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Collision With UFO A Setback For Gitana

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  • Collision With UFO A Setback For Gitana

    Back to work for the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild
    Having set off for offshore training on Friday during the day, the crew of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild returned to their home port in Lorient on early Monday morning. After a rapid start to navigation towards the Fastnet lighthouse, the 32-meter giant headed south in the Bay of Biscay. And while it was sailing at high speeds on Sunday morning, the maxi-trimaran collided with an UFO. An encounter which caused damage to the Maxi's central hull as well as to its appendages, thus forcing Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier and their crew to interrupt their navigation and return to Lorient. Timing is all the more tight as a serious low pressure episode is expected on La Manche and the Atlantic coast from this Monday evening.

    The shock with a UFO, the stress of any outing
    “We were at 30 knots, which is high when a shock occurs but what remains our“ cruising speed ”with the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. We felt a shock first on the rudder then a fairly brutal second on the central hull rudder. Everything happens very quickly and it is always complicated to identify things but the impact was dry and it was a hard material ” explained Charles Caudrelier, one of the two skippers of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild on his return to Earth.

    At these speeds, encounters with UFOs (unidentified floating object) are unfortunately rarely without damage… In the impact, the central hull rudder wick, located at the very rear of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, was severed. A damage that resulted in the loss of the appendix as well as structural damage around it. Before being able to set sail for Lorient, the crew had to secure the Maxi and manage a small waterway.

    The goal of Fastnet's departure

    Faced with these unforeseen events, and despite the frustration that could be read this morning on the faces of the two skippers of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and of all the members of the Gitana Team, the team with the five arrows knows that action is indeed the better reaction. Thus, as soon as the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild arrived at the Kéroman base pontoon, the team wasted no time and got down to work. First of all to assess the extent of the damage with greater precision, then to organize handling over the next few days and the needs of the site to come.

    “It is never pleasant this type of mishap but unfortunately we know that shocks are part of the equation when we are sailing. We have it in mind every time we go out. There was damage to the boat and in particular to the rear of the central hull at the location of the rudder. We will have to take the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild out of the water in the next few days. We had planned our qualification for the Jacques Vabre and a lot of sailing… but that's how it is! We are going to adapt to the new schedule imposed on us by this damage. It is part of the life of offshore racing projects and the positive point is that we should be able to be back to take the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race at the beginning of August ” concluded Charles Caudrelier.

    In fact, within the Gitana Team, it's a race against time that begins so that the crew can quickly find their way back to training and that this episode is nothing more than a bad memory.
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