Spindrift ready for Jules Verne attempt
Published on January 14th, 2019
Brest, France (January 14, 2019) – After two and a half months of stand-by, the 40 meter trimaran Spindrift 2 is preparing to leave tomorrow for a new attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy. The crewed round the world sailing record has been held since 2017 by Francis Joyon, who completed the non-stop course in 40d 23h 30m.
“We have been on stand-by since November 5 and there has been no real opportunity to get around the world quickly… I have never experienced a winter like this!” comments skipper Yann Guichard. “We need to cross the equator in about five days, but we risk getting ahead of a front and having to sail to port, which is not very typical. But if we wait for this front to pass, we would then suffer at the hands of the Azores anticyclone.”
Guichard currently plans to cross the start line off Ushant between midnight and three o’clock (on January 16).
With this plan, the crew projects crossing the equator after five days and then hooking into a system in the South Atlantic, which could allow the team to cross the longitude at the Cape of Good Hope in less than twelve days. This is the system preferred by the land-based weather router, Jean-Yves Bernot, for the team to reach the Indian Ocean in good time.
“The Doldrums remain unknown, but at this time [of year] they are often not too bad and we can see that the trade winds are running parallel between North and South,” notes Guichard. “Also the Southern Atlantic is not blocked, but after ten days, the forecasts are less reliable. We aim to be in time to catch a depression off Brazil. It would be nice to have a day in the bag at the entrance to the Indian Ocean. Francis completed this part of the course very quickly, and it will be difficult to do better.”
Guichard has selected eleven crew, which includes the core of his team – Christophe Espagnon, Francois Morvan, Xavier Revil, Jacques Guichard and Erwan Israel. With Thierry Chabagny, the Briton Sam Goodchild, Erwan Le Roux and Lyonnais Benjamin Schwartz, Australian Jackson Bouttell and Switzerland’s Duncan Späth completing the onboard team.
“We are twelve aboard on this attempt compared to fourteen in 2015, but we also have a smaller mast. Below twenty knots of wind, we are less efficient in VMG, so we therefore need to have sustained conditions, which might make the transition phases a little more difficult. On paper, the trimaran has the potential of Joyon’s multihull and perhaps, under certain conditions with a weather similar to his, we will be able to break the record. However, all the stars must be aligned.”
The team has already gathered in Brest today and is making final preparations for the giant trimaran’s round the world attempt.
CREW OF SPINDRIFT 2:
Yann Guichard – skipper
Erwan Israël – navigator
Jacques Guichard – watch leader / helm
Christophe Espagnon – watch leader / helm
Xavier Revil – watch leader / helm
François Morvan – helm
Thierry Chabagny – helm
Sam Goodchild – helm / bow
Erwan Le Roux – helm
Duncan Späth – helm
Benjamin Schwartz – helm / bow
Jackson Bouttell – helm / bow
Jean-Yves Bernot – router
Source: Spindrift racing