Yann Guichard and The Spindrift Racing Crew celebrate inagural win on the MOD70 Championship (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Yann Guichard and The Spindrift Racing Crew celebrate inagural win on the MOD70 Championship (Photo by Lloyd Images)

 

Winners of the Krys Ocean race in June and second overall in the MOD70 European Tour, Yann Guichard and the Spindrift racing crew triumph in the 2012 Multi One Championship. 
 
Yann Guichard and Léo Lucet appreciate the results all the more because a year and a half ago, the Spindrift racing project was a sporting, technical and logistical idea jotted down on a blank sheet of paper. The boat is solid and reliable, the technical team is competent and expert, and the pure talent of the heavyweight sailing team are the ingredients of certain success. The sleek black and white trimaran showed its mettle throughout the different exercises, from the transatlantic race to the long coastal races, through speed runs and inshore courses. Léo Lucet, executive director of Spindrift racing and Yann Guichard are more than satisfied with this resoundingly successful entry into a class that they sincerely hope will develop and grow internationally.
 
Victors of two of the five legs, two City Race victories, Speed Match victories and bonus points at the departure of each leg, as well as a New York-Brest transatlantic crossing that was achieved in a record time… the whole team on sea and land can be complimented on a remarkable job. “The human aspect of the project is amazing,” states Yann Guichard. “It was a collective adventure, gathering together competencies on the water and logistical talent on land, and it all worked according to the high standards I set. No individual egos or guest stars in this group. I have built a story with people who are engaged and committed to the project, who share my drive and motivation and way of working.”
 
The program for this first MOD70 season was ambitious, with the Krys Ocean Race and the European tour, made to measure for the international potential of a new class of boats that must seduce a host of new partners. “This format is fantastic,” claims Léo Lucet. “It’s an exceptional international communications tool which worked wonderfully in New York and at every European tour city stopover. VIPs and journalists alike were able to sail with us, and the general public, a stone’s throw away from the boats, really enjoyed the show. The objective, which we reached, was to make the discipline spectacular to demonstrate the excellent visibility it offers to sponsors and partners.”
 
“It was a real sporting pleasure,” adds Guichard. “Exhausting, demanding – exactly what we, sailors, want.” Guichard, Lucet and the whole sailing team on the black and white catamaran, Pascal Bidégorry, Yann Eliès, Erwan Tabarly, Jacques Guichard, Sébastien Marsset, Jean-Baptiste Levaillant, Devan Le Bihan, Thierry Douillard, Kévin Escoffier, Christophe André, Frédéric Brousse, Nicolas Charbonnier as well as the team on land, Philippe Echassoux, Tim Carrie, Florent Le Gal, Nicolas Débordès and Astrid van den Hove rose to the 2012 challenge.
 
With its solid team, proven knowhow and indisputable talent on the water, Spindrift racing has climbed the charts in record time. The most immediate next challenge for the young company is to find a partner for MOD70 Nr 05, in order to share strong and motivating values. “Given our results, our media successes and the public’s enthusiasm for this new class, we hope to succeed in this too,” comments an optimistic Guichard.
 
The five trimarans all finished the races brilliantly, with no more serious incidents than the usual encounters with unidentified floating objects. This year Spindrift racing will have sailed some 15,000 miles, with an astounding mean speed of 28 knots last summer. No small feat and quite a reference in terms of dependability.
 
We still aim to progress further”, concludes Guichard, “in all areas – sports, technical, human. We are optimistically and impatiently looking forward to 2013.

Spindrift Racing in Newport (photo by George Bekris)

General classification Multi One Championship 2012
1 – Spindrift racing EUR (Yann Guichard, FRA)
2 – FONCIA, FRA, (Michel Desjoyeaux, FRA)
3 – Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, FRA (Sébastien Josse, FRA)
4 – Race For Water, SUI (Stève Ravussin, SUI)
5 – Musandam, Oman Sail OMA (Sidney Gavignet FRA)

Rank Krys Ocean Race 2012
1- Spindrift racing (Yann Guichard) 
2- Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (Sébastien Josse) 
3- FONCIA (Michel Desjoyeaux) 
4- Musandam, Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet) a
5- Race For Water (Steve Ravussin) 

Rank MOD70 European Tour 2012
1- FONCIA avec 284 points
2- Spindrift racing avec 282 points
3- Race For Water avec 244 points
4- Musandam-Oman Sail avec 242 points
5- Groupe Edmond de Rothschild avec 228 points

 
 

MOD70 2012 Speed Trials in NYC (Photo by George Bekris)

FONCIA Crew Celebrates Leg 1 Win in the MOD70 European Tour  (Photo by David Branigan / MOD70 S.A.))

FONCIA Crew Celebrates Leg 1 Win in the MOD70 European Tour (Photo by David Branigan / MOD70 S.A.))

 

From an incredibly close finish which saw all three top teams arrive at the Dun Laoghaire, Dublin line within 77 seconds of each other, it was Michel Desjoyeaux and his crew of FONCIA which stole victory on the MOD70 European Tour first leg of the from Kiel to Dublin.

In a heart stopping race to the line in very gentle breezes the winners were no more than 200 metres ahead of second placed Yann Guichard and crew on Spindrift racing with Sebastien Josse and the crew of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild no more than 300 metres behind.
The 1238 miles leg which started Sunday afternoon in Kiel was decided almost on the finish line.
FONCIA finally seized the lead with less than 15 miles to the finish, overhauling Guichard’s Spindrift racing which had lead consistently since last Monday morning when they passed Desjoyeaux’s crew on the NW Danish coast. In the final hours the two leaders were only 3-500 metres apart, with FONCIA only just holding on to win.
Finish times Dun Laoghaire (GMT)
1-Michel Desjoyeaux (FONCIA) 23h 19m 09s Wed 5th September
2-Yann Guichard (Spindrift racing) 23h 19m 41s Wed 5th September
3-Sébastien Josse (Groupe Edmond de Rothschild) 23h 20m 26s 5th September

Spindrift Wins KRYS by (Th. Martinez  /Sea & Co/ MOD 70)

Spindrift Wins KRYS by (Th. Martinez /Sea & Co/ MOD 70)

Yann Guichard and his crew of five crossed the finish line on Thursday July 12 at 12hrs 08m 37s UTC (14hrs 08m 37s) to take overall victory in the inaugural KRYS OCEAN RACE transatlantic race in an elapsed time four days 21 hours 08 minutes 37s, an average of 25.03 kts on this 2950 miles race course.
 
In this first ocean race for the new MOD70 one design multihull class, Spindrift racing finished about an hour and a half ahead of Sébastien Josse’s Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and FONCIA, who were about a quarter of an hour behind second, after a great race across the Atlantic from New York to Brest in winds which is rarely dropped below twenty knots …This is the first great ocean racing victory for Yann Guichard.
At 38, this former Olympic Tornado catamaran sailor, who finished fourth in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, has amassed considerable multihull experience offshore with Marc Guillemot, Bruno Peyron and Franck Cammas, racing solo across the Atlantic in 2010, but also on the Swiss lakes in the D35 and M-2 multihulls.
He has also raced inshore as helm in the America’s Cup World Series and the Extreme 40 series.

Launched in January this year, Spindrift racing is MOD70 hull number 5, and has been taken on by his crew, which includes Pascal Bidégorry, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, Jacques Guichard, Leo Lucet and Kevin Escoffier.

Bidégorry, Escoffier and Le Vaillant are among those who set the existing outright Atlantic record in 2009.

Spindrift racing sailed an actual 3284 miles on the water at an average of 28.04 knots.

Oman Sail and Newport Bridge prior to the Prologue Start (Photo by George Bekris)

Oman Sail and Newport Bridge prior to the Prologue Start (Photo by George Bekris)

There may be no Multi One Championship points at stake for the MOD70’s when they bid farewell to Newport RI late this Monday afternoon and head to New York, but all of the five skippers confirmed this morning that that the memorable experience of arriving in to New York under sail would be made sweetest by leading across the finish line tomorrow.

It is the first time that all five MOD70’s will line up in anger against each other and the crews will be supplemented by a number of media guests who have front row seats for this first initial skirmish.

Race For Water and Foncia at Newport Pologue Race Start (Photo by George Bekris)

Race For Water and Foncia at Newport Pologue Race Start (Photo by George Bekris)

The start on Narrangansett Bay off Newport is at 1700 hrs (local) where the fleet make a short, two leg opening gambit before leaving on the short, most direct of the three course options.

Course A takes them out to a turn SW at Block Island, then the course runs parallel to Long Island to a finish line just shy of the Verrazano Narrows bridge. That makes a course distance of around 150 miles. After the boats finish they will regroup and make a sail past the Statue of Liberty and up to the North Cove Marina.

Foncia and Spindrift at Prologue Start  (Photo by George Bekris)

Foncia and Spindrift at Prologue Start (Photo by Goerge Bekris)

The first boats should reach the finish line between 1000 hrs and 1100 hrs local time (1500 to 1600 hrs GMT) Tuesday morning. Though it is something of a delivery trip, a dress rehearsal which serves the purpose of getting the fleet to the start city for the KRYS OCEAN RACE, all of the teams will be pushing hard to be there first.

“We will be in full race mode.” FONCIA’s skipper Michel Desjoyeaux said this morning. “Though it is not a part of the classification for us all, it will be one more training race for us. And we want to show that we are in a good racing shape for the boat and for the crew. I think we will have medium winds and a light finish. I have never ever arrived in New York by sail and so it will be nice to sail past the Statue de la Liberté and I am looking forwards to that”

Oman Sail Crew (Photo by George Bekris)

Oman Sail Crew (Photo by George Bekris).

Desjoyeaux and his Foncia crew will be joined by CNN MainSail’s presenter, double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson for the passage to New York. Among the other media guests who will enjoy the unique race are Sailing World’s Stuart Streuli on Musandam-Oman Sail, Sail magazine’s Adam Cort on Race for Water, Chris Museler from the New York Times and Jeniece Pettit from Bloomberg News on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.
Quotes
Sidney Gavignet, skipper, MOD 70 Musandam-Oman Sail; “There will be a full moon which is always great, it is nice to have some light. Everything is easier. Otherwise for us it is useful after a week of non sailing just to get all the team into racing mode again. It maybe does not count but we take it very, very seriously as a set up for the race. So we will be out early. We are very happy. And for our Omani’s it will be fantastic to arrive in New York for their first time ever, by sea. I arrived many years ago on La Poste from Puerto Rico and it is a magical memory.”

Oman Sail at start of the KRYS Prologue Race (Photo by George Bekris)

Oman Sail at start of the KRYS Prologue Race (Photo by George Bekris)

Sébastien Josse, skipper, MOD 70 Groupe Edmond de Rothschild:  “What is important is next Saturday, but it is good to leave here and do some offshore sailing with our team. If we are there first that is great for us, but if we are last it is no big deal.”

Stève Ravussin, skipper of MOD70 Race For Water: “A prologue is a prologue but everyone will be going for it. It will be a short course but it is useful before the start of a Transat! This trial run will allow us aboard Race For Water to get just a little more experience and refine the work cohesion on board because we have not sailed so much together. But we are happy to be going racing and see the dividend for all of our hard work.”

Spindrift at Prologue Start by George Bekris

Spindrift at Prologue Start by George Bekris

Leo Lucet, crew of MOD70 Spindrift racing: “For our young team which is racing Spindrift, the KRYS OCEAN RACE is really a trial run at all levels. The MOD70 Spindrift racing is a brand new boat, Yann has put the crew together from scratch and we have had some training and the delivery passage here to the United States. This will be a first race for our team. So we go with great humility but we are cool about it.”

www.krys-oceanrace.com

Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (Photo by George Bekris)

Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (Photo by George Bekris)

2nd July 2012: Prologue Start – Newport
3rd July 2012: Prologue Arrival – New York
5th July 2012: New York Speed Match
Mid-July 2012: Launch of MOD
PAPREC-VIRBAC 70

7th July 2012
KRYS OCEAN RACE
OFFICIAL START, N.Y.C

 Spindrift by Rose Island Lighthouse (Photo by George Bekris)

Spindrift by Rose Island Lighthouse (Photo by George Bekris)

Spindrift racing MOD70 N°05 sailing at the Tour de Belle-Ile regatta. (Photo by Chris Schmid /Spindrift Racing)

Spindrift racing MOD70 N°05 sailing at the Tour de Belle-Ile regatta. (Photo by Chris Schmid / Spindrift racing)

The Artemis Challenge welcomes IMOCA 60s and MOD 70s to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week on August 16th

The world’s fastest offshore monohulls and multihulls set to race around the Isle of Wight for charity

For the sixth straight year the Artemis Challenge will be one of the highlights of the 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the world’s largest sailing regatta and one of the UK’s biggest sporting events. In a new twist to the classic route around the Isle of Wight, the 2012 Artemis Challenge will see teams of monohull IMOCA 60s and multihull MOD 70s race around the island to claim £10,000 for charity. A world class line up of British Vendée Globe skippers helming high performance IMOCA 60s will be paired up with the latest generation MOD 70s to compete together in the 50 mile sprint on August 16th.

The Artemis Challenge will welcome back the best British offshore racers before they take on the mighty challenge of the Vendée Globe in November when they will race singlehandedly around the world. The start line for IMOCA 60s will include Mike Golding (Gamesa) and Artemis Ocean Racing II. They will be joined by the fastest class of cutting edge designed 70 ft multihulls, with legendary French skipper Michel Desjoyeaux skippering Foncia, Sidney Gavignet on Oman Sail and Swiss racer Steve Ravussin on Race for Water.

Mark Tyndell, CEO of Artemis Investment Management, said, “The return of the Artemis Challenge continues the legacy of this wonderful event. We are pleased to welcome back some of the best British solo skippers in the world as they prepare for the Vendée Globe, as well as welcoming for the first time the impressive MOD 70s, skippered by some of the biggest names in offshore racing. Both sets of boats should deliver a fantastic spectacle and compete to raise money for great causes.”

The Artemis Challenge, sponsored by Artemis Investment Management, one of the UK’s leading investment companies, is recognised as one of the key events of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and is a magnificent spectacle, showcasing the best of offshore racing within easy reach of spectators. The race follows the classic America’s Cup route around the Isle of Wight, starting at 10 AM on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line.

The Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week has long attracted a strong list of celebrity guests. Teams competing in the race in the past have included sports stars Zara Phillips, Amy Williams, Will Greenwood, Mike Tindall and James Haskell, as well as other stars from the world of entertainment, such as Ewan McGregor, Davina McCall, Bryan Adams and James and Oliver Phelps, the Weasley Twins from the Harry Potter movies.

 
2011 KRYS MATCH - 6/8 OCT 2011 LA TRINITE SUR MER - DAY 2 - Race 4 (Photo by Sea & Co.)

2011 KRYS MATCH - 6/8 OCT 2011 LA TRINITE SUR MER - DAY 2 - Race 4 (Photo by Sea & Co.)

 

Today, Monday 23 January, at the Dusseldorf Boat Show, the much anticipated 2012 MOD70 European Tour was unveiled. Starting on 29 August, five weeks of intensive racing will see the six competing MOD70s race nearly 5,000 miles in a mix of offshore competition, and races in the heart of five cities in five countries : Germany, Ireland, Portugal, France and Italy.
The six MOD70s are helmed by skippers with some of the biggest hauls of oceanic medals – Michel Desjoyeaux, Sebastien Josse, Sidney Gavignet, Roland Jourdain, Steve Ravussin and Yann Guichard. The teams will be setting off from Kiel in Germany, on the Baltic Sea, towards the east coast of Ireland, after a rather unfamiliar passage via the North coast of the Shetland Islands which will see the teams reach 60° North – as far north as Cape Horn is south.

After stopping off in the Emerald Isle, the teams will tackle the descent of the North Atlantic, heading for Cascais in Portugal, for an eight-day stopover before heading east.

Beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the MOD70s will cross the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea to tie up at the feet of the Bonne Mère in Marseille (France), while the final leg of the European Tour 2012 will take the MOD70s on a big looped circuit around the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, prior to climbing up to an Italian port looking out onto the Ligurian Sea…

At the end of this tour of Europe, the fleet will have covered 5,000 miles and crossed seven seas and one ocean.

Start : Kiel, Germany,  2 September :

Steeped in maritime tradition, Kiel is the city which played host to the Course de l’Europe during the first edition back in 1985, and again in 1997, for the 4th leg. For this 2012 edition of the MOD70 European Tour, the local authorities were the first to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the project. Alongside KIEL.SAILING CITY, the online gambling company, Betfair, will be present at both the legendary Kiel Week, to be held in June 2012, and the German stopover for the MOD70 European Tour 2012.

Uwe Wanger, Managing Director of Kiel Marketing GmbH : “In collaboration with Betfair, we’re proud to play host to the first leg of the European Tour, an event that forms part of the MOD70 circuit, for their first race in Germany. These spectacular boats represent technology at its highest level – a point they have in common with our new partner Betfair. With this stopover, we’ll be punctuating a series of prestigious sailing gatherings and we’re hoping for between 50.000 and 80,000 spectators at the heart of Kiel to witness the racing.”

Marco Simeoni, President of MOD Ltd. : “Today we’re happy to be able to present the first edition of the race around Europe, aboard MOD70s. Since 2009, we’ve been working on putting together a one-design class and a coherent circuit for racers, boat owners and our partners. With the current economic context colouring Europe, things haven’t been easy but we’ve managed to pull it off. The cities of Kiel, Marseille and Cascaïs are the first three cities to have signed up alongside us and the contracts with the remaining two cities involved in this project will be signed in the coming days. Featuring 5,000 miles, 5 countries, 5 host venues and 5 City races, this MOD European Tour will be the setting for a competitive and cultural oasis! Thanks to the one-design format, which guarantees sporting equity, we’re sure to witness some great on-the-water confrontations between the MOD70 crews competing in this 2012 season.”

Hervé Favre, Event Manager OC ThirdPole : “To organise a European tour is an opportunity to revive the great moments in the history of oceanic multihulls, but it’s also a genuine challenge in every possible way. This is true in logistical terms first of all, as not all the ports in Europe can accommodate 6 or 7 trimarans measuring 22 metres long and 17 metres wide. It’s also true in sporting terms, with the need to construct a balanced circuit and some interesting legs, with around 3 days spent at sea between cities. Finally there’s the marketing aspect, with our desire to select cities whose image and notoriety are recognised on the international playing field, and who are keen to communicate their outward-looking attitude to the sea. We’ve also endeavoured to involve the Teams and their partners, who have guided the final decisions. Launching a new event is never easy, particularly today, but we’re proud of this very fine course, which will support the increase in power of the new Multi One Design Class”.

Michel Desjoyeaux, skipper of the MOD70 Foncia: “This MOD70 version of the European Tour 2012 will be the second event of the season. It will be longer and more intensive than the Krys Ocean Race, but I bet you that the crew of Foncia will be very much into their stride! Added to that, the European Tour isn’t a complete unknown for me as I raced aboard Crédit Agricole, the winning boat in the first edition back in 1985. I sailed it again in 1993, aboard La Poste. It’s always a real thrill because there are a number of intriguing passages to be negotiated. The race zone really deserves to be highlighted! Alternating between offshore legs and inshore events appeals to me since it’ll give us the opportunity to show our different guests what the MOD 70 Foncia is all about during the stopovers. These moments of sharing and exchanges aboard our fantastic machines are always rich and interesting.”

Sidney Gavignet, skipper of the MOD70 Oman Sail : “Our MOD70s are capable of covering great distances in a short space of time so they’re really cut out for this type of course around Europe! For my part, I’ve already had the opportunity to compete in European races in 1993 and 1997. I have some very fond memories of them with some great battles on the water. I expect nothing less in this edition.
This European Tour really ties in with the agenda that my partner OMAN had in mind, which involves promoting tourism among the European public across the sultanate.”

Yann Guichard, skipper of the MOD70 Spindrift racing : “I’m more familiar with transatlantic events and this will be my first participation in a European Tour. I’m very enthusiastic about the idea of helming my MOD70 Spindrift Racing over this course, which will enable me to discover the race zones, particularly as regards the first leg between Kiel and Ireland. Another first for me is alternating between offshore and inshore races, especially over the course of a month! It’s going to be raced at a steady pace and we’ll have to be consistent and perform well, whatever the race format.”

Roland Jourdain, skipper of the MOD70 Veolia Environnement: “It promises to be an enthralling sail… Already at the time of the multihull, and also the monohull, all the racers adored the race. On a sporting level, it’s a superb mix of offshore and coastal courses. On a multihull we’re sure to have a ball!”

Stève Ravussin, skipper of the MOD70 Race for Water : “Germany is a great country for sailors, as it has a particularly important place on the map of Europe. As such I’m very happy and proud to be part of this first European Tour in Kiel. Adventure, speed and adrenalin, a mixture of spectacular offshore races and city races on an equal footing… it is the epitome of everything I love about sailing! In addition to the sports competition, I’m delighted to be able to raise awareness amongst adults and children about problems relating to water… Indeed, with the MOD 70 Race For Water, ambassador for the Multi One Attitude Foundation, we’re going to spread this message to the four corners of Europe as well as battling to sail some fantastic races!”

Sébastien Josse, skipper of the MOD70 Edmond de Rothschild Group : “T he European Tour is proposing an ambitious programme and it will be a difficult race. For three weeks we’re going to link together a series of offshore and city race formats at a steady pace and the team will have very little time to catch their breath. This second event of the 2012 season will showcase the crews’ stamina and their ability to adapt to the switches in format. The North-South route of the race is likely to provide us with some highly varied conditions. The northern part may give us some really lively conditions at that time of year, whilst the second part, in southern Europe, should prove to be milder. However, that’s just a hypothesis as the Mediterranean is never short of surprises and could very well dish out an entirely different scenario. The European Tour will be intense with a line-up of six honed crews after the Krys Ocean Race.”
The MOD70 European Tour 2012 in brief :

– First edition of the European Tour in MOD70s.
– 6 competing sailing teams (6 crew members per MOD70)
– 5,000 miles
– 5 countries visited: Germany (Kiel), Ireland, Portugal (Cascaïs), France (Marseille), Italy.
– 5 offshore races and 5 inshore events (city race and speed match)

Stopover schedule :

Kiel (Germany) from 29 August to 2 September
Ireland from 5 to 9 September
Cascaïs (Portugal) from 12 to 20 September
Marseille (France) from 23 to 30 September
Italy from 3 to 7 October

The multihull and the Course de l’Europe :

1985 :
– 1st edition of the Course de l’Europe created by Gérard Petipas with the support of the European Community
– Start on 9 August
– 8 legs: from Kiel (Germany) to Porto Cervo (Italy)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Philipe Jeantot on Crédit Agricole
1987 :
– Start on 12 July
– 8 legs from The Hague (Holland) to San Remo (Italy)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Daniel Gilard on Jet Services
1989 :
– Start on 17 July
– 6 legs from Hamburg (Germany) to Toulon (France)
– Victory for Serge Madec on Jet Services V who won 5 of the 6 legs.
1991 :
– Start on 12 May
– 6 legs from Lorient (France) to Santa Marguerita (Italy)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Laurent Bourgnon on R.M.O, just 93 seconds ahead of Mike Birch
1993 :
– Start on 23 May
– 6 legs from La Rochelle (France) to Stockholm (Sweden)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
1995 :
– Start on 20 May
– 7 legs from Venice (Italy) to London (England)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
1997 :
– Start on 1st June
– 5 legs from Cherbourg (France) to Stockholm (Sweden)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
1999 :
– 2 legs from Genoa (Italy) to Lorient (France)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuj
Dates to remember: 2011 / 2012
25 January 2012: Launching of the MOD70 SPINDRIFT RACING
12 april 2012: Launching of the MOD70 OMAN SAIL
January to May 2012: Launching of the MOD70 nr.7
 
Race Programme: 2012 / 2014
7 July 2012: Start of the KRYS OCEAN RACE
2 September 2012: European Tour
June 2013: European Tour
November 2013 – April 2014: Ocean World Tour (6 stopovers, 5 oceans, 12 racing teams)
August 2014: KRYS OCEAN RACE

 

2011 KRYS MATCH- 6/8 OCT 2001 La Trinite sur Mer (FRA) , Day1

2011 KRYS MATCH- 6/8 OCT 2001 La Trinite sur Mer (FRA) , Day1

 

Dolphin off Virbac-Paprec 3 (Photo by Virbac-Paprec / Barcelona World Race )

Dolphin off Virbac-Paprec 3 (Photo by Virbac-Paprec / Barcelona World Race )

The Finish. As the time ticks down closer to the first finish of this Barcelona World Race, the closing proximity to the final line, be it a few days or two weeks away, means that the release after 89 days of racing is weighing heavily on the minds of many of the skippers now nearing the home strait, be that in actual fact, or more metaphorically.

Two of the skippers who were joined by Visio-Conference today were showing the effects of their three months of endeavour, tired and drawn, and admitted to wanting as much to get their respective first IMOCA Open 60 circumnavigations safely completed as to deliver their results.

For Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron, ETA Gibraltar around midnight Thursday,  theirs has been a day of precision manouvers off the Moroccan coast, getting to within 800 meters of the beach at one point early this morning. But it still seems like it will be at least offshore of Murcia before they may have some relief from their interminable upwind passage since the Equator. The final miles from there look light and unpredictable.

For Iker Martinez on MAPFRE it was a chance to explain their slightly problematic passage through between La Gomera and La Palma. The Spanish Olympic champion confirmed that part of the reason for their routing was to take brief advantage of La Palma’s lee to effect what should have been a 20 minutes repair, but the combination of unexpected 30 and then 40 knots gusts and some unpleasant seas meant this short repair interlude turned into three hours of hard labour which cost them an extra 45 miles on leaders Jean-Pierre Dick andLoïck Peyron.

Martinez explained how that their 10 years plus of Olympic strength and conditioning training for the 49er has been a key factor in being able to drive their MAPFRE as hard and consistently as they have. And now, low on food rations, it is clear the double Olympic medallists are using some of that nutritional experience to manage their limited body refuelling, maximising sleep to just keep going to the finish line. He said, in fact, given their pre-race experience, second for them would be seen as much as a victory.

Martinez explained: “ We are pretty tired with the food situation, physically this is an ultramarathon. Some days we have it when we are really tired, but it is not one of our biggest worries. I think we are all now thinking about the finish, not too long ago we weren’t but now we are.

We try to sleep as much as we can to keep energy so that we don’t make mistakes, and if they do like yesterday then we have the energy to deal with them and keep going.

It is more than 10 years that we have been physically training. Training for the Olympics in China was pretty extreme, so I think that physically we were in good shape for this race, but I think we pushed very hard.

We are here in this second place because of our physical preparation and ability to push, not because of our experience. Fourteen months ago we did not even have an IMOCA Open 60 and had never even sailed on of these before.?

Behind them the situation is opening up as the Azores High pressure blockade of the Straits of Gibraltar opens progressively throwing open new options to Renault ZE Sailing Team and Estrella Damm to sprint north and try to breach the high pressure ridge, perhaps for some brief SW’ly breezes but to enjoy the prospect of a more dependable N’ly and NE’ly breezes which would allow them a more direct layline to Gibraltar.

The predicted temporary compression between third placed Renault ZE, slowed slightly now, and Estrella Damm, is becoming evident – Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes gaining 12 miles this afternoon – but the direct northerly option does not seem to be offered as freely to Neutrogena.  Ryan Breymaier said:

“They (Estrella Damm and Renault Z.E) are both going quite fast at the moment, but I am not sure how well that is going to work for them because that ridge goes back north and I think that it is going to be quite tricky for them. We have been waiting, hoping for some sort of tactical opportunity just to finish quicker, not even so much thinking we can get by them, just to finish with some food less. So theirs seemed like an option but the ridge seems to move back and forth a lot and so that makes it a much more difficult to take that option.?

Under the leadership of their chief technician Stan, Jaume Mumbru and Cali Sanmarti have been making excellent progress with their boom repair in Ushuaia for their We Are Water. The boom has been successfully sleeved with initial internal lamination, but final lamination has to be completed. They can leave after 1555hrs UTC Thursday 31st but it is unclear as yet if the duo will be completely ready for that time, but it is believed they will be close.

 

Standings of Wednesday 30th March  at 1400hrs UTC

1              VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 796 miles to finish

2              MAPFRE + 311 miles to leader

3              RENAULT Z.E at + 1142miles to leader

4              ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team at + 1289 miles to leader

5              NEUTROGENA at + 1313 miles to leader

6              GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS at + 1905 miles to leader

7              HUGO BOSS at + 3327 miles to leader

8              FORUM MARITIM CATALA at + 3802 miles to leader

9              WE ARE WATER at + 6060 miles to leader

10            CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA at + 10753 miles to leader

 

RTD        FONCIA

RTD        PRESIDENT

RTD        GROUPE BEL

RTD        MIRABAUD

 

Alex Pella (ESP) Estrella Damm:“We are still sailing upwind but a little bit more eased, cracked a bit making north. The wind is very stable. In the next 24 to 48 hours there will be a change. First we have a transition zone with some lighter winds, then some SW’ly veering to the N. Let us see how Renault Z.E goes but for now they are better positioned than us. For sure the further north you are at the moment, the better. That is what we decided is best for getting to Gibraltar. We think that Renault Z.E has made the best choice and ourselves too. There was not much to hide, we talked about using ghost mode but in the end it was not left or right, there was only one way to go and we have to go there as fast as possible and let the others do what they can.

We’ll see what happens between now and the Strait and then in the Mediterranean. There should be the accordion effect in the Strait but really it is impossible to know because we are still about eight days from that. Until then it will be difficult to catch up. But otherwise everything is going well, the boat is all good, it is getting colder again, we have thicker clothes on again and we have food to spare, and Pepe seems to have enough painkillers for his knee until the finish.?

Iker Martinez (ESP) MAPFRE:“Yesterday was a bit of a complicated day.  We took the decision to go between La Palma and La Gomera which seemed like a good option. We thought we could use a bit of the lee to make a fix a problem with sail and the solent stay, but it got a bit out of hand, there were a lot of waves and we had gusts of 30 knots, we ended up having to run downwind to change to the smaller headsail, then we had 40 knots and it all got a bit messy. We managed to get it all in order, but we probably lost about three hours of sailing. It was a day with a lot going on, but in the end we did not break anything else. The stay we fixed works not bad, we were a bit unlucky and we broke a bit of the furler, so we swapped about a bit, changed the cables and it is OK, it works. We can use the Solent which is important.

We are pretty tired with the food situation, physically this is an ultramarathon. Some days we have it when we are really tired, but it is not one of our biggest worries. I think we are all now thinking about the finish, not too long ago we weren’t but now we are.

We try to sleep as much as we can to keep energy so that we don’t make mistakes, and if they do like yesterday then we have the energy to deal with them and keep going.

It is more than 10 years that we have been physically training. Training for the Olympics in China was pretty extreme, so I think that physically we were in good shape for this race, but I think we pushed very hard.

We are here in this second place because of our physical preparation and ability to push, not because of our experience. Fourteen months ago we did not even have an IMOCA Open 60 and had never even sailed on of these before.?

Ryan Breymaier (USA) Neutrogena:  “They (Estrella Damm and Renault Z.E) are both going quite fast at the moment, but I am not sure how well that is going to work for them because that ridge goes back north and I think that it is going to be quite tricky for them. We have been waiting, hoping for some sort of tactical opportunity just to finish quicker, not even so much thinking we can get by them, just to finish with some food less. So theirs seemed like an option but the ridge seems to move back and forth a lot and so that makes it a much more difficult to take that option.?

 

Virbac Paprec 3 Announces They Are In Ghost Mode (Photo by Virbac-Paprec 3 / Barcelona World Race)

Virbac Paprec 3 Announces They Are In Ghost Mode (Photo by Virbac-Paprec 3 / Barcelona World Race)

 Virbac-Paprec 3 in ‘ghost’ mode

 We Are Water prepare for the worst case scenario

 Renault Z.E. third into northern hemisphere
‘Let’s play!’ commented Loick Peyron and Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) from Virbac-Paprec 3 this morning as they entered ‘stealth’ mode at 1000hrs (UTC). Their position or rankings will not be visible for 36 hours, ensuring that their movements will remain hidden from view by the fleet and nearest rivals MAPFRE.

Tactically the forthcoming upwind section of Atlantic raises an interesting dilemma for the front-runners, and particularly for MAPFRE, 244 miles behind in this morning’s 0500hrs position report. The Azores High is expanding east-west across the north Atlantic, creating a large obstacle on the way to the Mediterranean. Whilst taking a westerly route looks like an unworkable tactic given the considerable extra mileage involved, the issue of when to tack east to avoid the centre of the anticyclone remains uncertain.

The GRIB files show stronger winds near the coast so by tacking early towards North Africa they will reach better pressure soonest, but will be sailing an unfavorable angle for longer. Carry on heading north as long as they dare and they will benefit from lifting pressure, but are at risk of getting trapped by the light winds at the centre of the high, while taking a ‘middle road’ between the two means avoiding the light winds in the lee of the Canary Islands. When to tack in, and when to tack back out? Timing will be everything, and by selecting stealth mode Virbac-Paprec 3 are hiding the clues for MAPFRE.

Estrella Damm (Photo by Estrellan Damm / Barcelona World Race)

Estrella Damm (Photo by Estrellan Damm / Barcelona World Race)

Battening the hatches

The situation is more serious on We Are Water. “The barometer has gone down to 956mb, we are preparing for the worst possible scenario,? emailed Jaume Mumbru (ESP) this morning, as he and Cali Sanmarti prepared to ride out what Barcelona World Race meteorologist Marcel van Triest predicted could be the worst Southern Ocean storm of the race due to a deep low pressure system.

The weather forecast for the area they are sailing in for the next 18 hours is severe: a south-westerly gale of 45-60 knots, gusting 75: a Force 12. In conjunction with the strong winds, huge seas are also predicted with a 9-12 metre swell. Heavy rain, squalls, and even snow are all likely as the winds are blowing directly from Antarctica, bringing bitingly cold dense air which makes the conditions all the more intense.

Jaume Mumbru reported from the boat around 1500hrs this afternoon that they were running away from the gale under storm jib only with zero mainsail, in around 55 knot (63mph or 101 km/h) winds. The pair were safely inside the boat, which was making around 11 knots in a north-easterly direction, and reported that although conditions were intensely cold, the wave pattern was better than anticipated with no confused cross-seas.

Battle for bronze

Just 118 miles divide the third to fifth-placed boats this afternoon as Renault Z.E., Estrella Damm and Neutrogena sweat it out in the Doldrums, where temperatures are soaring to over 30 degrees inside, making sleep during daytime almost impossible for some.

Renault Z.E. became the third boat to re-enter the northern hemisphere at 1445 (UTC) this afternoon, in what so far appears to be a relatively benign Doldrums crossing. Just 76 miles behind, Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes (ESP) remain solid in fourth, ahead of Ryan Breymaier (USA) and Boris Herrmann (GER) on Neutrogena. Ryan Breymaier explained today:

“There are position reports every six hours and I’m always looking on the map to see how many more miles we still have to cover, how fast, and when we’ll arrive. There are lots of things that can affect the rankings, the weather can change things quickly and as we saw from the start of the race the Mediterranean is not very easy for anyone to manage so we hope to be close to each other and still able to earn miles on them. But we don’t think too much about third place as I think with our damaged keel it’s going to be too difficult to get near enough.?

At 535 miles behind, Dee Caffari (GBR) and Anna Corbella (ESP) on GAES Centros Auditivos are also anticipating the light winds, as they require flat water to make laminating repairs to their leaking ballast tank. Instead they have experienced fluctuating and unpredictable breezes that Dee Caffari this morning described as a ‘practice Doldrums’, but are this afternoon once again making 10 knots.

Hugh Boss Sail (Photo by Hugo Boss / Barcelona World Race)

Hugh Boss Sail (Photo by Hugo Boss / Barcelona World Race)

Having exited yesterday’s brief but fierce low pressure system, Forum Maritim Catala and Hugo Boss are the fastest of the fleet over the past 24 hours, with just under 200 miles dividing the pair. With the depression having rapidly moved south-east, the race is now on for both to make sufficient ground north to avoid the chasing high and accompanying light winds. Forum Maritim Catala having gained over 80 miles on Hugo Boss over the past 24 hours, and the competition between the two is yet to be settled.

 

Standings at 1400hrs Wednesday 23rd March, 2011

1              VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 in ‘ghost’ mode

2              MAPFRE at 3066,6 miles from the finish

3              RENAULT Z.E at 887,5 from the MAPFRE

4              ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team at 963,5 miles

5              NEUTROGENA at 1005 miles

6              GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS at 1540,8 miles

7              HUGO BOSS at 3558,1 miles

8              FORUM MARITIM CATALA at 3749,4 miles

9              WE ARE WATER at 5462,2 miles

10            CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA at 9371,2 miles

RTD         FONCIA

RTD         PRESIDENT

RTD         GROUPE BEL                                                                        

RTD         MIRABAUD

 

Quotes from today’s skippers:

Dee Caffari (GBR), GAES Centros Auditivos:
“It’s like a practice for the Doldrums that we’ve had. It’s a bit frustrating because we still can’t sail the boat at 100 per cent because we’re waiting to do the big repair, and yet we’re still really struggling with the conditions. But today’s been much better.

“I need to laminate some carbon over some damage in our ballast tanks that are structural to the boat. So we can’t sail the boat at 100 per cent because we’re upwind and we can’t afford the cracks to open up. But we can’t do the repair unless we’re in flat water to allow it to stick, so it’s a case of really looking after the boat.?

Ryan Breymaier (USA), Neutrogena:

“The Doldrums are going very well thus far, knock on wood. We have between 5 and 10 knots out of the breeze and it’s not stopped yet, so hopefully that continues.

“In these lighter conditions we’re not as compromised as we will be later on when there’s more wind and waves, so we’re pretty happy to be keeping up now and are differently worried about what’s going to happen when we get into the stronger upwind trade wind conditions a little later on. There is no real plan for it, the boat is the condition that it’s in and we do the best we can with what we have. At the moment that’s what we’re doing and that’s what we’re going to continue to do – you know you can’t change reality, and the reality is we are not capable to cant the keel to the maximum and that compromises our speed all the time, Boris and I have accepted that and we just get on with our day to day work.

“The sun is an issue every day. Right now in the cabin it’s 32 degrees and outside it’s probably 36, I don’t know – a lot! For me more than Boris I get burned very easily and I have factor 50 suncream at least every day and wear hats and that kind of stuff, so it’s a real problem for sure, especially in this area. I would’ve told you six weeks ago that the heat really bothered me a lot, but it was awfully cold down in the south for a long period of time! But all things considered though I would say the heat is worse than the cold though, and I think Boris agrees with me.?