© Eloi Stichelbaut I Spindrift racing Helicopter image of Spindrift 2 crossing the finish line at Ushant.

© Eloi Stichelbaut I Spindrift racing Helicopter image of Spindrift 2 crossing the finish line at Ushant.

The trimaran skippered by Yann Guichard has finished its first Jules Verne Trophy, registering the second fastest time in history, and with Dona Bertarelli becoming the fastest woman to have sailed around the world.

Note:
– Spindrift racing has finished its first voyage around the world
– Spindrift 2 crossed the line at 15:01 UTC after 47 days 10 hours 59 minutes and 02 seconds at sea
– The trimaran is expected to arrive in La Trinité-sur-Mer at around 21:00 UTC

 © Eloi Stichelbaut I Spindrift racing Helicopter image of Spindrift 2 crossing the finish line at Ushant.

© Eloi Stichelbaut I Spindrift racing Helicopter image of Spindrift 2 crossing the finish line at Ushant.

The sailors on Spindrift 2 crossed the finish line of the Jules Verne Trophy off Ushant at 15:01 UTC on Friday, after 47 days 10 hours 59 minutes and 02 seconds at sea. After nearly 29,000 miles travelled at an average speed of 25.35 knots, Spindrift 2 completed the circle on its first voyage around the world by claiming the second fastest time in history. The crew, led by Yann Guichard, did not better, on this attempt, the time set by Loïck Peyron (they were slower by 1d 21h 16’ 09”), whose record of 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes is still the one to beat. However, they were 20 hours 45 minutes 50 seconds faster than the time set by Franck Cammas in 2010, over this always demanding course. During its high-speed journey, the black and gold trimaran also improved three record times (Ushant-Equator, Ushant-Tasmania and Ushant-Cape Horn) and held, for a few hours, the record for the crossing of the Indian Ocean. One woman among 13 men on this record attempt, and the first to complete a Jules Verne Trophy course, Dona Bertarelli is now the fastest woman to have sailed around the world.

The crew is sailing to its home port and base in La Trinité-sur-Mer and is expected to arrive there at 21:00 UTC on Friday night. They will be greeted by the public and notably the schoolchildren who shared the adventure, along with the families, friends, project partners, supporters and onshore members of this young Spindrift racing team, who have prepared a warm welcome on the harbour. After the arrival of the trimaran, the sailors will enjoy sharing a drink and some oysters with the public.

They left in the dark of night on November 22, and in the afternoon of January 8, just before sunset, the three bows of Spindrift 2 emerged from the great Atlantic swell with Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard, Sébastien Audigane, Antoine Carraz, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, Christophe Espagnon, Jacques Guichard, Erwan Israël, Loïc Le Mignon, Sébastien Marsset, François Morvan, Xavier Revil, Yann Riou and Thomas Rouxel on board.

Yann Guichard, skipper:The passage south of the Cape of Good Hope was one of the most important moments for me, but then, finishing in front of Ushant is also a relief. Not in the sense of liberation, because I wasn’t a prisoner and I really enjoyed this round-the-world voyage, but it’s time I have a little break. Of course, there was a bit of stress, but that’s part of my job.

This Jules Verne Trophy has been a series of firsts for me: going around the world, rounding the three capes, having so many days on the clock… And I really want to get back out there. The boat is perfectly adapted for this task, we’ll just need the weather to be with us. And then the South Seas, they’re magical. The Indian Ocean was rather grey, but in the Pacific we were treated to some incredible light when we went down to almost 60° South… But I’ll remember all the birds most: the albatrosses, petrels, fulmars and Cape petrels constantly following us.

My biggest fear was when we hit an unidentified object with the foil: I thought we were going to have to give up. I’m glad we’ve finished because since Cape Horn – and this goes beyond just the effect on the record attempt – the climb back up the Atlantic was as severe on the boat as on the crew.”

Dona Bertarelli, helm/trimmer:This ascent of the Atlantic has been long, laborious, and it felt like time was standing still. Fortunately yesterday, we could feel the finish line because we passed the symbolic mark of being 500 miles from Ushant: it was a special moment and I didn’t sleep much last night because there was so much emotion and adrenaline. Completing this voyage around the world allowed me to achieve the goals I had set myself, even if we didn’t beat the record for the Jules Verne Trophy. I have no regrets because the essential thing was to get back to Ushant as quickly as possible and we did everything we could to achieve that.

The voyage was a great experience for me because we all know each other very well and everyone respected each other’s individualities. It was really nice because it’s a team of real friends. But it’s also because of having been able, somehow, to exorcise my fears, those fears of plunging into the Southern Ocean or being so far from anything. Through writing articles for the schools in France and Switzerland and continuing to communicate with the world and share my experiences, I never felt isolated or alone on this adventure.”

A first one together
The crew was able to manage a journey across the oceans for over a month and a half. The incredible experience accumulated on a voyage around the world showed that the optimisations made the previous winter have paid off: with its rigging slightly shorter but much lighter and more aerodynamically efficient, Spindrift 2 was safer in the wind and easier to handle in moderate winds, without compromising its qualities in light airs. But the three storm fronts and ridges of high pressure that cluttered the Indian Ocean after the Kerguelen Islands, the Pacific before Cape Horn, and the South Atlantic off Brazil, were too much even for the efforts and perseverance of this crew. And that is without counting an arduous climb up the Atlantic due to adverse headwinds at the latitude of Argentina and Uruguay, and an uncooperative Azores High between the Canaries and Florida. The whole Spindrift team can be proud of what has been achieved, and that they rose to the challenge and finished the journey despite the problems pitted along the way, such as breaking the lower part of the port foil in the Indian Ocean after hitting a UFO (unidentified floating object). It was a collision that caused a crack in the port hull and could have cost them the Indian Ocean record. Then, later, there was the sudden weakness in the mast (repaired at sea) off Uruguay.

Record times
The 14 sailors have set three new record times on this voyage around the world. The first came from the start at Ushant to the Equator in 4 days 21 hours 29 minutes, a staggering average of 30.33 knots on the theoretical route (the shortest route). The second, between Ushant and the South of Tasmania, symbolising the entrance into the Pacific Ocean, was 20 days 04 hours 37 minutes. Incidentally, Spindrift 2 fleetingly held the record for crossing the Indian Ocean in 8 days 04 hours 35 minutes, which was broken a few hours later by IDEC Sport, who also left from Ushant on November 22. Finally, the third record: Ushant-Cape Horn in 30 days 04 hours 07 minutes, which brought a lead of 18 hours and 11 minutes over Banque Populaire V.

The women’s record
This Jules Verne Trophy has also finished with the confirmation of Dona Bertarelli as the fastest woman to have sailed around the world. During her standby watches, she also focused on the ocean environment of a voyage around the world and shared her feelings, discoveries and logbook. And she corresponded, in particular, with 2,000 children from schools in France and Switzerland, who are partners of the Spindrift for Schools programme, to help improve their understanding of these maritime areas and the species, so often under threat, which live there.

Shared time
There has also been a lot of life experience garnered along the miles covered across three oceans. A voyage around the world is not for the faint-hearted: from suffering the coldness of the Southern Ocean, to enduring the blistering Equatorial heat, braving the icy spray hitting your face at more than 40mph, performing a succession of manoeuvres in fading and fickle winds, worrying about the approach of drift ice and being trapped with 13 other people in a 20m³ box…

 

Spindrift 2, Trophée Jules Verne, 2015 (Photo © Yann Riou/ Spindrift Racing)

Spindrift 2, Trophée Jules Verne, 2015 (Photo © Yann Riou/ Spindrift Racing)

 

pindrift 2, Trophée Jules Verne, 2015 Sébastien Marsset manoeuvres on the forward deck during a day marked by a slight slowdown.

Spindrift 2, Trophée Jules Verne, 2015 Sébastien Marsset manoeuvres on the forward deck during a day marked by a slight slowdown.

 

CAPE LEEUWIN TOMORROW NIGHT

“There is an all-pervasive grey, with rays of sunshine at times, and always a few birds accompanying the boat,” was how the message received from the boat this morning started. Wrapped up well for over a week against the harsh environment of the Deep South, the sailors are now acclimatized and paying more attention to the cold pinching their faces. Warm clothes, gloves and hats are evident, with the key stopping the icy wind that tries to whip in. But mentally, all attention is focused on an Indian Ocean that is not really roaring. The maxi-trimaran is heading towards the second legendary cape of a round-the-world sailing voyage, Cape Leeuwin, which marks the south-west tip of Australia and which it will reach by the end of the day on Thursday. The current weather system limits the choice of route, forcing the crew to manoeuvre to keep the power up and not to fall into a windless area that is moving due east ahead of the bows of the trimaran. Spindrift 2 will gradually climb to 45° South, following a trajectory parallel to its predecessor Banque Populaire V. The good news: the area of drift ice is well and truly behind their transom. The way is clear until the entrance into the Pacific Ocean off Tasmania.

Day 18 – 17h00 GMT

198 nm behind the current record holder
Distance covered from the start: 11,656 nm
Average speed over 24 hours: 21.6 knots
Distance over 24 hours: 517.4 nm

THE ICE AGE
Strategic analisis – 12h00 (GMT)« The highlight of this third week has been the rounding of the Kerguelen archipelago which are in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The crew decided to sail north of the islands in order to avoid the drift ice located to their south. Although Spindrift 2 has lost a few miles over the last couple of days, it is mainly due to a zone of light winds ahead, moving at more than twenty knots…» Read more…
WEATHER FORECAST
Day 18 – December 9th – 10h55 (GMT)
“The Indian Ocean has never deserved its nickname – “The tunnel” – so much. Spindrift 2 continues on its way, stuck between southern depressions and a windless connecting…” Read more…
MESSAGE FROM THE BOAT
Day 18 – December 9th – 06h17 (GMT)
“With more than half of the Indian Ocean behind us, the scenery has not changed much since Spindrift 2’s upwind passage of the Kerguelen Islands. There is a dominance of grey…” Read more…
TOMORROW ON CNN
Shirley Robertson’s Mainsail show with Dona Bertarelli
And as well Dame Ellen MacArthur, Loïck Peyron, Francis Joyon, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Brian Thomson.Emission mainsail de Shirley Robertson Read more…
Maxi trimaran Spindrift 2 (Photo © Eloi Stichelbaut I Spindrift racing)

Maxi trimaran Spindrift 2 (Photo © Eloi Stichelbaut I Spindrift racing)

Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard introduce the Spindrift 2 crew for the Jules Verne Trophy around-the-world record attempt. The crew will be on stand-by from October 19th.

To undertake the crewed around-the-world record is as much about the human adventure as it is a technical and sporting challenge. The men and women working alongside Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard at Spindrift racing have been preparing this race against the clock for almost three years. The target: to sail around the world in less than 45 days, 13 hours and 42 minutes. The tough record they will try to beat was set by Loïck Peyron and his crew in 2012 on Banque Populaire V, which was renamed Spindrift 2 a year later.

The French-Swiss team decided to use the same 40 m trimaran because they believed that the boat could be further optimised, a task that sailors, engineers and technicians at the team have been working on ever since. After countless hours of work at the boatyard and 40,000 nautical miles of racing and training, the Spindrift racing-prepared trimaran is all set to go. The team will officially go on stand-by on October 19th and wait for the ideal weather window.

With just a few days left until that important date, Dona and Yann are pleased to announce the twelve men who will join them on their journey through the world’s most hostile oceans. Most are multihull experts; some have an Olympic background; others, experience in offshore challenges; but all are familiar with the trimaran and share the team’s values and mindset. The crew members know each other, having competed together for Spindrift racing or taken part in other projects. Some have already circumnavigated the globe, whether in the Jules Verne Trophy or the Volvo Ocean Race.

Spindrift 2 Crew for Jules Verne Trophy attempt

From left to right, at the top : Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, Thomas Rouxel, Sébastien Audigane, Antoine Carraz, Sébastien Marsset, Xavier Revil, François Morvan. From left to right, at the bottom : Yann Riou, Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard, Jacques Guichard, Christophe Espagnon, Erwan Israël. (Loïc Le Mignon, not in the picture)

Photo © Eloi Stichelbaut I Spindrift racing

“The Jules Verne Trophy is the highlight of a programme we drew up as soon as we bought the trimaran Spindrift 2,” explains Dona Bertarelli. “The tour around the world will require total physical, mental, professional and especially personal dedication. Being a team means relying on each another, supporting each other, and accepting the highs and lows while striving to strike the right balance to succeed together. Yann and I are hugely motivated by this immense challenge. We want to surround ourselves with people who share our approach and our values. We’re also driven by a desire to share our passion for sailing with the public, especially youngsters, and to show them the hard work put in by our team. Very soon we’ll reveal the tools we’ve decided to use to achieve this goal.”

Yann Guichard also spoke about the record attempt: “Apart from the competition itself, for Dona and me it is as much about the human adventure. The record attempt brings together sailors who competed in Olympic series before turning to offshore competition and sailors with previous experience of oceanic record attempts and the Southern Ocean. Spindrift 2 is a prototype, so we have to take good care of her. Multihull specialists are aware of the fundamental balance we must strike between speed and safety. I’m surrounded by sailors who I know are talented and who feel good at sea. I can rely on them and trust them. In training I see us gel as a team, which gives me such a strong desire to experience this unique challenge together.”

Photo © Eloi Stichelbaut I Spindrift racing

Photo © Eloi Stichelbaut I Spindrift racing

Photo © Eloi Stichelbaut I Spindrift racing

First around-the-world campaign for Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard

Two challenges lie ahead for the skipper Yann Guichard, who has dedicated his career to elite multihull sailing and has made more than 15 transatlantic crossings. First, to complete his first around-the-world sail, and second, to take charge of the boat and the crew on board. “I must concentrate hard to make the right choices at the right time, whether during early or final preparations or out on the water,” says Yann. He set up Spindrift racing with his partner Dona Bertarelli, and the couple are jointly responsible for the team’s day-to-day development and management. Dona is an exacting, determined businesswoman, actively involved in several foundations, including the Bertarelli Foundation for marine conservation, and she has been involved in the Jules Verne Trophy project from day one. She first took up offshore multihull sailing on Spindrift 2 in 2013. Since then she has listened, observed, honed her skills and grown in confidence, and is now ready to spend more than 40 days at sea, following in the footsteps of Tracy Edwards (1998) and Ellen MacArthur (2003) in attempting to become the first woman ever to beat the record. “This circumnavigation is probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever set myself,” says Dona. “We’ve spent several years preparing ourselves and preparing those close to us who support and encourage us, but I don’t think you can ever be fully prepared for the unknown that awaits us. If we want to enjoy the adventure, those of us out at sea and those ashore will have to accept whatever comes our way.”

A supportive, well-drilled crew

One of Spindrift racing’s goals is to perform well all year round on the different circuits on which it competes. To achieve this, a core group of sailors accompany Dona and Yann throughout the year on the D35, the Diam 24, the GC32 and the maxi-trimaran. From that core group, Christophe Espagnon, François Morvan and Xavier Revil, whom Yann met during his Olympic preparations, will be part of the Jules Verne Trophy crew, as will the skipper’s younger brother Jacques Guichard, who is the team’s sailmaker at North Sails. Xavier Revil has already sailed around the world on the same boat as part of Loïck Peyron’s record-breaking crew in 2012.

Another member of Peyron’s crew was Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, who was brought in to the project last winter as Boat Captain because of his maritime experience over the last fifteen years, including his role in the Banque Populaire V record. Antoine Carraz was also part of the previous record and is one of the persons who know Spindrift 2 the best, having spent three years as technical manager for the trimaran and for the design office. This will be his first circumnavigation during which he will be keeping a particularly close eye on the boat.

Three other crew members – Thomas Rouxel, Sébastien Marsset and Erwan Israël – were part of the team that beat the Discovery Route record (Cádiz-San Salvador) on Spindrift 2 at the end of 2013, so their experience on the boat will also be important. Two of three have just competed in the 2014–15 Volvo Ocean Race: Thomas for the Chinese Dongfeng Race Team and Sébastien for the American Team Alvimedica. None of the three, however, took part in the Southern Ocean leg, so they will have their sights set firmly on rounding Cape Horn during the Jules Verne. Erwan Israël was Yann Guichard’s router for the 2014 edition of the single-handed Route du Rhum (Yann was sailing Spindrift 2), and last winter he joined Dongfeng for the Sanya-Auckland stage of the Volvo Ocean Race. After several months as Spindrift racing’s performance analyst, Erwan will be the navigator for the Jules Verne Trophy, working alongside the skipper at the chart table to determine the best route.

Yann Riou also has experience in the Volvo Ocean Race: the former electronics specialist was Groupama’s media reporter during their victorious 2011–12 campaign, and in the latest edition of the race he performed the same role for Dongfeng Race Team. Yann will be the first full-time on-board reporter for a Jules Verne record attempt.

Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard have called up two men with vast experience sailing multihulls at high speed in the Southern Ocean. Brest-based sailor Sébastien Audigane will take on sailing’s most famous record for the fourth time, having been part of Bruno Peyron’s successful bid on Orange II in 2005 and the unsuccessful attempts by Olivier de Kersauson in 2002 and Franck Cammas in 2008. Loïc Le Mignon, meanwhile, was part of the Jules Verne attempts by Groupama 3, including the successful one in 2010.

Onshore support will be provided by world-renowned meteorologist and offshore sailing router Jean-Yves Bernot, who has prepared and routed some of the world’s best single-handed sailors. Jean-Yves has also competed in the Whitbread Round the World Race and has been a crew member for various teams in different countries.

Finally, there are two reserves, Thomas Le Breton and Simone Gaeta, both of whom have trained on the maxi-trimaran this season and are ready to stand in if a crew member has to drop out.

On stand-by

Preparations on the trimaran are drawing to a close. As of Monday, October 19th, Spindrift 2 will officially be on stand-by in Brest, a port famous for major record attempts, located just a few miles away from the start line at Créac’h lighthouse on Ushant island. The routing team will analyse weather data several times a year in search of a good opportunity to launch the assault on the legendary course.

Spindrift 2 crew for the Jules Verne Trophy

Yann Guichard, skipper
Dona Bertarelli, helmsman-trimmer

Sébastien Audigane, helmsman-trimmer
Antoine Carraz, helmsman-trimmer
Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, helmsman-trimmer
Christophe Espagnon, helmsman-bowman
Jacques Guichard, helmsman-trimmer
Erwan Israël, navigator
Loïc Le Mignon, helmsman-trimmer
Sébastien Marsset, bowman
François Morvan, helmsman-trimmer
Xavier Revil, helmsman-trimmer
Yann Riou, media reporter
Thomas Rouxel, helmsman-bowman

Jean-Yves Bernot, onshore router

Simone Gaeta, substitute
Thomas Le Breton, substitute

Jules Verne Trophy:

Start and finish: a line between Créac’h lighthouse (Ushant island) and Lizard Point (England)
Course: non-stop around-the-world tour travelling without outside assistance via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn)
Minimum distance: 21,600 nautical miles (40,000 kilometres)
Ratification: World Sailing Speed Record Council 
Time to beat: 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds
Average speed: 19.75 knots
Date of current record: January 2012
Holder: Banque Populaire V, Loïck Peyron and a 13-man crew
Maxi-trimaran joined Spindrift racing on: January 2013
Stand-by start date for Spindrift 2: October 19th, 2015

Spindrift 2 maxi-trimaran:

Design: VPLP & Spindrift racing design team
Launch date: July 2008
Deck and mast boatyard: CDK Technologies
Sails: North Sails
Length of main hull: 40 metres
Length of outrigger hulls: 37 metres
Width: 23 metres
Dry weight: 20.5 tonnes
Draft: 5.1 metres
New mast height: 42 metres
Mainsail: 405 m²
Gennaker max: 560 m²
Gennaker medium: 450 m²
Gennaker mini: 360 m²
Reacher: 260 m²
Staysail: 170 m²
ORC: 75 m²

 

_______________________________________________________

The History of the Jules Verne Trophy

Records

Year Skipper Yacht Type Time
Current holder
2012 France Loïck Peyron Banque Populaire V Trimaran 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds
Past holders
2010 France Franck Cammas Groupama 3 Trimaran 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds[2]
2005 France Bruno Peyron Orange II Catamaran 50 days 16 hours 20 minutes 4 seconds[3]
2004 France Olivier de Kersauson Geronimo Trimaran 63 days 13 hours 59 minutes 46 seconds[1]
2002 France Bruno Peyron Orange Catamaran 64 days 8 hours 37 minutes 24 seconds
1997 France Olivier de Kersauson Sport Elec Trimaran 71 days 14 hours 22 minutes 8 seconds
1994 United Kingdom Robin Knox-Johnston
New Zealand Peter Blake
ENZA New Zealand Catamaran 74 days 22 hours 17 minutes 22 seconds
1993 France Bruno Peyron Explorer Catamaran 79 days 6 hours 15 minutes 56 seconds

Record attempts[edit]

Year Skipper Yacht Type Notes
Failed attempts (15)
2011 France Pascal Bidégorry Banque Populaire V Trimaran Damaged centerboard, west of the Cape of Good Hope[4]
2009 France Franck Cammas Groupama 3 Trimaran UshantEquator: 5 days 15 hours 23 minutes (new record)[5]
Broken aft beam bulkhead, South Africa[6]
2008 France Franck Cammas Groupama 3 Trimaran Loss of leeward float leading to capsize, New Zealand[7]
2004 France Bruno Peyron Orange II Catamaran Damaged starboard hull, Cap Verde islands
2004 France Bruno Peyron Orange II Catamaran Damaged starboard crashbox, Spain
2004 France Olivier de Kersauson Geronimo Trimaran Damaged gennaker, North Atlantic
2003 France Olivier de Kersauson Geronimo Trimaran Circumnavigation achieved, record not broken
2003 United Kingdom Ellen MacArthur Kingfisher 2
(formerly Orange)
Catamaran Broken mast, South-East Kerguelen Islands
2002 France Olivier de Kersauson Geronimo Trimaran Damaged rudder, Brasil
2002 France Bruno Peyron Orange
(formerly Innovation Explorer)
Catamaran Damaged mast, Ouessant
1998 United Kingdom Tracy Edwards Royal et SunAlliance
(formerly ENZA New Zealand)
Catamaran Broken mast, Southern seas
1996 France Olivier de Kersauson Sport-Elec Trimaran Excessive delay
1995 France Olivier de Kersauson Sport-Elec
(formerly Lyonnaise des Eaux)
Trimaran Extreme weather
1994 France Olivier de Kersauson Lyonnaise des Eaux
(formerly Charal)
Trimaran Circumnavigation achieved, record not broken
1993 New Zealand Peter Blake
United Kingdom Robin Knox-Johnston
ENZA New Zealand Catamaran Damaged hull, Indian Ocean
1993 France Olivier de Kersauson Charal Trimaran Damaged outrigger hull, South of Cape Town
ROUTE DU RHUM - DESTINATION GUADELOUPE 2014 Start photo © ALEXIS COURCOUX

ROUTE DU RHUM – DESTINATION GUADELOUPE 2014 Start photo © ALEXIS COURCOUX

ROUTE DU RHUM - DESTINATION GUADELOUPE 2014 Start      © ALEXIS COURCOUX

ROUTE DU RHUM – DESTINATION GUADELOUPE 2014 Start © ALEXIS COURCOUX

As the tenth edition of the legendary Route du Rhum solo Transatlantic race to Guadeloupe started off Saint Malo, France this Sunday afternoon under grey skies and a moderate SSW’ly breeze. The perennial question of just how hard to push through the first 24-36 hours at sea was foremost in the minds of most of the 91 skippers.

 

When the start gun sounded at 1400hrs local time (1300hrs CET) to mark a spectacular send off for a 3,524 miles contest, which engages and entrances the French public like no other ocean race, breezes were only 15-17kts. But a tough, complicated first night at sea is in prospect, a precursor to 36 hours of bruising, very changeable breezes and big unruly seas.

Such conditions, gusting to 40kts after midnight tonight, are widely acknowledged to be potentially boat or equipment breaking. But the big ticket reward for fighting successfully through the worst of the fronts and emerging in A1 racing shape, will be a fast passage south towards Guadeloupe. Such an early gain might be crucial to the final result.

ROUTE DU RHUM - DESTINATION GUADELOUPE 2014 Start      © ALEXIS COURCOUX

ROUTE DU RHUM – DESTINATION GUADELOUPE 2014 Start © ALEXIS COURCOUX

The converse is doubly true. Any trouble or undue conservatism might be terminal as far as hopes of a podium place in any of the three classes.

In short, the maxim of not being able to win the race on the first night, but being able to lose it over that keynote, initial period, has perhaps never been truer.

The routing south is relatively direct, fast down the Iberian peninsula with a fairly straightforward, quick section under the Azores high pressure which shapes the course. The Ultimes – the giant multis – are expected to be south of Madeira by Tuesday night when the IMOCA Open 60s will already be at the latitude of Lisbon and the Class 40 leaders passing Cape Finisterre.

Vincent Riou, Vendée Globe winner who triumphed in last year’s Transat Jacques Vabre two-handed race to Brasil, said of the forecast: “I carried out statistical studies, set up 140 different routings using ten years of files in my pre-race analysis and I can’t recall a single example of the weather being as favourable for the IMOCAs as what seems to lie ahead‏.”

The change in weather from the idyllic Indian summer conditions which have prevailed through the build up weeks to gusty winds, heavy rain showers and cooler temperatures could do nothing to dampen the extraordinary ardour displayed by the crowds which so openly embrace the Rhum legend. From all walks of life, from babes-in-arms to the elderly, they descend on Saint Malo and the nearby beaches and promontories to see the start and the opening miles.

Lemonchois Leads
It was fitting then that the tens of thousands who braved the deluges and the breeze were rewarded when it was the owner of the race record, Lionel Lemonchois, winner of the Multi 50 Class in the last edition and overall winner in 2006, who passed their Cap Fréhel vantage point, 18 miles after the start line leading the whole fleet on the Ultime Prince de Bretagne.

 

Thomas Coville on Sodebo lead the Caribbean-bound armada off the start line dicing with the more nimble, smaller Multi70 of Sidney Gavignet Musandam-Oman Air which also lead for a short time. The fleet’s ultimate Ultime, the 40m long Spindrift (Yann Guichard) was seventh to Fréhel, clearly needing time and opportunity to wind up to her high average top speeds. Coville has the potent mix of tens of thousands of solo miles under his belt as well as an Ultime (the 31m long ex Geronimo of Olivier de Kersauson with new main hull and mostly new floats and a new rig) which is optimised for solo racing.

The favourites to win each of the different classes seemed to make their way quickly to the front of their respective packs. Vendée Globe victor François Gabart established a very early lead in the IMOCA Open 60s on MACIF, ahead of PRB (Vincent Riou) and Jérémie Beyou (Maitre-CoQ). In the 43 strong Class 40 fleet Sébastien Rogue quickly worked GDF SUEZ in to the lead. He remains unbeaten and won last year’s TJV. Defending class champion Italy’s Andrea Mura was at the front of the Rhum class with his highly updated Open 50 Vento di Sardegna.

Spain’s highly rated Alex Pella was second in Class 40 on Tales 2, Britain’s Conrad Humphreys 20th on Cat Phones Built For It and Miranda Merron sailing Campagne de France in 22nd.

The key international, non-French skippers made solid starts to their races. Self-preservation was key priority for 75 year old Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on Grey Power, who said pre-start that his main goal was to get safely clear of Cape Finisterre, before pressing the accelerator.

He is in good company not least with ‘junior’ rivals Patrick Morvan, 70 and Bob Escoffier, 65 all racing in this Rhum class which features race legend craft as well as sailors. Two of the original sisterships to Mike Birch’s 11.22m Olympus – which stole victory by 98 seconds in the inaugural race in 1978 – are racing in this fleet replaying the fight against the monohull Kriter V which finished second.

First to return to Saint-Malo with a technical problem- needing to repair his rigging – was the Class40 of Jean Edouard Criquioche, Région haute Normandie, who had to turn round after just 45 minutes on course. And the Portuguese skipper in the Rhum class Ricardo Diniz was also reported to be heading back with trouble with his diesel.

Order at Cap Fréhel

1 – Lionel Lemonchois (Prince de Bretagne) / 1st Ultime
2 – Sidney Gavignet (Musandam – Oman Sail)
3 – Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim’)
4 – Loïck Peyron (Maxi Solo Banque Populaire VII)
5 – Sébastien Josse (Edmond De Rothschild)
6 – Yann Eliès (Paprec Recyclage)
7 – Yann Guichard (Spindrift 2)
8 – Yves Le Blévec (Actual) / 1st Multi50
9 – Francis Joyon (Idec Sport)
10 – Erwan Leroux (FenêtréA – Cardinal)
11 – Lalou Roucayrol (Arkema Région Aquitaine)
12 – François Gabart (MACIF) / 1st IMOCA
13 – Vincent Riou (PRB) 14 – Loïc Fequet (Maître Jacques)
15 – Jérémie Beyou (Maître Coq)
16 – Marc Guillemot (Safran)
17 – Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée)
18 – Bertrand De Broc (Votre Nom Autour du Monde)
19 – Tanguy De Lamotte (Initiatives-Coeur)
20 – Armel Tripon (Humble for Heroes)
21 – Erik Nigon (Vers un monde sans sida)
22 – Pierre Antoine (Olmix)
23 – Andrea Mura (Vento Di Sardegna) / 1st Rhum
24 – Sébastien Rogues (GDF SUEZ) / 1st Class40‏

Follow the race on www.routedurhum.com/en
Live Radio Vacations 1200-1230hrs each day in English on www.routedurhum.com/en

 

Passage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 - Saint Malo le 01/ 11/14  (Photo © ALEXIS COURCOUX)

Passage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 – Saint Malo le 01/ 11/14 (Photo © ALEXIS COURCOUX)

The weather forecast for the first few days of La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe seems to suggest that the 3,542 miles from Saint-Malo to Pointe-à-Pitre will be quick. But first up there will be an active frontal system to cross before Ushant.

Sunday afternoon’s start will see the SSW’ly breeze at around 15-18kts with some squally bursts perhaps. But the first three days of racing will be quite tough for the 91 solo skippers competing on this legendary Transatlantic. And with such a promising forecast it seems there might be every chance the outright race record of 7 days 17 hours 19mins 6 secs of Lionel Lemonchois, set in 2006 on Gitana XI, might fall.

It had to happen some time. The blocking high pressure system which has provided summer-like weather for most of the times in Saint-Malo will give way to more usual Autumnal conditions, an Atlantic low pressure arriving on cue for Sunday’s start. The weather will worsen progressively along the Brittany coast and there will likely be rain just after the 1400hrs local time start gun.

Passage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 - Saint Malo le 01/11/2014 Fleet (Photo Passage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 - Saint Malo le 01/ 11/14  (Photo © ALEXIS COURCOUX))

assage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 – Saint Malo le 01/11/2014 Fleet (Photo Passage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 – Saint Malo le 01/ 11/14 (Photo © ALEXIS COURCOUX))

The 91 solo skippers gathered for their final meteo briefing this morning as Meteo Consult provided them with their final weather analysis. Sunday afternoon will see SSW’ly winds of around 15-18 kts but with some much bigger gusts. The breeze will veer more west behind the front, easing slightly initially but it will always be gusty. The air temperature will be around 13-16 deg C. The Ultime leaders might well have passed Cap Fréhel ahead of the front but for most this will mean headwinds.

The soloists will have a long port tack to get out of the Channel. But around midnight a second, more active front will bring a big increase in wind strength from the SW, gusting to 40-45kts with a chaotic sea. And this will be one of the key phases of this Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe. Approaching and around the tip of Brittany there are a powerful combination of big untidy waves, busy maritime traffic and gusty winds, so the real strategy here will be trying not to break anything whilst still keeping the pace on.

By daytime Monday the biggest Ultimes should be into the brisk NW’ly which will make for a fast descent to Madeira which they should reach by Tuesday night. But meantime for the first part of Monday the IMOCA and Multi 50s will have a pretty tough time trying to find the right tempo across the first part of Biscay in an unruly, nasty sea making a messy, stressful passage to Cape Finisterre for Tuesday morning.

Overall it is quite a promising forecast. Class 40 and the Rhum fleet will need to take it more carefully but there really is only one general route south and the fleets should enjoy more of a speed rather than strategy race.

In the Class 40 fleet Briton Conrad Humphreys says he has never been better prepared or felt as good before a race start but the pressure will be on from the start. There is a critical stage early on where the skippers must time their approach through Sunday night’s front to make sure they can get comfortably inside the Ushant traffic separation zone, or not. There is a tactical danger in being squeezed out to the west by the zone when the main opposition is inside, able to cut the corner and get south across Biscay earlier.

assage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 - Saint Malo le 01/11/2014 Fleet (Photo Passage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 - Saint Malo le 01/ 11/14  (Photo © ALEXIS COURCOUX))

assage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 – Saint Malo le 01/11/2014 Fleet (Photo Passage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 – Saint Malo le 01/ 11/14 (Photo © ALEXIS COURCOUX))

“The critical thing will be how far west you get and whether you are positioned inside or outside the separation zone at Ushant. If you are caught half way you can’t cross the separation zone. And so the timing of that shift is important. After that the Bay of Biscay is going to be quite lively. I think the sea state will be one of the worst things, 4-5m swell with waves on top and then a lot of rain. The further south we get the High will have an effect and it will start to calm down a bit, but I think for most of the first 24-36 hours it will be quite wild. It is so critical to be with the pack and to get through that first shift with them. If you don’t they can be going quite fast and the ones who don’t will be still on the wind, have less runway to get around Ushant and so on. I have to say you will have to sail quite aggressively.”

In boisterous sea and wind conditions, with rain showers passing through, the start itself holds the possibility is problems. Indeed that is the phase that concerns Miranda Merron (Campagne de France) most immediately. The France-based English soloist said after the weather briefing:

“It’s November. You are going to take a kicking some time and this first bit looks tough, but it is the start with all the traffic and stress around that worries me most. I just want to get away cleanly and safely.”

They said:
Ari Huusela (FINLAND) – Rhum Class, Neste Oil:
“It is a victory to be here. In total we have had almost 20 people involved in the project at home in Finland. It is my passion to sail alone, that is why I want to do this race. This is the pinnacle. I have had this boat two years after it took me seven years to realise my dream. I think the boat is good, I am going to enjoy it as much as possible.”

Yann Guichard (Ultime) – SPINDRIFT 2:
“Everyone knows that the start phase is always critical. I know that if I have to do an emergency change of tack, it can’t be done in two minutes. The first twelve hours are going to be complicated. It looks like we’re going to have to do two changes of tack. This isn’t where the race is going to be won, but it is where it can be lost.”

Loïck Peyron (Ultime) – MAXI SOLO BANQUE POPULAIRE VII:
“The start is never easy for anyone. And here it’s going to be violent. There is going to be wind and lots of rain: typical sailor’s weather. This will make things a bit more dramatic, as we’re straight into the rough stuff.”

To follow the race on click La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe

 

assage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 - Saint Malo le 01/11/2014 Fleet (Photo Passage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 - Saint Malo le 01/ 11/14 (Photo © ALEXIS COURCOUX))

assage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 – Saint Malo le 01/11/2014 Fleet (Photo Passage des ecluses pour les concurrents de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 – Saint Malo le 01/ 11/14 (Photo © ALEXIS COURCOUX))

Spindrift 2 at Newport shipyard awaiting weather window for North Atlantic record attempt  ( Photo by George Bekris )

Spindrift 2 at Newport Shipyard awaiting weather window for North Atlantic record attempt ( Photo by George Bekris )

 

Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard will not get the chance this year to break the North Atlantic Record.  Mother Nature would not play ball .   With no weather in sight to propel the Maxi-Trimaran Spindrift 2 and give it a chance to break the North Atlantic Record the team plans to leave their dock at Newport Shipyard on Monday, August 18th or Tuesday the 19th.

It’s a shame they never got the opportunity to give the record a decent go.  They were all set to attack the New York to Lizard Point record of 3d 15h 25m record if the winds could only have cooperated.   They did not.

The team has stayed busy all summer with other Spindrift programs, projects and events, but it still must be a disappointment to them not having a chance to break the record.  Hopefully they will bring this Maxi Trimaran back to the east coast of America again in the near future to give the North Atlantic Record  a run.

Yann Guichard said it well back in the early summer as he spoke of their preparations “Dona and I are obviously following the weather very closely. Together, with team navigator Erwan Israël, we check the two daily American and European forecast updates. The first come in before 5am and, whilst there is still not really a departure window on the horizon, we inevitably check each weather update religiously. We are as ready as we can be with a good technical and sporting potential, but the weather is out of our hands. That is what makes record attempts so frustrating…but also so special.”

Best wishes and Bon Voyage to the team and we wish them a safe journey back over. Yann Guichard will now prepare the boat for his solo attempt at the Route du Rhum in the fall.

Spindrift 2 , Newport June 4, 2014  (photo by George Bekris)

Spindrift 2 , Newport June 4, 2014 (photo by George Bekris)

Few records have been attempted more often than the North Atlantic crossing. To sail from New York to Lizard Point in less than 3 days and 15 hours requires both an experienced crew and an exceptional machine such as Spindrift 2, combined with ideal weather conditions. “For a multihull to achieve such a feat on this route, you need a depression that crosses the ocean at the same speed as the record so that you can ride ahead of it on a flat sea,” explains Richard Silvani, a Météo France meteorologist who is Spindrift racing’s onshore route-planner. “This summer’s weather has made any record attempt impossible,” he says. “The anticyclone located at 50 degrees north, directly above our intended route, has prevented depressions from crossing the ocean between America and Europe. Even today’s 10-day forecasts predict no change in the situation.”

After two and a half months of weather-watching, it is time for Spindrift racing to bring the 40-metre maxi-trimaran back to its home port of La Trinité-sur-Mer. Yann Guichard has expressed his frustration, which is shared by Dona Bertarelli and the crew, at missing out on this opportunity to sprint across the North Atlantic. “You simply have to accept that only the weather can pave the way for record attempts,” he says. “Ever since breaking the Route de la Découverte record last year, we were keen to take on this iconic route. We knew that the record would be tough to beat, but we were fully prepared and ready to go. I would like to thank the entire team. They have been fantastic, and their efforts will stand us in good stead as we start to get ready for next year’s record attempts, notably the Jules Verne Trophy (around-the-world, non-stop). ”

Back to France.
Spindrift 2 will leave Newport on August 19th. Yann Guichard will use the return trip as preparation for the upcoming Route du Rhum. “The technical team is currently setting up the boat for single-handed racing,” he says. “When I am with the crew, it is like being an orchestra conductor, but for the Route du Rhum, I will be alone on the stage. I will be up against the leaders of single-handed sailing, which is not really my speciality. That said, I have many other strengths, in particular extensive knowledge about sailing on multihulls. With three months to go, I am immensely excited about this challenge, yet I appreciate the need to be meticulous with my preparation. Training will start straight away with this Atlantic crossing, which presents an ideal opportunity.”

A gruelling autumn for Spindrift racing.
Spindrift racing will now enter an exciting phase of the season, competing in the final stages of the D35 championship on Lake Geneva, whilst preparing for the Route du Rhum. “We have a gruelling end to the year,” explains Dona Bertarelli. “The D35 Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing will resume competition at the end of August, racing in the final three Grand Prix regattas of the season, whilst Spindrift 2 will gear up for the Route du Rhum. From now on, Yann must focus on competition and performance. With the full support of the team, my aim will be to allow Yann to forget about all other aspects and remain concentrated on the challenge that awaits him. We want him to be in the best possible physical and mental state when he arrives on the start line on November 2nd.”

 

©Th.Martinez/Sea&Co.  BELLE ILE - BRITANNY- FRANCE . Maxi "SPINDRIFT 2" skipper Yann Guichard (FRA) en entrainement solo au large de Belle Ile, en vue de la Route du Rhum. *** Maxi "SPINDRFIT 2" skipper Yann Guichard (FRA) training solo offshore Belle ile ( Britttany-FRA) before Route du Rhum.

©Th.Martinez/Sea&Co. BELLE ILE – BRITANNY- FRANCE . Maxi “SPINDRIFT 2” skipper Yann Guichard (FRA) en entrainement solo au large de Belle Ile, en vue de la Route du Rhum. *** Maxi “SPINDRFIT 2” skipper Yann Guichard (FRA) training solo offshore Belle ile ( Britttany-FRA) before Route du Rhum.

RMaxi Trimaran Spindrift 2 on Standby at Newport Shipyard, Newport, RI (Photo by George Bekris)

Maxi Trimaran Spindrift 2 on Standby at Newport Shipyard, Newport, RI (Photo by George Bekris)

 

After a month on standby in Newport (Rhode Island), there has still been no launch window. Spindrift racing remains on the starting blocks, all set to attack the New York to Lizard Point record of 3d 15h 25m. The weather conditions, however, are delaying the start, forcing the team to be patient, despite their desire to set sail. As Yann Guichard explains, these accomplished sailors have but no choice but to accept the wait, unusual as it may be for an elite sportsman. Imagine a football team entering the locker rooms before a crucial World Cup match…without knowing when they will play. All they can do is wait nervously in anticipation. The experienced crew of the maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2 know only too well that they must sit and wait, but the wait to attempt such a prestigious record as the North Atlantic crossing is a challenge of its own.

RMaxi Trimaran Spindrift 2 on Standby at Newport Shipyard, Newport, RI (Photo by George Bekris)

Maxi Trimaran Spindrift 2 on Standby at Newport Shipyard, Newport, RI (Photo by George Bekris)

“Despite enduring the standby at home, as opposed to on the quayside, we are fully alert and mentally ready to drop everything and jump on a plane as soon as possible,” explains Yann, who sends a message to his teammates every day to keep them informed about the latest conditions. “Dona and I are obviously following the weather very closely. Together, with team navigator Erwan Israël, we check the two daily American and European forecast updates. The first come in before 5am and, whilst there is still not really a departure window on the horizon, we inevitably check each weather update religiously. We are as ready as we can be with a good technical and sporting potential, but the weather is out of our hands. That is what makes record attempts so frustrating…but also so special. When you are on standby, it can at times be stressful, as any athlete waiting for a big match can understand. In addition, we know that when the day of reckoning comes, once we get out on the ocean, conditions will be extreme.”

ice service

ice service

Three factors blocking the route.

In June, drift ice in the Labrador Current created the first natural barrier – a harsh winter has meant that icebergs are lasting longer than normal. They are melting, slowly but surely, but the large ice sheets are only disappearing gradually from satellite photos.

The other obstacle at the moment is the Azores High, an anticyclone centred over the Azores and spread like an insurmountable mountain across the entire North Atlantic. “To make the crossing in record-breaking conditions you have to leave ahead of a depression on the American coast and ride it up to Newfoundland, where you pick up another and accelerate for the rest of the crossing. You then have to stay in front of the system, which must not catch you up or wane before you reach the finish line,” adds Erwan Israël. “With such a huge (3,000 km wide), powerful (1,036 hPa) anticyclone at the moment, the depressions are not making any headway, and neither can we!”

And then there is Arthur, a highly active cyclone that formed over Miami before moving up the east coast of America. On 4 July, a national holiday, 100 mph (160 km/h) winds hit North Carolina. “Fortunately, the cyclone shifted course, with its centre moving to 150 nautical miles (300 km) from Newport, where Spindrift 2 is currently on standby. However, it is affecting the order of the weather systems in the New York area, where the anticyclone is pushing the depressions north and blocking our path,” adds Yann. “But it is early July and the standby can run through to mid-August if necessary, so we still have plenty of margin to look out for a good departure window!”

Virtual Regatta – your turn to play !

Virtual Regatta Spindrift

So whilst you wait to follow the real record attempt, why not mount your own challenge – the popular virtual regatta game is sporting the colours of Spindrift racing for the occasion! Starting today and continuing throughout the summer, you can attempt to beat the 12-day record set by the pioneering Charlie Barr and his 50-man crew back in 1905. Furthermore, you can try as many times as you like! Since 1905 some of the world’s greatest skippers have held this legendary record: Marc Pajot, Patrick Morvan, Philippe Poupon, Serge Madec, Steve Fossett, Bruno Peyron, Franck Cammas and the current record-holder Pascal Bidégorry, who set a time of 3 days, 15 hours. So, do you have what it takes to join this elite group? Select your boat and your weather window, and watch out for the best window to attempt this record before 1 September 2014…or set sail at the same time as Spindrift 2 !

In the mean time, keep following us on www.spindrift-racing.com/atlantic/ and www.virtualeregatta.com as well as on our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and YouTube).
IN NUMBERS: the crewed record attempts by Spindrift racing – 2014 season.
Crewed record to beat: 3 days, 15 hours and 25 minutes; 32.94 knots.
Zenith by Spindrift racing 24-hour record: 908 miles; 37.84 knots.
Holder since August 2009: maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V (now Spindrift 2); held by Pascal Bidégorry and his crew.
Route: 2,880 miles (5,333 km) between Ambrose Light in New York and Lizard Point, on the southwest tip of Cornwall, England.
Spindrift 2 : the largest racing trimaran in the world (40 metres), architects VPLP.
Skippers: Yann Guichard (FRA) and Dona Bertarelli (SUI).
Crew : 14 people on board for this record, plus routing onshore (final crew to be confirmed).
Standby dates: June 3 to mid-august, 2014.

 

 

Spindrift 2 (Photo by George Bekris)

Spindrift 2 (Photo by George Bekris)

 

Newport shipyard June 4, 2014 and the Maxi Trimaran Spindrift 2 sits patiently at the dock being readied and tended by her crew in preparation to break a very high bar. The records to to beat are the crewed North Atlantic record and ‘Zenith 24-hour records.  Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard accompanied by their crew make last minute adjustments and meet with sponsors and media.   The co skippers are in Newport awaiting a weather window for that just right system to propel them across the Atlantic.  The window does not look too promising for the next 10 days, but only time will tell.

 

Dona Bertarelli (Photo by George Bekris)

Dona Bertarelli (Photo by George Bekris)

There will b 2 record attempts:

The Transatlantic W to E, Ambrose Light – Lizard Point Record stands 3 Days 15 hours 25 minutes and 48 seconds. That record is held by Pascal Bidegorry and crew on board Banque Populaire V and was set in August of 2009.  Banque Populaire V averaged 32.94 kts to set the record.

and

The 24-hour record – World record for distance sailed in 24hrs  Was set by Pascal Bidegorry and crew on board Banque Populaire V 908 miles at an average of 37.84 knots.

Yann Guichard (Photo by George Bekris)

Yann Guichard (Photo by George Bekris)

 

Team Spindrift is a team of  30 that tend the  needs of the Spindrift Stable. She is at a distance and up close a visually stunning boat. The closer you get the better she looks. With her black, gold and white paint scheme even sitting still she looks fast.  Her size up close is quite massive.

Spindrift_2_George_Bekris_2014_09

Spindrift 2 , Newport June 4, 2014  (photo by George Bekris)

Spindrift 2 , Newport June 4, 2014 (photo by George Bekris)

Specifications of Spindrift 2 

Name: Maxi Spindrift 2

Length overall: 40 m
Beam overall: 23 m
Hull draft: 5,10 m
Air draft: 41 m
Mainsail: 365 m2
Gennaker: 440 m2
Reacher: 292 m2
Staysail: 166 m2
ORC: 72 m2

Spindrift_2_George_Bekris_2014_11

 

Spindrift 2’s  mast has been cut down by 6 meters. By reducing the mast’s  height on the boat it won’t have to spend as much time reefed.   Each time the sail is reefed down a little more of the optimum shape in the original design is lost. Thus costing the boat speed.  The designers hope that by keeping the sail all the way up to the masthead they will gain much needed speed and lessen the power lost with reefs thus making more efficient time.   The mast reduction lessen the weight of the boat as well.

 

Spindrift 2 , Newport June 4, 2014  (photo by George Bekris)

Spindrift 2 , Newport June 4, 2014 (photo by George Bekris)

 

Every inch of the boat has been scrutinized to find any advantage because the stakes are so high. This will be a difficult record to break, and the possibility of breaking a record that in itself was a feat of great accomplishment weighs on the crew.

 

Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli Co-Skippers of Spindrift 2 (Photo by George Bekris)

Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli Co-Skippers of Spindrift 2 (Photo by George Bekris)

 

During the time they wait for the weather window the team also must go back across the atlantic to another sail another Spindrift stable boat and crew on the Spindrift 35 in a very busy season for Team Spindrift.  The entire Spindrift Crew is as assortment of outstanding sailors and record breakers.

Spindrift 2 crew:
Dona Bertarelli – Skipper
Yann Guichard – Skipper
Xavier Revil
Jacques Guichard
Erwan Tabarly
Antoine Carraz
Christophe Espagnon
Nicolas Texier
Jean Baptiste le Vaillant
Sébastien Marsset
François Morvan
Simone Gaeta
Erwan Israel

Dona Bertarelli on the slightly modified forward brace. (photo by George Bekris)

Dona Bertarelli on the slightly modified forward brace. (photo by George Bekris)

 

The other changes made to increase speed were to make the from adding a bit of cloth from the forward braces to increase the aerodynamics and lessen the windage. This lessening of  the drag  may only buy fractions, but fractions times thousands of miles equals time. With this record attempt every fraction of a second counts-

 

Spindrift_2_George_Bekris_2014_02

 

Once this record attempt is completed the boat will have a few small refits to prepare it for Yann Guichard’s solo trip on Spindrift 2 in the  upcoming Route du Rhum Saint-Malo Guadeloupe.  The grinding pedestal will be changed to a cycle style so Yann and use that to his advantage for tacking and gybing.  Those changes will make it easier to go from a double handed to solo effort.

Boat’s ready, crew’s  ready now all they need is Mother Nature to favor them.

For more information on the Team Spindrift sailing Check out www.spindrift-racing.com

 

Dona Bertarelli on the slightly modified forward brace. (photo by George Bekris)