Spindrift: Climbing up Brazil’s coast
Published on December 26th, 2015
(December 26, 2015; Day 35) – Since 40m maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2 rounded Cape Horn last Tuesday, winter has given way to spring and summer. Now, the temperature is almost tropical on board the trimaran, Spindrift 2, which is advancing along the coast up Brazil towards the Equator. On deck, the thermometer is showing around 25℃.
Physically, they also have to adapt to these rapid changes and the shower the crew took yesterday under the first Brazilian squall felt good. However, the sailing conditions have been less pleasant lately. After crossing a ridge of high pressure at reduced speed, the crew was able to exploit a stormy depression which, of course, brought some wind and speed, but also a sea of two to four metres, transforming the living area of the trimaran into a huge cocktail shaker.
Overall, the slowdown at the end of the week has cost them slightly, leaving a current deficit of 215 miles on Banque Populaire V. On the map, their trajectories are different. The black and gold trimaran is taking a route closer to the Brazilian coast on the edge of the anticyclone, which is spreading itself widely across the South Atlantic, where, at the same moment four years ago, the holder of the record was sailing 670 miles offshore.
Ahead of their bows, a long fast port tack is beginning now for Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard’s team, towards the south-east trade winds that will serve as the final lift back into the Northern hemisphere.
Some favorable conditions, with the light weather and the temperature of the seawater at around 20℃, allowed everyone to wash themselves in the sun yesterday, Friday. It was real moment of happiness.
Finally, Spindrift 2 got through the ridge of high pressure at end of the evening, a little after the live link with i-Télé, when they took advantage of some light winds to fly our drone during the broadcast. That was a first.
The night was more serious, reaching into an oncoming sea. The crew had to reduce the sail area and slow down to protect the material and especially the rigging.
Lots of squalls, some rain, very uncomfortable. It’s actually quite surprising that this discomfort manifests itself most inside the boat. Without being able to see the horizon, it’s impossible to anticipate the impact of the boat in the waves. Every movement and action, however trivial, becomes complicated: moving, getting dressed, having something to eat. Some of the team have had difficulty getting to sleep, being too busy clinging to the frames of their bunks to stop themselves from falling.
To make matters worse, the cabin temperature is starting to rise, to the point where crew members start to suffer from the heat, especially with the engine running (to charge the batteries) or when preparing meals. The seawater is already 23°C.
As of 2100 UTC
Distance to finish: 5214.7 nm
Distance for 24 hours: 418.0 nm
Distance ahead of record: -315.69 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