Race begins for Jules Verne Trophy
Published on January 16th, 2019
(January 16, 2019) – After two and a half months of stand-by, Yann Guichard and his 11 crew today began their attempt to win the Jules Verne Trophy.
Sailing the 40 meter trimaran Spindrift 2, this prize is 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.
To win the Jules Verne Trophy, they have to recross the line by February 26 at 11h 16m 57sec UTC to break the record of 40 days 23h 30m 30s, held since 2017 by Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT.
The weather conditions were favourable at the Créac’h lighthouse where a southwesterly breeze of 20 knots and calm seas allowed the giant black and gold trimaran to head quickly towards a front off Ushant and pick a good system from the north-west. It is these strong winds that Spindrift 2 will be able to pick up to take them quickly down to Madeira, the Canaries, and the Cape Verde archipelago.
“This world tour is a passing of the seasons at high speed,” said Guichard. “We start in the north-west with drizzle, then in the Canaries we will be in the trade winds with 30°C, at the equator it will be 40°C and three days later, we are in the Forties, in the Southern Ocean with three fairly steady and fresh weeks. It’s a nice trip.”
According to the routing of the team’s onshore weather router, Jean-Yves Bernot, the team could reach the equator during the night of Sunday to Monday, January 21, after less than five days at sea.
Once over this imaginary line between the two hemispheres, Guichard’s team must continue to speed on, with the aim of crossing the longitude at the Cape of Good Hope in about twelve days. This challenge is very possible as Francis Joyon and his crew reached the African cape in 12d 21h 22m.
The first stretch towards the equator looks very favorable, but it is still too early to anticipate what follows. If a depression moves away from Brazil during the passage off Salvador de Bahia, the weather configuration could allow the team more options to sail more directly towards the South without having to go around the St. Helena anticyclone.
“One of the difficulties is the Saint Helena High in the southern Atlantic, which can sometimes block the road,” observed Guichard. “It is not a problem to go around it if there is wind because the latest boat is going fast.”
Afterwards it will be the depressions to the south, their trajectories, north-south positioning and speed that will determine if the Indian Ocean can be crossed in less than 5d 21h 08m and the Pacific in less than 7d 21h 13m.
Guichard is hopeful the demons of the past are behind him as it was a year ago when his crew on the maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2 were dismasted on their way to the start line to compete for the Jules Verne Trophy. Spindrift 2 has a shorter mast for this attempt.
“We are a slightly lighter than the last time, which is why we are only twelve onboard,” explained Guichaard. “Below twenty knots we have a very slight speed deficit, but anything above that Spindrift 2 is faster than before. We can keep our average speed above 35 knots, if the sea remains manageable.“
To set the current record, Joyon’s team averaged 22.84 knots.
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
The Jules Verne Trophy is 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.
The 12-man crew of the 40 meter trimaran Spindrift 2 led by Yann Guichard began their attempt January 16 at 11h 47min 27sec UTC. To win the Jules Verne Trophy, they have to recross the line by February 26 at 11h 16m 57sec UTC to break the record of 40 days 23h 30m 30s, held since 2017 by Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT.
Source: Spindrift racing