Spindrift 2: Getting Through The Pacific
Published on December 13th, 2015
(December 13, 2015; Day 22) – The 40m maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2 has been in the Pacific Ocean for just over 24 hours now, and is trying to get to the last cape of this crewed round-the-world record attempt as quickly as possible. Passing close to the coast of the South Island of New Zealand, Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard and their 12 teammates are finally finished with the ridge of high pressure and are now in a depression with a westerly wind of 30 knots.
The speedometer should start to climb on board as the legendary swell of the South Seas should make its first appearance. A second depression, that is developing to the east of the first one, will be crucial in choosing the right route to take in the Pacific.
In terms of life on board, there is still a little over half of the road ahead for the 14 sailors, who after 22 days at sea are beginning to lose track of time as they have to juggle with all the time zones – as Dona Bertarelli said in her message from the boat.
“Don’t ask me what time it is. I’ve got no idea. I don’t even know whether it’s morning, afternoon or evening. On board we use UTC, also known as GMT. Does that help? Not really: it makes it all the more confusing!
“Just to give you an idea, daybreak is at 6.30pm, and nightfall at 1pm. But it gets worse. Lunch is at four o’clock in the morning, and our evening meal is at midday! That should give you an idea of the chaos, but there’s more: all these times shift by an an hour and a half every day. So I just eat when I’m told to eat, without asking too many questions, but when I woke up this morning I didn’t really enjoy having paella for breakfast.
“Things will get even more complicated over the next two days, when we’ll go through the same day twice. Just after New Zealand we’ll cross the International Date Line, so one minute it will be midnight on December 15th, and the next it will be midnight on December 14th. It’s crazy, but that’s how Phileas Fogg, thinking he’d lost his bet, discovered that actually he had successfully travelled around the world in 80 days.”
As of 2100 UTC
Distance to finish: 10983.1 nm
Distance for 24 hours: 550.1 nm
Distance ahead of record: -185.53 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