200 Miles ahead of Jules Verne for Spindrift 2

Published on November 24th, 2015

(November 24, 2015; Day 3) – While Spindrift 2 flies south in the slightly unstable trade winds, halfway between the Canaries and Cape Verde, the calmer conditions and less rough sea are allowing the boat and the sailors to dry out, to find a rhythm and get a little rest. After a gybe on the edge of the Azores High, which will be the only one in the entire North Atlantic, where Banque Populaire V, the current holder of the Jules Verne Trophy, had to make four, Spindrift 2 is now on a direct route to the equator and is 200 miles ahead.

At 17h GMT, the team on Spindrift 2 was 201 miles ahead the current record holder of the Jules Verne Trophy. The distance they have covered from the start is 1842 miles with an average speed of 230 knots over 24 hours.

Helmsman/Trimmer Dona Bertarelli commented, “Goodbye thermal layers, big oilies and boots. Hello Crocs, sunglasses and sunscreen! It’s getting a bit warmer and it’s nice. We’re still flying in a fluctuating wind of around 20 knots, on a straight line to the equator. We could not have asked for a better trajectory. This morning we passed two sailboats. One of them, skippered by Gerald Véniard, an old Figaro sailor, joined us by radio. He left the Canaries yesterday and is delivering a boat to the Caribbean. It’s good to come across people, as, once we’re in the Indian and especially in the Pacific Ocean, it’ll be more rare, actually, exceptional.”

The weather forecast for the next couple of days by Jean-Yves Bernot calls for the following:

Tuesday, November 24: A trade wind system, 22-25 knots, direction east-north-east, quite unstable. Spindrift 2 is feeling the wind shadow of the Canaries, which is cast far below the islands.

Wednesday, November 25: same punishment, same reason. Approaching the Cape Verde Islands in the morning. The trade wind there appears to be very unstable. By late afternoon, approaching the Doldrums (ITCZ), which looks, in theory, obliging.

Thursday, November 26: Crossing the Doldrums, which as we’ve seen are not too active. An evening exit is predicted, with the crossing of the equator to follow on a south-east trade wind, which should be 15-20 knots.

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.

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.


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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

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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