Giant catamaran to follow route of Tea Clippers

The 33m maxi-catamaran Gitana 13 was relaunched earlier this week ahead of her latest record attempt. Lionel Lemonchois and his crew have the Tea Route in their sights; 15,000 miles from Hong Kong to London, passing via the Sunda Strait and then leaving the Cape of Good Hope to starboard.

It is a legendary mile course, comprising a host of climatic conditions and no less than two changes of hemisphere. As soon as they cast off from Hong Kong, Lionel Lemonchois’ men will begin their crossing of the South China Sea and then the Java Sea. From that point, Gitana 13 will make its entrance into the Indian Ocean where it will make for the Cape of Good Hope, before heading up the Atlantic Ocean, prior to entering the English Channel and the River Thames.

Though the current record stands at 67 days 10 hours 26 minutes , a time set by Philippe Monnet in 1990, the crew have set themselves an ambitious aim of around forty days.

This will be the seventh and final record of the cat’s 2008 campaign. Among the records she now holds are the New York-San Francisco and North Pacific crossing.

Keep up with her progress on her website.