Yann Guichard and the elusive Jules Verne Trophy

Published on April 24th, 2019

Yann Guichard (FRA) will lead a team in 2019 on the 40m trimaran Spindrift 2 to win the Jules Verne Trophy, representative of the iconic non-stop round the world record. They will be in pursuit of the current time – 40 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes – set by Francis Joyon and his crew in January 2017.

The stand-by period for a start will be shortened to two months (October and November), so that the team can meet its other racing calendar commitments. “I hope the weather will be with us and that we will have the opportunity to do the attempt again and try to beat the existing record,” reports Guichard.

Guichard has had three previous attempts at the trophy. The first attempt fell short of the record by under two days (January 16, 2016), the second effort saw the team dismasted on the way to the start line (January 15, 2018), and the third try was aborted in the Indian Ocean after damage to its starboard rudder (February 1, 2019).

Currently undergoing a complete analysis of her structure, with two new rudders being constructed, the black and gold trimaran is expected to return to the water this summer and start a new period of offshore training with her crew.

The rules for the Jules Verne Trophy are simple – it is for the fastest time by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew, starting and finishing from the exact line between the Le Créac’h Lighthouse off the tip of Brittany and the Lizard Point in Cornwall. It was first won in 1993, with all nine winners as either catamarans or trimarans.

Record Facts
• 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

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: Spindrift Racing

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