Spindrift 2: Looking for the cold front
Published on November 30th, 2015
(November 30, 2015; Day 9) – After the speed of the North Atlantic, the 40m maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2’s crew have had to show some patience since entering the Southern hemisphere. The area of the St Helena High offers dreamy temperatures and starry nights, but these are a quite different kind of comfort from the ones those chasing records look out for.
The slowdown along the north-east coast of Brazil was visible on the forecasts and is now in the wake of the trimaran but, crucially, their lead on the record has obviously melted. Now level with Porte Alegre, with an average speed of 23 knots over the last 24 hours, the trimaran keeps making good progress and the crew gybed at midday in order to stay with the wind on the edge of the anticyclone.
At the chart table as on deck, all eyes are on the cold front, right in front of them, that they need to hook onto to finally get on the low pressure train currently at the Buenos Aires South station. It would allow them to settle in on the Deep South mainline, but the situation is not simple and the clock is ticking. They have to get there on time… we will find out if they have tonight.
As of 2200 UTC
Distance to finish: 18794.6 nm
Distance for 24 hours: 558.0 nm
Distance ahead of record: 55.06 nm
Source: Spindrift 2
Background: Spindrift 2 is seeking to claim the Jules Verne Trophy, a prize for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew, starting and finishing between the Le Créac’h Lighthouse off the tip of Brittany and the Lizard Point in Cornwall.
Yann Guichard (FRA), skippering the 40 VPLP-designed trimaran, crossed the start line on November 22 at 04:01:58 GMT, and his 14-man team must return by 17:43:51 UTC on January 6, 2016 to beat the current record set January 2012 by Loïck Peyron and his crew on Banque Populaire 5 of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.
Spindrift 2 was originally launched in 2008 as Banque Populaire 5.
MORE: Also starting on November 22 (at 02:02:22 GMT) for an attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy was Francis Joyon (FRA), skippering the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT. The 6-person team must return by 15:44:15 GMT on January 6, 2016 to beat the record. Here’s a tracker showing both teams: http://volodiaja.net/Tracking/
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