With the Mirabaud Bol d’Or now behind them and the Maxi Trimaran ready for competition, the Spindrift Racing Team is back in training mode, and Yann Guichard and his crew have today set off to complete a Transatlantic passage between two world sailing hub – La Trinite’-Sur-Mer in Brittany and Newport, Rhode Island, USA.

The crew of twelve met at Spindrift racing’s base in St Philibert on Friday 15 June and a few hours later, left for their 3000-mile training sail between France and the United States. While the Atlantic is well known to all of the sailors onboard, it provides a great place to train as it offers constantly varied and changing weather situations. In this way the crew will have an excellent opportunity to, once again get back into the rhythm of sailing the world’s largest trimaran as the team prepares for their upcoming Jules Verne Trophy attempt.

The benefits of getting back out on the water and sailing for a longer period are not lost on Yann Guichard: “In sailing, you continue to learn, from the first day through to the last, and the more we sail the better we will get. A transatlantic can be a very effective exercise, and offers much more than single training days in the bay of Quiberon. Sailing these longer passages allows us to set goals for the longer term, to strengthen our teamwork and especially to get some sea miles under our belt.

However, there is a double objective to this crossing. The first is team oriented: “This is not the final crew for the Jules Verne but a transat offers us the opportunity to test new people whose profile can bring something to a world record attempt. I place a lot of importance on team work and my choice of crew, and it is important that any new recruit fits in with the group as a whole. We are sailing with 12 crew, which includes seven sailors that form the core of Spindrift racing and who have been with me almost since the beginning,” commented Yann.

The second objective is “to get as much data and analytics from Spindrift 2 in her new configuration as possible. This year, she has been fitted with her original mast that we shortened and adapted for the 2014 Route du Rhum. As the mast is smaller than our previous one, the team will have to adapt and make some changes in how we sail. So far we have not sailed much with our new rig, so by adapting both technically and physically, we can be as prepared as possible for the challenge that awaits us at the end of the year,” explained the skipper.

With the black and gold team now enroute, it is expected that they will sail south towards the Canaries so as to “find the conditions that are as similar as possible to the reaching conditions that we would find on a World tour,” concluded Yann.

Spindrift 2 is expected to arrive in Newport on about 23 June.

© Chris Schmid / Spindrift racing

SPINDRIFT 2 DISMASTS ON WAY TO START OF ROUND THE WORLD RECORD. ( Photo © 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

SPINDRIFT 2 DISMASTS ON WAY TO START OF ROUND THE WORLD RECORD

“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.

2018 JULES VERNE TROPHY 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

 

A NEW DEDICATED WEBSITE
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:
WWW.SPINDRIFT-RACING.COM/JULES-VERNE

 

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)

 

Working hard for the win on NORAUTO. Photo ©: Jesus Renedo / GC32 Racing Tour.

Working hard for the win on NORAUTO. Photo ©: Jesus Renedo / GC32 Racing Tour.

 

The warm Poniente westerly breeze was blowing around 14 knots at the start of the afternoon but later picked up to gusting 20 knots, with the fleet putting a reef in their mainsails after two of the five races. It didn’t matter what configuration the GC32s were racing in, however, NORAUTO was the master of all situations.

Even when Minoprio pulled the trigger slightly too soon at the start of Race 3, the French team completed its penalty efficiently and was already vying for the lead at the bottom of the first downwind leg. “The other boats rounded the first turning mark a bit wide and we managed a tighter turn which put us on the inside track before the first gybe,” said Minoprio, whose two years of solid training with Luna Rossa, the now disbanded America’s Cup team, has stood him in good stead for mastering the new science of high-speed hydrofoiling.


NORAUTO winning on day one in Sotogrande. Photo: Jesus Renedo / GC32 Racing Tour

Team Tilt, with helmsman Sébastien Schneiter recently returned from competing at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016, was looking sharp, coming second in three of the five races. However gear failure led to a retirement from Race 4 which has added expensive points to their score. However the Swiss still hold second place overall on the leaderboard, on equal points with third-placed Team ENGIE who sailed a great day, completing all races and finishing second in race four.

Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco also sailed a very solid day, coming second in the first race and finishing all races, refusing to allow a problem with their mast track defeat them as they limped across the finish line of one race a long way behind the rest of the fleet. Realteam got better as the day went on, Jérôme Clerc steering the Swiss boat to third place in the final two heats, and sitting in fifth overall. Flavio Marazzi was less happy with his outing on ARMIN STROM after the boat succumbed to equipment failure that put him out of the second and third races before getting back on the race course to complete the day. Normally Marazzi and his crew – which includes World Match Racing Champion Phil Robertson – love the big breeze so today will be seen as a missed opportunity for the Swiss crew.


Team ENGIE shows some foil next to Malizia.  Photo: Jesus Renedo / GC32 Racing Tour

For Naofumi Kamei, it’s early days at the helm of his GC32 called Mamma Aiuto!, and today’s strong winds were a big challenge for the team which is still short on training time. The crew is not inexperienced; it includes two 49er stars, former World Champion Javier de la Plaza and 2008 Olympic Champion Martin Kirketerp, but things happen quickly in the GC32 and there is no margin for error as De la Plaza explained: “We had just got on to the downwind leg in the second race and the boat was riding too high on the foil. We should have been running it lower so that the boat was riding lower to the water.”

The boat leapt out of the water before crashing back down at great speed, the boat rapidly decelerating from 32 knots to a dead stop. Kamei and crewman Manuel Weiller were thrown up in the air, over the top of the crew and past the front beam before they landed in the water. While Kamei escaped without injury, Weiller was taken ashore and to hospital to have an injury to his knee checked over. No major damage, although it looks unlikely Weiller will be part of the race crew for the next three days of the event.

On Friday the breeze looks lighter in Sotogrande which will come as a relief to some, although probably not NORAUTO who – at a top speed of 37 knots today – looked majestic and very much in command of the challenging conditions of day one. Friday’s racing begins at 1300 CET.

Teams competing at the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup

ARMIN STROM Sailing Team (SUI) skipper Flavio Marazzi
Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco (MON) skipper Pierre Casiraghi
Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) skipper Naofumi Kamei
NORAUTO (FRA) skipper Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Realteam (SUI) skipper Jérôme Clerc
Team ENGIE (FRA) skipper Sébastien Rogues
Team Tilt (SUI) skipper Sébastien Schneiter

Provisional Results after Day 1

2016 GC32 Racing Tour – overall results after three events

Pos Team Riva Cup Malcesine Cup Copa del Rey MAPFRE Total
1 NORAUTO 1 2 1 4
2 Team Tilt 2 1 3 6
3 ARMIN STROM Sailing Team 3 6 2 11
4 Gunvor Sailing 4 3 9 16
5 Argo 7 4 5 16
6 Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco 8 5 4 17
7 Team ENGIE 5 8 8 21
8 Mama Aluto! 10 7 6 23
9 Realteam 10 9 7 26
10 Spindrift racing 6 11 11 28
11 Orange Racing 9 10 10 29

2016 GC32 Racing Tour – owner-driver overall results after three events

Pos Team Riva Cup Malcesine Cup Copa del Rey MAPFRE Total
1 Argo 1 1 2 4
2 Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco 2 2 1 5
3 Orange Racing 3 3 4 10
4 Mamma Aiuto! 4 4 3 11
gc32 rt malcesine day 01 ph max ranchi (2)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

 

After two very successful opening days of competition on Lake Garda, no racing was held on the final day of the GC32 Malcesine Cup. Following the collision of Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco and a press RIB on Friday, the Fraglia Vela Malcesine and the GC32 International Class Association did not reach an agreement over the liability for the final day of racing.

In the four years that the GC32 Racing Tour has existed, safety has always been of paramount importance. Steps the GC32 Racing Tour has taken this year include employing its own Safety Officer in Henrik Norberg – a former America’s Cup and multihull sailor, whose regular job for the last 25 years has also as a fireman and paramedic in his native Sweden. At the GC32 Malcesine Cup additional steps have been taken to increase the exclusion zone around the race area.

 

Christian Scherrer, GC32 Racing Tour Manager, said: “Fortunately there was no injury during Friday’s incident. We are continually taking steps to improve safety and have made considerable progress and will continue to do so this season.”

A safety group within the GC32 Class Association has been set up to improve safety procedures for future GC32 regattas. This group will include Norberg and some of the GC32’s most experienced and prominent sailors.

President of the Fraglia Vela Malcesine, Gianni Testa, commented:  “As event organiser, the FVM fully shares and agrees in the decision of the class: Safety First! Foiling is a new game and it requires new safety procedures to guarantee the safety on the race course for everyone involved.”

 

Team Tilt Winner (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Team Tilt Winner (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Team Tilt gets the ceremonial dowsing. Photo ©: Max Ranchi / www.maxranchi.com

Team Tilt victorious

The GC32 Malcesine Cup had a close conclusion with Switzerland’s Team Tilt finishing just one point ahead of the Franck Cammas-steered NORAUTO. These results are the opposite of those scored at May’s GC32 Riva Cup. With the two teams now tied on points at the top of the overall leaderboard, Team Tilt is nominally overall leader of the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour due to her winning the latest regatta.

Helmsman Arnaud Psarofaghis said: “It is a great to win here in Malcesine and it is a good end for the boys at the end of the week we have done. We improved every race so it is good to have won here. It was pretty sad we didn’t complete any scoring races over the last two days. We wanted to fight more on the water so that is a shame, but it is life and we did the work at the right time.”

Jason Carroll’s Argo won the owner-driver trophy at the GC32 Malcesine Cup to consolidate her position at the top of 2016 owner-driver results table.

The GC32 Racing Tour now moves on to the 35th Copa del Rey MAPFRE, to be held over 3-6 August in Palma de Mallorca.

Looking ahead Psarofaghis said: “I think everyone will improve. I think will have some more people in the fight for the podium and we will have to push harder and harder and not rest on our laurels. Take the win now but work harder for the next race.”

Get the very latest news from the GC32 Racing Tour’s new social media pages:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gc32racingtour/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GC32RacingTour

Overall results (subject to jury hearings tomorrow)

Pos Team R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Tot
1 Team Tilt 1 3 5 1 2 1 1 2 2 18
2 NORAUTO 3 1 1 3 1 2 2 5 1 19
3 Gunvor Sailing 2 2 4 5 7** 3 4 1 4 32
4 Argo 6 4 2 2 4 5 7 4 6 40
5 Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco 4 5 7 4 3 9 6 3 5 46
6 ARMIN STROM Sailing Team 5 7 6 10 10* 8 3 8 3 60
7 Mamma Aiuto! 10 8 3 7 7 7 8 6 8 64
8 Team ENGIE 9 9 9 6 5 4 5 7 13*** 67
9 Realteam 8 6 10 9 9 6 10 9 9**** 76
10 Orange Racing 7 10 8 8 10 10 9 10 7 79

* including a two point penalty
** including a one point penalty
*** plus a two point penalty
**** plus a one point penalty

Owner-driver ranking

1 Argo 6 4 2 2 4 5 7 4 6 40
2 Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco***** 4 5 7 4 3 9 6 3 5 46
3 Orange Racing 7 10 8 8 10 10 9 10 7 79

Overall results after two events

Pos Team Riva Malcesine Tot
1 TEAM TILT 2 1 3
2 NORAUTO 1 2 3
3 GUNVOR SAILING 4 3 7
4 ARMIN STROM SAILING TEAM 3 6 9
5 ARGO 7 4 11
6 MALIZIA 8 5 13
7 TEAM ENGIE 5 8 13
8 SPINDRIFT RACING 6 11 17
9 MAMMA AIUTO ! 10 7 17
10 REALTEAM 10 9 19
11 ORANGE RACING 9 10 19

Photos by Max Ranchi   www.Maxranchi.com

gc32 rt today racing ph max ranchi (1)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

GC32 Malcesine Cup racing (Photo by Max Ranchi)

 

 © 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…