Spindrift to pursue Jules Verne Trophy

Published on October 26th, 2017

The France-based sailing team Spindrift racing will be making its second attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy, the iconic non-stop round the world record. The preparation is nearing completion with the pursuit of the best weather window for the attempt to begin on November 6, 2017.

Spindrift’s skipper, Yann Guichard (FRA), has carefully selected a crew of eleven sailors who bring with them a depth of sailing experience from the worlds of Figaro, Olympics and racing multihulls. His crew include seven who formed part of the first attempt on the record, with the other five bringing multiple complementary skills to the team.

The Jules Verne Trophy is not any circumnavigation. It recognizes the fastest time by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew, and must start and finish from the exact line between the Le Créac’h Lighthouse off the tip of Brittany and the Lizard Point in Cornwall. All winners have been either catamarans or trimarans.

The current Jules Verne Trophy record, set by Francis Joyon and his crew last winter, stands at 40 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes, and Spindrift has spent much of the past two years optimising its 40-metre maxi-trimaran, Spindrift 2, in Brittany to take on this new challenge.

Joining the team are Thierry Chabagny (FRA) just returned from a Solitaire and a Fastnet in the Figaro, Ewen Le Clech (FRA), who rejoins the trimaran having worked on updating it with Pascal Bidégorry in 2010. Britain’s Sam Goodchild joined Yann Guichard on the match-race circuit this season, having spent two years racing offshore trimarans.

Also joining is Thomas Le Breton (FRA), a former member of the French Olympic team in the Laser and then the Finn, who has recently returned from Bermuda where he was a tactician for the French challenge in the America’s Cup.

Finally, completing this group are Tanguy Cariou, ex-member of the French Olympic team and crew in D35, who will be on the first part of the stand-by, and then Erwan Le Roux (part of the Spindrift 2 crew for the Transat Québec-Saint Malo) will take over from November 26, 2017, when he returns from the Transat Jacques Vabre.

This five-man squad will join Yann Guichard and six crew from the 2015 attempt. These are sailors that Guichard knows well: Xavier Revil, Christophe Espagnon and François Morvan have all run Olympic campaigns together. Antoine Carraz or Jacques Guichard have been part of the Spindrift team since its inception, and Erwan Israel is back onboard again as navigator.

Jean-Yves Bernot has been appointed to be the onshore weather router for this attempt.

The original record set by Commodore Explorer was for 79 days 6 hours and 16 minutes, and in the intervening 24 years the record has been almost halved and now stands at 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes.

2017 Jules Verne Trophy Crew:
Yann Guichard (skipper)
Erwan Israël (navigator)
Jacques Guichard (watch captain/helm/timmer)
Christophe Espagnon (watch captain / helm / bow)
Xavier Revil (watch captain /helm /trimmer)
François Morvan (helm / trimmer)
Antoine Carraz (helm / trimmer)
Thierry Chabagny (helm /bow)
Ewen Le Clech (helm / trimmer)
Sam Goodchild (helm / bow)
Thomas Le Breton (helm / trimmer)
Tanguy Cariou (helm / trimmer) / Erwan Le Roux (helm / trimmer)

 

Background:
The Jules Verne Trophy is not any circumnavigation. It recognizes the fastest time by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew, and must start and finish from the exact line between the Le Créac’h Lighthouse off the tip of Brittany and the Lizard Point in Cornwall. All winners have been either catamarans or trimarans.

While 18 attempts have failed, here are the nine that have held the trophy:

2017 – Francis Joyon / IDEC-SPORT (31.5m) – 40:23:30:30
2012 – Loïck Peyron / Banque Populaire V (40m) – 45:13:42:53
2010 – Franck Cammas / Groupama 3 (31.5m) – 48:07:44:52
2005 – Bruno Peyron / Orange II (36.8m) – 50:16:20:04
2004 – Olivier De Kersauson / Geronimo (33.8m) – 63:13:59:46
2002 – Bruno Peyron / Orange (32.8m) – 64:08:37:24
1997 – Olivier De Kersauson / Sport-Elec (27.3m) – 71:14:22:08
1994 – Peter Blake, Robin Knox-Johnston / Enza New Zealand (28m) – 74:22:17:22
1993 – Bruno Peyron / Commodore Explorer (28m) – 79:06:15:56

Source: Virginie Bouchet, Scuttlebutt

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