© Chris Schmid / Spindrift racing



As the giant trimaran made its way to the Créac’h lighthouse (Isle of Ouessant) for a second attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy, Spindrift 2 dismasted at about 1615h today (Monday 15 January 2018), south of Pointe Saint-Mathieu in a strong 30 knot westerly breeze and rough seas.

Spindrift 2 was ready for this new attempt around the world with a relatively favourable weather window, after a long two-month stand-by at La Trinité sur Mer and then in Brest, Brittany.
With strong winds around Brest, the start from the pontoon was delayed to 1430h. Once Spindrift was into the Iroise, an area of open sea in front of Brest between the Atlantic and the Channel, the sea state was already well formed and the wind blowing at more than 30 knots with strong gusts. As the boat tacked towards the Ouessant Channel, with no warning suddenly Spindrift 2 dismasted. No crew member was injured in the incident.

“Everything happened very fast! In a few seconds, the mast was down. We have been waiting for two months for this new attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy: this window was our last chance. It is a big disappointment for the whole team, both at sea, and on land as we were all ready. We have spent a lot of time optimising the boat, and everything collapses in a few moments,” said Yann Guichard


“We were heading to the start line: there were relatively strong conditions with 30 knots of wind and three metre troughs. A few moments before we were going to tack towards Pointe Saint-Mathieu, the mast broke for some unknown reason. The most important thing is that there were no injuries on board. Unfortunately we had to drop the mast into the sea as we did not want to take  any unnecessary risks for the crew because we were very close to the rocks at Toulinguet. Operations are currently underway to recover the mast and rigging as quickly as possible, as the weather is set to deteriorate early tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. We will now start the process of understanding what has happened,” he concluded.


LA TRINITE-SUR-MER, FRANCE, OCTOBER 17TH 2017: Spindrift racing (Maxi Spindrift 2) skippered by Yann Guichard from France, training for the Jules Verne Trophy 2017 attempt.

LA TRINITE-SUR-MER, FRANCE, OCTOBER 17TH 2017: Spindrift racing (Maxi Spindrift 2) skippered by Yann Guichard from France, training for the Jules Verne Trophy 2017 attempt. © Chris Schmid / Spindrift racing


Yann Guichard and his crew arrived in Brest last night to start the Jules Verne Trophy. Despite a good though not ideal weather window, after two months on stand-by Spindrift racing has decided to take its chance and will leave the dock late this morning to be at the Créac’h lighthouse in the afternoon.

The team was planning to start a week ago, but the weather further down the course did not materialise as anticipated.  However, the area of depression that is currently sitting off the coast of Brittany has finally given the team the opportunity to start their challenge on the Jules Verne record. With strong conditions forecast for the start, the current files show the team reaching the equator in just over five days (5d 5h – 5d 10h), which will give them a cushion on the reference time set by Francis Joyon and his crew (5d 18h ​​59′).

The team is aiming to catch an area of depression off the coast of Brazil to give them a quick crossing of the South Atlantic towards the Cape of Good Hope.

Portrait of skipper Yann Guichard leaving for the Jules Verne Trophy.

© Chris Schmid / Spindrift racing

“We are now Code Green: the latest weather files confirm our departure from the pontoon around noon today, with a Jules Verne Trophy line crossing following quickly.  The 25-30 knot wind from west to north-west will strengthen as we cross the Bay of Biscay, and we are expecting big seas with five metre waves.  It looks like the first 12 hours will be hard going, but then the wind will soften off Cape Finisterre to more moderate trade winds, and we will be doing a lot of gybes towards the Canary Islands,” commented Yann Guichard as the last of the fresh food was taken on board Spindrift 2.

The Jules Verne Trophy record has been held by IDEC Sport (Francis Joyon and his crew) since January 2017, with a time of 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes. During that challenge the team took 12 days 21 hours 22 minutes to reach the tip of South Africa, so improving this time is one of the first objectives of Yann Guichard and his eleven crew.

Yann Guichard (skipper): watch the portrait
Erwan Israël (navigator): watch the portrait
Jacques Guichard (watch captain / helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
Christophe Espagnon (watch captain / helm / bow): watch the portrait
Xavier Revil (watch captain / helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
François Morvan (helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
Antoine Carraz (helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
Thierry Chabagny (helm / bow): watch the portrait
Ewen Le Clech (helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
Sam Goodchild (helm / bow): watch the portrait
Thomas Le Breton (helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
Erwan Le Roux (helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
Router: Jean-Yves Bernot


With a departure imminent, Spindrift racing has launched its website platform dedicated to following the record attempt with real-time cartography and an interactive dashboard:


Spindrift Racing Maxi Trimaran (Photo © Chris Schmid / Spindrift racing )

On 6 November 2017 Spindrift racing, the France-based sailing team will be starting the standby period for its second attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy, the iconic non-stop round the world record.

Spindrift’s skipper, Yann Guichard (FRA), has carefully selected a crew of eleven sailors who bring with them a depth of sailing experience from the worlds of Figaro, Olympics and racing multihulls.  His crew include seven who formed part of the first attempt on the record, with the other five bringing multiple complementary skills to the team.

The current Jules Verne Trophy record, set by Francis Joyon and his crew last winter, stands at 40 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes, and Spindrift has spent much of the past two years optimising its 40-metre maxi-trimaran, Spindrift 2, in Brittany to take on this new challenge.

Joining the team are Thierry Chabagny (FRA) just returned from a Solitaire and a Fastnet in the Figaro, Ewen Le Clech (FRA), who rejoins the trimaran having worked on updating it with Pascal Bidégorry in 2010.  Britain’s Sam Goodchild joined Yann Guichard on the match-race circuit this season, having spent two years racing offshore trimarans.  Also joining is Thomas Le Breton (FRA), a former member of the French Olympic team in the Laser and then the Finn, who has recently returned from Bermuda where he was a tactician for the French challenge in the America’s Cup. Finally, completing this group are Tanguy Cariou, ex-member of the French Olympic team and crew in D35, who will be on the first part of the stand-by, and then Erwan Le Roux (part of the Spindrift 2 crew for the Transat Québec-Saint Malo) will take over from November 26, 2017, when he returns from the Transat Jacques Vabre.This five-man squad will join Yann Guichard and six crew from the 2015 attempt. These are sailors that Guichard knows well: Xavier Revil, Christophe Espagnon and François Morvan have all run Olympic campaigns together.  Antoine Carraz or Jacques Guichard have been part of the Spindrift team since its inception, and Erwan Israel is back onboard again as navigator.

Nine records in 24 years: 
Yann Guichard is in no doubt of the incredibly tough challenge that lies ahead and has appointed Jean-Yves Bernot to be the onshore weather router for this attempt.
The original record set by Commodore Explorer was for 79 days 6 hours and 16 minutes, in the intervening 24 years the record has been almost halved and after iDec Sport’s successful challenge last winter, now stands at 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes.

2017 Jules Verne Trophy Crew: 
Yann Guichard (skipper)
Erwan Israël (navigator)
Jacques Guichard (watch captain/helm/timmer)
Christophe Espagnon (watch captain / helm / bow)
Xavier Revil (watch captain /helm /trimmer)
François Morvan (helm / trimmer)
Antoine Carraz (helm / trimmer)
Thierry Chabagny (helm /bow)
Ewen Le Clech (helm / trimmer)
Sam Goodchild (helm / bow)
Thomas Le Breton (helm / trimmer)
Tanguy Cariou  (helm / trimmer) / Erwan Le Roux  (helm / trimmer)


Banque Populaire V On Standby (Photo by BPCE/Benoit Stichelbaut)

Banque Populaire V On Standby (Photo by BPCE/Benoit Stichelbaut)

It has been a bit more than a year since the Maxi Banque Populaire V has been launched and this incredible multihull is now ready to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy. After having triumphed over the Atlantic and on the 24 hour distance, Pascal Bidégorry and his crew are now prepared to set off and steal Bruno Peyron’s record established in 2005 aboard the maxi catamaran Orange 2.  From now on, the skipper of Maxi Banque Populaire V and his Team scrutinize any weather opportunity to undertake this circumnavigation around the globe in less than 50 days, 16 hours and 20 minutes.
In time and in good shape! After a two month refit and one month of training and of physical preparation, Pascal Bidégorry is a satisfied and confident skipper: “I’m so glad to be here, with everything we have accomplished. I am really pleased and appreciate the work achieved by the whole Team of Banque Populaire. We just took the appropriate time to reach the right level of preparation and we actually fully comply with the planning” explained Pascal. They are even ahead of schedule with the stand-by mode being announced 3 days before the planned date. The skipper carried on: “we have tried in recent weeks to step back from everything that can happen on board and all our embedded systems. We knew they were effective but there were still some issues to solve in the perspective of sailing around the world on this boat. Today, I feel everybody serene.”
Entering the SouthAccording to Pascal, in order to determine the best weather window, it is paramount to reach the roaring forties as quickly as possible, which means exit the Bay of Biscay quickly, then cross the Doldrums and go through the St Helen highs without having to divert. “We are trying to get a long term overview of the conditions to get into the south. Being ahead of Orange 2 is what really matters to us, and not only at the Doldrums. Nonetheless, weather forecasts in the southern hemisphere are actually very complex and not that interesting.” After Groupama 3’s departure last week on it attempt to break the record, Pascal and his team had a closer look at the expected conditions. “The window they have selected was not inspiring us that much” clarified Pascal. “We did not see any hurry in leaving that quickly especially as weather systems in the South do not seem to be fairly settled. I really have no regrets in not departing together but we are indeed following Groupama 3 with great interest and analyzing the weather sequences heading south.”
Pascal Bidegorry has selected an incredible crew to attempt this record with him. Those sailors, doted of high human values and versatile experience, competitiveness and technical skills, will be joined up by Thierry Chabagny, an accomplished Figaro sailor.
From this Thursday 12 November, they are now all entering into RED code in their departure procedure. If a favorable weather window is identified, they would then switch to ORANGE code, meaning there would be a chance of departure within the next 48 to 72 hours. In the case the window is confirmed, the team then switches to GREEN code and can depart within the next 24 to 48 hours.
Maxi Banque Populaire V’s crew list
SKIPPER Pascal Bidégorry
Ronan Lucas / Technical Director
Role : Bowman
Other : in charge of security
Ewen Le Clech / Boat Captain of the Maxi Banque Populaire V
Role : Bowman
Other : in charge of the hydraulic mechanic and fittings
Kévin Escoffier / In charge of the Maxi Banque Populaire V’s design team
Role : Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : Vidéo
Yann Eliès
Role : Watch leader, Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : sails
Yvan Ravussin
Role : Watch leader Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : in charge of the video and composite
Emmanuel Le Borgne
Role : Watch leader, Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : in charge of the medical
Erwan Tabarly
Role : Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : in charge of the electronics
Pierre Yves Moreau
Role : Bowman
Other : in charge of the composite and fitting
Florent Chastel
Role : Bowman
Other : In charge of the medical and rigging
Xavier Revil
Role : Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : food on board
Thierry Chabagny
Role : Helmsman / Trimmer
Marcel Van Triest
Role : Weather Router, Navigator


Banque Populaire V During Record Crossing (Photo by Team Banque Populaire V)

Banque Populaire V During Record Crossing (Photo by Team Banque Populaire V)

Pascal Bidégorry and his crew of 11 men aboard the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V, smashed the Transatlantic Record crossing the North Atlantic,by half a day. They also broke the 24hr record with 908 miles.
Groupama 3 also broke their own record set in 2007.


The first record time for sailing across the North Atlantic was established by the ATLANTIC schooner, a 56 m long three-masted vessel skippered by the famous American captain Charlie Barr in 1905, in more than 12 days. For 75 years this record was not beaten.

Eric Tabarly was to be the first person to smash it in 1980 aboard his trimaran PAUL RICARD, cutting the time to 10 days.

Marc Pajot (ELF AQUITAINE I), Patrick Morvan (JET SERVICES II), Loïc Caradec & Philippe Facques (ROYALE II), Philippe Poupon (FLEURY MICHON VIII), then Serge Madec (JET SERVICES V) each in turn reduceD the time, the latter having achieved the crossing in 6 days 13h 3mn and 32s in June 1990 at an average speed of 18.42 knots. This record was to remain in everyone’s mind, as it stood for more than 10 years.

We had to wait for the new generation of maxi-catamarans built for The Race for the record held by JET SERVICES V to be smashed. It was beaten on 10th October 2001 by the American Steve Fossett aboard his 38 m maxi-catamaran PLAYSTATION in 4 days, 17 hours, 28 mn and 6s, at an incredible average speed of 25.78 knots.

Bruno Peyron and his Orange II crew smashed Fossett’s record aboard the maxi catamaran Orange II, finishing the course from Ambrose Light near New York City to Lizard Point off the southwestern tip of Great Britain in just 4 days, 8 hours, 23 minutes and 54 seconds – more than 9 hours faster than Fossett. Halfway through the 3,100 nautical mile trip, Orange II hit a submerged iceberg and broke one of its two steering rudders.

The Orange II Dream Team improved on the record set by Steve Fossett’s PlayStation by 9 hours 4 minutes and 12 seconds, a record that was said to be unbeatable.

Next was 105 foot trimaran Groupama III , in 2007
With an almost unbelievable time of 4 days, 3 hours, 57 minutes and 54 seconds, beating Bruno Peyron’s time on Orange II by almost 5 hours.

Today in 2009 that record has been shattered again.
Prelimary times until ratified are,

Groupama 3, – 3 days 18 hrs, 12 min, 58 secs – average speed 31.92 kts

Banque Populaire V,- 3 days, 15 hrs,25 min,48 secs, average speed 32.94 kts, peak speed 47.15 kts,

24 Hour Record, 908 mile, average speed of 37.8 kts
1905 – Charlie Barr – Atlantic – USA – 12d 4h 1m – 10.02 kts
1980 – Eric Tabarly – Paul Ricard – FRA – 10d 5h 14m – 11.93 kts
1981 – Marc Pajot Elf – Aquitaine – FRA – 9d 10h 6m – 12.94 kts
1984 – Patrick Morvan – Jet Services II – FRA 8d 16h 33m – 14.03 kts
1986 – Loïc Caradec – Royale II – FRA – 7d 21h 5m – 15.47 kts
1987 – Philippe Poupon – Fleury Michon VIII – FRA – 7d 12h 50m – 16.18 kts
1988 – Serge Madec – Jet Services V – FRA -7d 6h 30m – 16.76 kts
1990 – Serge Madec – Jet Services V – FRA – 6d 13h 3m – 18.62 kts
2001 – Steve Fossett – PlayStation – USA – 4d 17h 28m 6s – 25.78 kts
2006 – Bruno Peyron – Orange II – FRA – 4d 8h 23m 54s – 28 kts
2007 – Franck Cammas – Groupama 3 – FRA – 4d 3h 57m 54s – 29.26 kts


Challenge and Adventure's George Bekris On Board Banque Prior To Record Populaire Breaking Crossing (Photo by Donna Erichsen)

Banque Populaire V Crew Before Breaking The North Atlantic Record (Photo by Team Banque Populaire)

Banque Populaire V Crew Before Breaking The North Atlantic Record (Photo by Team Banque Populaire)


Groupama 3 Finishing Atlantic Crossing (Photo by Alex Julian)

Groupama 3 Finishing Atlantic Crossing (Photo by Alex Julian)

Challenge and Adventure's George Bekris onboard Groupama 3 (Photo by Donna Erichsen)

Challenge and Adventure's George Bekris onboard Groupama 3 (Photo by Donna Erichsen)