Spindrift 2 Begins Jules Verne Assault

Published on November 22nd, 2015

On Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 at 4:01:58 GMT, the trimaran Spindrift 2, led by Yann Guichard, crossed the start line that runs from Créac’h lighthouse (Ushant island, France) to Lizard Point (England) for the start of her crewed non-stop circumnavigation. The boat crossed the line in a north wind of around 10 knots, under a full mainsail and a solent.

The record attempt by Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard and their crew began four years to the day since the current record-holder, Loïck Peyron, began his attempt. Banque Populaire V set that record at an average speed of 19.75 knots (36.58 km/h) for the theoretical shortest route of 21,600 nautical miles, but they actually travelled 28,965 miles, averaging 26.5 knots (49.08 km/h) over the six weeks. The time set in that impressive performance was 45d 13h 42m 53s, a tough time to beat.

The 40m VPLP-designed Spindrift 2 was originally launched in 2008 as Banque Populaire 5, so the 14-person team will be using the boat that Peyron set the record on in 2012.

Yann Guichard spoke on the radio during the night, just after crossing the line: “We don’t have much wind at the moment – 8 to 10 knots. The sea conditions are not easy because there is a strong current, but the wind will pick up strength, reaching around 30 knots in the Bay of Biscay. So, it’s a steady start at 15-18 knots. We’re delighted to have crossed the line on November 22nd, the same date that Loïck Peyron and his crew started their record, so I hope it’s a good omen for us. Right now, we’re all out on deck, manoeuvring the boat to get away from Ushant island as quickly as possible so we can pick up some stronger, more consistent winds.”

To beat the record, Spindrift 2 must return to Ushant before 17:43:51 GMT on January 6th, 2016, i.e. 1 minute quicker than the previous time, as per the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC) rules. Between now and then, the 14 sailors must sail around the world via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn) on the world’s largest racing trimaran. They will be supported by their onshore router Jean-Yves Bernot, who will operate from his headquarters near La Rochelle (France). Day and night, Jean-Yves will keep a close eye on the boat and on the latest weather updates, which will allow him to work with Yann Guichard and onboard navigator Erwan Israel to identify the best route to follow.

Having also been on stand-by in Brest, Francis Joyon’s trimaran left Ushant for her record attempt in the very early hours of this morning, at 2:02:22 GMT, i.e. 1h 59m 36s before Spindrift 2. The two boats are therefore making their descent of the Atlantic at the same time, and should cross the equator in around five days’ time. The split time across the equator set by Banque Populaire V was 5d 14h 55m. Over the next few hours, the wind will strengthen to around 30 knots in the Bay of Biscay. Sea conditions should also gradually improve, allowing the crew to dash through the Azores High.

 

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Jules Verne Trophy:
Start and finish: a line between Créac’h lighthouse (Ushant island) and Lizard Point (England)
Course: crewed circumnavigation via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn).
Minimum distance: 21 600 miles (40 000 km)
Ratification: World Sailing Speed Record Council, www.sailspeedrecords.com
Time to beat: 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds
Average speed: 19.75 knots on the theoretical 21,600 nautical mile route, but 26.5 knots on the actual 28,965 nautical mile route.
Date of current record: January 2012
Holder: Banque Populaire V, Loïck Peyron and a 13-man crew
Stand-by start date for Spindrift 2: October 19th, 2015

SPINDRIFT 2 CREW:
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

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