Spindrift 2: Cold and (Really) Fast
Published on December 20th, 2015
(December 20, 2015; Day 29) – With the air and water temperature at four degrees Celsius, and 33-knot south-westerlies blowing directly off Antarctica, the Southern Ocean atmosphere has returned for the 40m maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2. In just 36 hours since Saturday morning, the team has converted their 473-mile deficit on the world record pace (largest deficit since reaching the Pacific), to now be again on the plus side of the pace.
Effectively, they have gained nearly 600 miles on Banque Populaire V since Saturday morning, in what was one of the slowest phases of the circumnavigation four years ago for the current record holder. Spindrift 2’s bows are entering a cold and choppy sea at almost 60 degrees south. That means they are five degrees further south than Cape Horn, the legendary rock at the southern tip of Chili that the crew should round on Tuesday morning.
Now experiencing perpetual daylight at these latitudes, the crew are kitted out like astronauts and take turns at the helm and on deck, working hard to get the most out of their boat, which has finally latched onto some wind again. The crew’s current speed is like a festive gift: more than 33 knots over the past 4 hours, after a week of slow sailing on an almost smooth ocean.
As of 2100 UTC
Distance to finish: 7979.5 nm
Distance for 24 hours: 760.1 nm
Distance ahead of record: 261.32 nm
Source: Spindrift 2
Background: Spindrift 2 has entered 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