Spindrift: Headed to Sympathetic Doldrums
Published on December 29th, 2015
(December 29, 2015; Day 38) – After a turbulent start to the South Atlantic; bouncing between being becalmed, squalls, headwinds and very messy seas, with the boat banging, slamming and vibrating; the 40m maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2, on her quest for the Jules Verne Trophy, has finally managed to extricate itself from the clutches of this anticyclone, which has offered no respite.
Now, driven by south-east trade winds of 15-20 knots, the sailors are heading for the famous Doldrums known for being easier to cross at this time of year in the West Atlantic. They will be sailing on a starboard tack for at least 6,000km (3,728 miles) to the Azores high.
From onboard, Dona Bertarelli, helmsman-trimmer, said, “We are finally out of the salad spinner. There are two ways of seeing things and of describing how we lived through this period: a realistic, brutal and predictable way; or a more playful, cheerful and lyrical way. I think the Beatles song, Twist and Shout, sums up the situation we just experienced perfectly. The Beatles’ “Babe” is second to none because there it has as much movement as sound. We even had the right lighting, as if we were in a concert, with flashes of lightning illuminating the black night. The crowd, that is to say, us, (not screaming, but at the end of our tethers) cheered Aeolus and Neptune, who have taken pleasure in playing this song on a loop.”
The weather forecast is favorable, finally in the South Atlantic with trade winds that are flowing nicely from ENE to ESE at 15-20 kts, good for sailing, punctuated with refreshing squalls, on the way to the Doldrums, which should be arranged sympathetically at this time of year.
The future sees Spindrift 2 crossing the Equator as a New Year’s Day present, then the climb up the North Atlantic with the Azores as the final judge.
As of 2100 UTC
Distance to finish: 4256.5 nm
Distance for 24 hours: 376.8 nm
Distance ahead of record: -717.26 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