Spindrift: Merry Christmas
Published on December 25th, 2015
(December 25, 2015; Day 34) – Ho ho ho, children, Father Christmas also spent some time on board the 40m maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2. The air temperature is 20 ℃, it is 19 ℃ in the water and the sailors ate a merry Christmas eve dinner off Argentina and Uruguay. Xavier Revil donned his best suit for the occasion and handed out some presents and delicacies: salami, chocolate, wallets, messages from relatives and some children’s drawings.
Everyone felt thoroughly spoiled and the morale of the crew has never been higher. And on the subject of morale it was much needed, because the maxi-trimaran has lost power since this morning and is crossing an anticyclone on the approach to Brazil at an average speed of 12 knots. After a day of peace, Spindrift 2 should hook into a more active area starting up tomorrow, Saturday.
I wasn’t sure how I’d spend an evening that is normally spent with family. Well, to my amazement, it was not so different: preparing the meal, some presents and a few surprises, with everyone in that good mood so characteristic of Christmas.
Thanks to our thoughtful shore team we had two packets of decorations that Xavier, Loic and I arranged with great care. A present from the Notre Dame school in La Trinité-sur-Mer, full of little paper fish painted by the children, was also placed in a daisy chain to decorate the cockpit.
Once we were finished with the Christmas decorations, we prepared the food: fresh pasta, prosciutto and a tomato sauce from the chef, Benoit Violier, who has just been chosen as the best chef in the world and, finally, a chocolate mousse (freeze-dried of course).
As the sun set, in a cloudless sky with a light breeze, the sound of pans rang out at the front of the boat.
All the crew on the deck saw the arrival of Father Christmas with his sack full of presents that he scattered here and there whilst bouncing across the netting.
The distribution of presents was made to fits of laughter: an engraved pen; a wallet made of sail cloth, personalised with the number of each team member; salami, chocolate, Smarties, Chupa Chup and something for me, a Panettone! For an Italian, no Christmas is complete without this bread filled with dried fruit that is eaten only at Christmas.
Thank you to Father Christmas and to his onshore elvish helpers.
As of 2100 UTC
Distance to finish: 5628.5 nm
Distance for 24 hours: 298.9 nm
Distance ahead of record: -297.76 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