Spindrift 2 dismasted in record attempt
Published on January 15th, 2018
(January 15, 2018) – Yann Guichard and his crew on the 40-metre maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2 were dismasted today on their way to the start line to compete for the Jules Verne Trophy, a round the world record set by Francis Joyon and his crew last winter.
The team had been on standby since mid-November for the trophy, which is awarded to the outright fastest time by any type or size of yacht which starts and finishes from between the Le Créac’h Lighthouse off the tip of Brittany and the Lizard Point in Cornwall.
Guichard’s team missed leaving when Francois Gabart (FRA) and his 30m trimaran MACIF departed on November 4, and were left to watch as Gabart shattered the singlehanded around the world.
Guichard thought he’d found a suitable weather system on January 8, but aborted on the way to the start line when the forecast deteriorated. And then today, with it getting late in the cycle of when the weather is safe to transit the Southern Ocean section, the Spindrift 2 team dropped docklines to give it a try.
The area of depression sitting off the coast of Brittany had finally looked hopeful with strong conditions forecast for the start with a fast descent to the equator in just over five days (5d 5h – 5d 10h), which would give them a cushion on the reference time set by Francis Joyon and his crew (5d 18h 59′).
The team was then aiming to catch an area of depression off the coast of Brazil to give them a quick crossing of the South Atlantic towards the Cape of Good Hope. But at about 1600h (CET) today, while sailing just off Point St Matthieu and Camaret in Brittany toward the start line, the mast fell down.
At the time the 40m trimaran was sailing at 15-18 knots of boat speed in 30 knot westerly winds and in three metre seas. Spindrfit 2 had two reefs in the main and the J3 (ORC).
“The crew is safe and sound,” reports Guichard. “Everything happened so fast. The mast fell to the leeward of the boat. The conditions were not so extreme. It’s too early to know exactly what happened. We had to drop the rigging to save the boat and prepare it for towing. Operations are currently underway to recover it.”
The team had spent much of the past two years optimizing Spindrift 2 to improve on the current time of 40 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes. Spindrift 2 will now return to Brest and is currently under tow and expected to arrive later this evening.
Spindrift 2 Crew:
Yann Guichard (skipper): watch the portrait
Erwan Israël (navigator): watch the portrait
Jacques Guichard (watch captain / helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
Christophe Espagnon (watch captain / helm / bow): watch the portrait
Xavier Revil (watch captain / helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
François Morvan (helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
Antoine Carraz (helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
Thierry Chabagny (helm / bow): watch the portrait
Ewen Le Clech (helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
Sam Goodchild (helm / bow): watch the portrait
Thomas Le Breton (helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
Erwan Le Roux (helm / trimmer): watch the portrait
Router: Jean-Yves Bernot
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.
• Start and finish: a line between Créac’h lighthouse (Isle of Ushant) and Lizard Point (England)
• Course: non-stop around-the-world tour racing without outside assistance via the three Capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn)
• Minimum distance: 21,600 nautical miles (40,000 kilometres)
• Ratification: World Sailing Speed Record Council, www.sailspeedrecords.com
• Time to beat: 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds
• Average speed: 21.96 knots
• Date of current record: January 2017
• Holder: IDEC Sport, Francis Joyon and a 5-man crew
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: Victoria Low, Scuttlebutt