Sunday, 7 April 2013

Tour de Belle-Ile and MOD 70 : Brief Interview with Gitana's Seb Josse, the Tour de Belle-Ile Record Holder

The MOD70 Gitana XV, skippered by Seb Josse. Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Gitana SA.

After their return from a week’s training at Port-Le-Forêt along with the Oman Sail MOD70, Anne Hinton caught up with Gitana XV’s (MOD70) skipper, Seb Josse, just before the team-debrief session in Lorient. The interview was held in French with audio available here.

Gitana Team have both a MOD70 (Gitana XV) and the large multihull Gitana 11 at present. Seb Josse explains his choice of Gitana 11 for the Tour de Belle-Ile as due to its being a day race, and, moreover, a speed race. The previous year he sailed the MOD70, Gitana XV, in the Tour de Belle-Ile, and won. The year before that it was Gitana 11, with which he not only won the race, but also set the speed record. He admits changing boats from year to year – and it may be the MOD70, Gitana XV again next year!

Seb Josse. Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Gitana SA.

Asked about the competition, which comes in the large form of Lionel Lemonchois’ Prince de Bretagne 80 this year, Seb Josse says that this is interesting. The boats are similar (Gitana 11 and Prince de Bretagne 80) so it will be interesting to see how they go against each other. There is also the MOD70 Spindrift in the Tour de Belle-Ile this year. “That’s three multihulls that may break the [course] record,” said Josse.

The crew will stay the same as the MOD70 for Gitana 11 and the Tour de Belle-Ile, except for Seb Col, who has a prior commitment, racing a Wally, with a crew of more than twenty people to organize for that. [Seb Col won the largest class, the J80, at Spi OuestFrance – Intermarché, this year, and is also sailing in the Tour de France à la Voile 2013 with Sodebo. He won the Tour de France à la Voile on board the M34 TPM-COYCH in 2012.]

This past week the MOD70 Gitana XV and Oman Sail’s MOD70, Musandam, have been training together at Port-Le-Forêt.  “It is always very close as the class is a one design,” says Josse. “It is the beginning of the season, so good to bring the crew work together.” Gitana XV will keep the same crew until the tour of Europe, the Route des Princes. The ArMen Race and the Route des Princes are all that are on the agenda for the full Gitana XV MOD70 crew this year.

After this, Josse is doing the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre, on board Gitana XV. [Jean-Pierre Dick has also entered, with the Virbac Paprec MOD70.]

And next year – the Gitana MOD again? “We will see how everything turns out,” said Josse.

Gitana Team