MACIF arrives in New York City, July 3, 2017 (Photo © Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co.)

François Gabart and the crew on MACIF win THE BRIDGE 2017 Ultime Trimarans – Centennial Transat race as they crossed under the The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on July 3rd at 13:31 EST. The crew consisting of François Gabart – skipper, Pascal Bidégorry, Guillaume Combescure, Antoine Gautier, Benoît Marie and Yann Riou. They crossed in 8 days, 31 minutes and 20 seconds. The boat crossed the atlantic averaging 18.6 kts.

MACIF Crew at press conference (Photo © George Bekris)

The race pitted the Queen Mary 2 against four Ultime trimarans skippered by some of the greatest names in Ocean Racing. François Gabart – MACIF, Francis Joyon – IDEC SPORT, Thomas Coville – Sodebo Ultime and Yves Le Blévec – ACTUAL.

François Gabart © George Bekris

They left Saint-Nazaire on June 25th UTC for the 3068.4 nm transat. The trimaran skippers faced headwinds during much of their race as a result they raced a longer race in terms of actual miles than the Queen Mary 2. They also had some areas of very calm winds reducing their boat speed.

  • © George Bekris

The QM2 could follow a more or less straight line to the finish minus the exclusion zones for ice formations and Cetaceans. The Queen Mary 2 did stray into the ice exclusion zone for a short time before correcting causing them a penalty.

  • © Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co.

IDEC SPORT, skippered by Francis Joyon placed 2nd when they crossed under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at 8 days 11 hours 9 minutes 3seconds. The crew covered this transat with an average of 17.2 kts of speed. We spoke to Francis Joyon following his arrival in New York and he said he plans to head back across the atlantic solo on Friday July 7th on IDEC SPORT. He stated this will be the first time he has a chance to sail IDEC SPORT solo and he wants to take this opportunity to get to know his boat without crew. 17.2 kts average speed.

  • © George Bekris

Sodebo Ultime crossed 3rd despite having an injured crewman on Tuesday, July 4 at 05:18:55 EST. Just 50 miles behind IDEC SPORT. They completed the race in 8 days,16 hours,18 minutes, 55 seconds with a 17.04 kts average speed.

Thomas Coville, the current round the world solo record holder, was in good spirits after arrival and was happy with the time they made coming in as they passed the Statue of Liberty right after dawn. They were able to complete the race without evacuating the injured Thierry Briend until they passed the finish. He was then transferred to a RIB and taken for medical attention as a precaution.

© Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co. NEW YORK CITY – USA , 4 Juillet 2017

Coville commented on dealing with his injured friend and crewmate after arriving at the Atlantic Boat Basin ““We were all very worried when Thierry had his problem,” Colville said. “I’m not going to discuss the whole race through this, but it really did affect us. He was knocked flat on his back and then the other way, face first onto a winch. He was incoherent for a few hours and couldn’t remember what had happened. The doctor said evacuating him from the boat wasn’t the right thing to do because it was best to keep him out of the elements. You need to have a very professional crew running the boat, so that when you have an injury, like Thierry had, you can manage it properly. We managed to race the boat to the finish and the situation with Thierry at the same time.”

  • © George Bekris

ACTUAL finish off the race and concluded the race when they arrived in New York on July 5th, at 10.28 pm and 58 seconds. They arrived in the night with spotlights highlighting the crew and boat against the Statue of Liberty as they passed.

  • © Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co.

The event concluded for the Ultime Trimarans with the award ceremony at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan on July 6, 2017.

  • © Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co.

Although the rest of the MACIF was on hand for the ceremony and to accept the award. François Gabart had to appear via live video because he had to return to France where his wife is expecting a baby at any time.

New York Yacht Club awards presentation. (Photo © Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co.)

The event concluded for the Ultime Trimarans with the award ceremony at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan on July 6, 2017.

THE BRIDGE 2017 (Photo © George Bekris)

Crew of IDEC SPORT
Francis Joyon
Alex Pella (ESP)
Sébastien Audigane
Gwénola Gahinet
Clément Surtel
Quentin Ponroy

Crew of ACUTAL
Yves Le Blévec
Samantha Davies
Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant
Davy Beaudart
Stanislas Thuret

Crew of Sodebo Ultime
Thomas Coville
Jean-Luc Nélias
Vincent Riou
Billy Besson
Loïc Le Mignon
Thierry Briend

Crew of MACIF
François Gabart
Pascal Bidégorry
Guillaume Combescure
Antoine Gautier
Benoît Marie
Yann Riou

Damien Grimont, Organiser of THE BRIDGE, is raised overhead by the MACIF Crew after they docked at The Atlantic Basin (Photo © George Bekris)

 

Visit George Bekris Photography for more photos of THE BRIDGE 2017 Maxi Trimarans and Crews 

Visit THE BRIDGE 2017 for more Information and Statistics about the Maxi Trimarans Race

 © 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…
Spindrift 2 by George_Bekris

Spindrift 2 by George_Bekris

Currently on stand-by for the right weather to start their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt, Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard and their crew present the opportunity to share their adventure.

DIGITAL COMMUNICATION

SPECIAL JULES VERNE TROPHY WEBSITE

 WWW.SPINDRIFT.RACING.COM

Spindrift racing has created a new platform devoted entirely to the record attempt. Using your computer, tablet or smartphone, you can explore the history of the Jules Verne Trophy and retrace the steps of the previous record holders. Go behind the scenes, meet the Spindrift 2 crew and see how they organise life on board for 45 days at sea. Experience Spindrift 2 as if you were actually there thanks to video footage of her at the dock, ready to depart.

The fun, accessible, entirely responsive website will be the place to go for daily updates during the around-the-world tour. The logbook will contain messages, photos and videos sent by the crew. Various experts will regularly shed light on the record, while the team’s onshore router Jean-Yves Bernot will provide several illustrated weather reports. Finally, once a week, a live video link will provide an even closer experience of life on board.

FOLLOW SPINDRIFT 2 IN REAL TIME 

The map will go online as soon as the boat starts the record attempt and will be updated every 15 minutes, allowing you to follow the progress of Spindrift 2 around the world. The map is compatible with all screen types, and can be viewed in standard view, Google Maps or Google Earth. One dashboard shows the current race time, the lead or deficit with the current record, the distance covered, the average speed, and the trimaran’s sail plan. The other provides the main environmental data such as the general weather situation, the wind speed and direction, and the air and water temperatures.

For the latest info, stay connected to www.spindrift-racing.com and FacebookTwitter  and Instagram and sign up to the newsletter to receive news about the record attempt in your inbox.

SPINDRIFT FOR SCHOOLS

 CLASSROOM ADVENTURE BOOK



Since the birth of Spindrift racing, Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard have sought to share their passion for sailing, the sea and offshore sailing with children. The Spindrift for Schools programme was conceived as soon as the team decided to attempt the Jules Verne Trophy and has grown as the team has moved from one project to another.

Spindrift racing has worked alongside scientists and teachers to develop tools that fit into the French and Swiss curricula. Launched several weeks ago for primary school teachers, Spindrift for Schools already has 25 partner schools: 17 in France, 8 in Switzerland.

The material available includes a classroom adventure book designed for teachers of 7-12 year-olds and developed by Spindrift racing and Cité de la Voile Éric Tabarly. This comprehensive, illustrated document uses the around-the-world tour as a platform to look at geography, history, science and the arts with the children, and includes practical workshops for the classroom.

The material is supported by five turnkey lessons designed specifically for schools on the oceans, the climate and the water cycle. The lessons will soon be available for download from the Spindrift for Schools page on the team’s website.

Cité de la Voile Eric Tabarly, which receives more than 12,000 students a year, has devised a fun game open to all school classes in France and Switzerland. Like Jules Verne did back in his day, the schoolchildren must design an “extraordinary machine” capable of beating Spindrift 2 in the around-the-world sailing record attempt. A jury formed by educational advisers, the Head of the Cité de la Voile programmes, Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard will determine which entries best meet the criteria. The winning classes will be given the chance to visit the Cité de la Voile and meet the members of Spindrift racing.

Full details of the programme are available at www.spindrift-racing.com.
Contact address for schools: spindrift.for.schools@spindrift-racing.com

SPINDRIFT IMMERSION

A PLACE TO DISCOVER AND SHARE THE ADVENTURE

Following trips to Kiel (Germany), Brest (France) and Geneva (Switzerland), Spindrift immersion is returning to France, first to La Trinité-sur-Mer harbour, then to Brest for the winter. Spindrift immersion uses fun, educational tools to reveal to the general public what life is like for Spindrift racing and its sailors and what lies ahead for them during the Jules Verne Trophy. Immersive videos will give the public the opportunity to simulate sailing Spindrift 2 and the GC32 foiling catamaran.  Spindrift racing has also designed and produced an exhibition on the history of Jules Verne, the around-the-world record and the various trophy winners. The exhibition shows the innovations on Spindrift 2, reveals what life is like on board the boat, and explains how the team prepare for such an extraordinary voyage around the world.

OFFICIAL VIRTUAL REGATTA GAME     

Spindrift racing and the world’s most popular virtual regatta game are launching a special Jules Verne Trophy 2015 edition. Players must choose a departure window based on the weather and attempt to beat the current “real-life” record of 45 days, 13 hours and 42 minutes, as well as the “virtual” record set by the winner of the 2012 Jules Verne Virtual Regatta, who completed the course in 43 days, 19 hours and 45 minutes. This year, the famous game will include rankings for schoolchildren. First prize is the chance to spend a day with the Spindrift racing team. Many other prizes are also provided by partners and official suppliers.

Register at www.spindrift-racing.com or www.virtualregatta.com.

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

 

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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
Windy Day For Groupama 3 (Photo Courtesy Of Team Groupama)

Windy Day For Groupama 3 (Photo Courtesy Of Team Groupama)

The Jules Verne Trophy now belongs to ten men who have sailed around the globe at an average of 18.76 knots along the optimum course, beating the reference time set by Orange 2 in 2005 by 2 days 08 hours 35 minutes. Franck Cammas and his men crossed the finish line off the Créac’h lighthouse at Ushant (Finistère) at 21h40’45” UTC Saturday 20th March. They are due to make the Port du Château in Brest at around 0900 UTC tomorrow. 

The skipper Franck Cammas, navigator Stan Honey, watch leaders Fred Le Peutrec and Steve Ravussin, helmsmen/trimmers Loïc Le Mignon, Thomas Coville and Lionel Lemonchois, and the three bowmen Bruno Jeanjean, Ronan Le Goff and Jacques Caraës, supported on shore by router Sylvain Mondon, have pulled it off: they have beaten the round the world record under sail via the three capes!

In 48 days 07 hours 44 minutes, Groupama 3 has certainly had her highs and lows, as she hasn’t always been ahead of the reference time set by Bruno Peyron and his crew in 2005. On the contrary! The giant trimaran had a deficit of just over 500 miles in relation to Orange 2 and was only able to beat the Jules Verne Trophy record thanks to a dazzling final sprint from the equator. At that stage they had a deficit of one day and two hours, but by devouring the North Atlantic in 6 days 10 h 35′, Groupama 3 quite simply pulverised the reference time over this section of the course. 

groupama-3-crew-after-arrival-at-lizard-point-by-benoit-stichelbaut-seaco

 

Setting out on 31st January 2010 whilst the weather `window’ was not particularly favourable, Franck Cammas and his men have alternated between some extremely fast sequences and some very slow ones. Indeed, the conditions were very varied on this round the world, and even the wind rarely exceeded 40 knots. It has to be said that the chosen trajectory sought to avoid the heavy seas and the overly strong breezes, which considerably increased the distance to travel: in fact Groupama 3 sailed 28,523 miles whilst the official optimum course amounts to 21,760 miles. As such, in terms of actual speed across the ground, the giant trimaran maintained an average speed of 24.6 knots! The trickiest zone, both on the outward journey and the return proved to be the South Atlantic. During the descent problems arose due to the calms and on the ascent due to the headwinds.

Tonight Groupama 3 is remaining offshore of Ushant to await daybreak: she will enter the channel into the harbour of Brest at around 0830 UTC under sail, then a parade around the harbour will culminate with her tying up in the Port du Château at around 1000 hours UTC. A number of France’s top sailors, including Bruno Peyron, previous Jules Verne Trophy holder since 2005, have made the trip to Brest to welcome in the victorious crew and the locals are planning to come out in force to welcome home the ten round the world sailors on Sunday morning.

Fred Le Peutrec At The Helm Of Groupama 3 and Loic Le Mignon At His Side (Photo Courtesy of Team Groupama)

Fred Le Peutrec At The Helm Of Groupama 3 and Loic Le Mignon At His Side (Photo Courtesy of Team Groupama)

In the disturbed air flow spread all over the Atlantic, Groupama 3 carries on its rapid progress towards the finish line and substantially increases its lead over the reference time. The arrival at the Créac’h’s lighthouse is still scheduled for Saturday, but the time frame remains open all day as the low pressure area could slow down the giant trimaran. 

If the departure’s weather window was narrow, the gates of arrival are now wide open! But 1 500 miles away from Ushant, Franck Cammas and his men are not done yet with changing conditions: by having to approach the center of low pressure which is currently pushing the giant trimaran, the wind will become more unstable and should suddenly change from South-West to North-West. The wind will also strengthen to over thirty knots with gusts in the squalls and the crew will therefore have many maneuvers to undertake until the entry of the Gulf of Biscay.

“The sea is short, the wind is not very stable: it does not slide that much. But the sky is very clear unlike yesterday. On Wednesday night, we got it all: the wind went from six to thirty knots! With a flood of rain on top of that. Since we went through the front, everything is going much better, from wind to sea. However it will evolve as we get closer to the center of the low pressure area.” Franck Cammas indicated during the videoconference from 1230 with the Groupama’s Race HQ in Paris in the presence of culinary presenter Jean-Luc Petitrenaud. 

Sunset From Groupama 3 (Photo Courtesy of Groupama 3)

Sunset From Groupama 3 (Photo Courtesy of Groupama 3)

 

Front Canvas…
After 46 days at sea, the crew is starting to get impatient and although the distance between land and the sailors is reduced by great surfs; we felt during the video conference with Franck Cammas that the crew was eager to return to their family … and to normal food!

“We’re going to have a good steak because dried food looks more like dog food! Eating is not a pleasure every day: luckily we got fish dishes and sauces prepared by Philippe Rochat to get some taste … We are sailing too fast to fish and we have only raised a small flying fish out of this world tour, so small that we returned it to the sea ”

The finish meal will still wait until Saturday as, by then, the crew will have to be fit and ready for the tough, but also irregular finish: the front will force men to reduce the sail and during those nights with almost no moon, navigation is always a bit stressful, especially when they have to maneuver. Without counting the shipping traffic which will intensify towards the approach of Cape Finisterre and a sea state to be degraded on arrival on the Continental Plateau. 

 

Loic Le Mignon (Photo Courtesy of Team Groupama)

Loic Le Mignon (Photo Courtesy of Team Groupama)

And front swells…
“We’ll have a rough night coming as it is always difficult to touch a low pressure center: the wind is very irregular and the sea becomes chaotic as the waves mingle with the West great swell! These phases are unpleasant and risky for the equipment. We still have 24 hours a bit tricky … We’ll have to navigate carefully, but quickly because we must not be overtaken by the low pressure or we may have to negotiate even more difficult conditions! We do not hesitate in giving a hand to the guys on watch for the maneuvers and for sails changes, to avoid fatigue and constantly adapt to this changing wind. ”

Groupama’s Race HQ moves this Thursday evening in Brest to prepare the arrival of the giant trimaran which should see the Brittany coast on Saturday. Once this low pressure area is passed tomorrow night, ETA (estimated time of arrival) can be refined to one or two hours. However, so far, the opening is between 8:00 and 20:00 (French time) depending on sea conditions and the wind regularity, as if the clock of the Jules Verne Trophy shells minutes, the yo-yo effect of the weather can change the “cooee” time ! 

Thomas Coville (Photo Courtesy of Team Groupama)

Thomas Coville (Photo Courtesy of Team Groupama)

 Day 45 (17th March 1400 UTC): 441 miles (lead = 412 miles)
Day 46 (18th March 1300 UTC): 579 miles (lead = 828 miles) 

 

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Groupama 3 Deck (Photo Courtesy of Team Groupama)

Groupama 3 Deck (Photo Courtesy of Team Groupama)

On the 44th day at sea, Groupama 3 has made up the ground on Orange 2 very quickly and is now ahead of the reference time. However Franck Cammas and his men have yet to traverse a ridge of high pressure. At that point the giant trimaran is bound to slow down in the lighter breeze, where it will be necessary to put in a gybe before hooking onto a low which will propel her as far as Brest. 

Twenty-two days behind, twenty-two days in front! This round the world course, now less than 2,500 miles from completion, marks an important phase: the reversal of the trend. Amassing a lead of up to 620 miles (6th day) and a 492 mile deficit (40th day) off Brazil, Groupama 3’s progress has often been thwarted by rather unfavourable weather. This Tuesday comes as a great relief then for all the crew aboard Groupama 3, who can now view the next stage of the programme in a slightly more relaxed manner and with more clarity, as the forecasts are encouraging for this Atlantic sprint.

“We have some good conditions, we’re going fast and there’s a great atmosphere on deck, but we’re going to have a battle on our hands with the ridge of high pressure that’s lying across our path. Nevertheless, we can really smell home now! We’ve been waiting for this moment to get ahead again… At times recently, it’s been possible to read a bit of doubt on our faces. However, our routing was right and we’re beginning to make gains now. We remain humble because we’ve still got a way to go yet and there may be some obstacles across our path, such as containers or the like… Nevertheless, the strategy that’s taking shape is giving the crew something to be enthusiastic about! In principle, we shouldn’t be lacking in wind at the end and we’re still envisaging a finish this weekend” indicated Jacques Caraës during the 1130 UTC radio session with Groupama’s Race HQ in Paris. 

 

In time for spring…
Suspense continues to reign today though as the completion of the course will depend on the time Groupama 3 takes to traverse the ridge of high pressure: if the wind is greater than ten knots, the giant trimaran could hook onto a front the minute she escapes the high pressure. However, if the zone of high pressure shifts across at the same time as the boat, the time frame may be considerably longer and Franck Cammas and his men might have to bide their time until they can hook onto another disturbed system… The least favourable routing gives an arrival on Sunday morning.

“The last few days will be pretty tough and we’re going to have to stay on our guard, because we’ve certainly accumulated some fatigue along the way. Some of us have lost weight and all of us have weaker legs due to not moving round much aboard Groupama 3. We’ve had a balanced diet, even though it’s not excellent everyday! The boat has also lost weight and you can feel that she’s lighter… Five years ago on Orange 2, we weren’t spoilt after the equator with a very W’ly course and two ridges of high pressure to traverse. We didn’t really get going again until we were level with the Azores. We’ve certainly got an advantage today, especially as Groupama 3 has a superior speed capacity when sailing close-hauled. We’re also driving the boat a bit harder because Bruno Peyron had a bit more room for manoeuvre to beat the Jules Verne Trophy in 2005: he always remained below the maxi-catamaran’s potential.” 

 

The final high pressure trap
“A ridge of high pressure is a barrier of light winds. However, that’s not the only difficulty before the finish as there will be some fronts to negotiate. Groupama 3 has been well positioned since exiting the Doldrums, by shifting across to 40°W. Indeed the trajectory will be able to bend northwards and as the wind eases, the giant trimaran will accompany the rotation to the SE, then the S, gybing once the breeze has clocked round to the SW. The axis of the ridge of high pressure, where the winds are lighter, should be reached early this Tuesday evening. The zone which contains wind of less than fifteen knots stretches around 400 miles, with a particularly sensitive phase of around fifty miles with just ten knots or so of breeze…” says Sylvain Mondon from Météo France.

Once through this tricky zone, the wind is set to pick up considerably from Wednesday afternoon: an initial low is passing across the Azores to join up with Europe, whilst a second is due to follow suit. As such the wind will be established over this final section of the course through until the middle of next week, which means we can be fairly optimistic about the finish off Ushant. “The probabilities on a round the world in winter indicate that the strongest winds are in the Bay of Biscay: there will be waves of up to four to five metres and forty knots of breeze or more…”