Yann Guichard in Court Regarding Spindrift 2 Accident

Published on June 28th, 2016

Lorient, France (June 28, 2016) – A hearing held yesterday at Lorient Criminal Court focuses on the accident June 16, 2015 between the 40-meter trimaran Spindrift 2 skippered by Yann Guichard and a RIB.

The incident, which occurred while the Volvo Ocean Race fleet prepared to start their ninth leg in Lorient, France, resulted in a rudder on Spindrift 2 seriously injuring Virginie Le Namouric, one of the RIB passengers, causing the amputation of her leg.

At that hearing, Yann Guichard was charged with “involuntary injuries, with more than three months incapacity”, compounded by “a manifestly deliberate breach of an obligation of safety and prudence” and for “endangering life others”.

Guichard has recognized yesterday at the bar that he had not warned the organizers of the coming of his sailboat on the water.

The trial was originally scheduled for February 10 but was postponed at the request of defense lawyers who felt that the investigation was at the time incomplete.

At the end of requisitions, the prosecution represented by the Attorney Laureline Peyrefitte, asked for a minimum sentence of 6 months suspended against the skipper of multihull racing, along with a fine of 20 000 euros and publication the conviction in the press.

In the courtroom, the discussions were highly technical, based on the trajectories of the boats, the exclusion zones, why Yann Guichard preferred to gybe rather than tack, but also the speed of the boat despite the presence of many boats on the water.

The defense lawyers called for the acquittal of their client on the grounds that not everything had been done to ensure the safety of the water.

The judgment was reserved.

Source: ActuNautique, Google translate

NOTE: This story has been revised, as it previously stated that guilt had been determined. We understand the judge will rule in a couple of weeks, and that yesterday’s hearing provided both the prosecution and the defence to present their arguments.

Video and screen grabs below show the incident.

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