program of Charles Caudrelier and Franck Cammas promises to be full. Do not change their good habits, the skippers of Edmond de Rothschild intend to multiply the outings and make the most of the weather conditions that will want to offer the next weeks to complete their preparation. A joint training camp is already planned with the Macif team in early October.
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