Code Green for Jules Verne attempt
Published on November 24th, 2021
(November 24, 2021) – Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard, and their nine crew will begin a fresh Jules Verne Trophy record attempt on November 25, 2021. Early in the morning, the 37-metre maxi-trimaran Sails of Change (ex-Spindrift 2) will cast off from her port of registry in La Trinité-Sur-Mer (Morbihan) to make for the start line offshore of Ushant. Their goal: to set a new time on the non-stop, unassisted round the world course.
Their route leaves to port the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin, Horn) in which they seek to be faster than the record time set by Francis Joyon and his men in 2017 of 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds. It’s also an opportunity for the crew of the maxi-trimaran Sails of Change to support the #30×30 campaign, which aims to protect 30% of the planet by 2030 and raise awareness about this cause.
For this fourth record attempt, the crew led by skipper Yann Guichard has pulled out all the stops in a bid to optimize the trimaran. The boat’s hull has notably been shortened by three metres to enhance the balance at the helm and limit vibration. On top of this, the cockpit has also been redesigned throughout to make it more comfortable for the sailors and less exposed to the sea spray. The maxi-trimaran’s sail plan has also been redesigned, the aerodynamics improved, and the boat has undergone a weight-reduction program.
On previous occasions, the team has posted the third best time in the Jules Verne Trophy (in 2015 – 2016 in 47 days 10 hours and 59 minutes), earning Dona Bertarelli the title of fastest women around the world in 2015, together with the record for the Ushant – Equator section (in 2019 in 4 days 20 hours and 7 minutes). The whole team will be setting sail with these reference times uppermost in their thoughts, eager to take on one of the greatest challenges in offshore racing.
A very quick descent towards the equator and the Cape of Good Hope are essential conditions for the success of the record attempt. For the first time since the start of standby on November 1, a weather window is offering up a great opportunity to drop southwards.
“Currently, a very powerful Azores High is in the process of dropping back down towards the islands of the same name, whilst a low pressure system to the west of Cape Verde is filling,” explains Benjamin Schwartz. “The uniting of these two phenomena means that the trade wind is set to build from Thursday (Nov. 25), which will enable us to drop down towards the equator very quickly.
“At the same time, a low pressure system over the north of England will drop down towards Brittany on Friday, bringing with it big seas and lots of breeze. As a result, the aim is to avoid all that by setting sail early evening on Thursday. According to the routing, this weather situation should enable us to make the equator inside the record time we set in 2019, namely a little less than 5 days, which is perfect for the start of an attempt!
“After that, there is still some uncertainty about the doldrums, which may hinder our progress for longer than planned. Finally, in the South Atlantic, we’re monitoring a low pressure system level with Brazil, which we may be able to position ourselves ahead of to make for the Cape of Good Hope inside the time set by Francis Joyon in 2017.
“Today, the weather at Good Hope is very good, but that may still change as the position of the Saint Helena High and the way the low pressure system will roll through are yet to be tied down as that’s still a long way off (D+10)”.
Therefore, the way the weather systems link together in the South Atlantic will be key in our bid to hunt down the record and slip along into the Indian Ocean as quickly as possible.
In 2021, the maxi-trimaran boasts a livery in the colours of ‘Sails of Change’. Sails of Change is creating a community of sports and nature enthusiasts eager for a sustainable future for our planet. Founders Yann Guichard, Dona Bertarelli and her children are committed to sharing ideas and information, creating partnerships to protect and restore the environment and work to bring about significant changes for a sustainable future for all.
The first campaign supported by Sails of Change, ‘30×30’ is a global call to action to protect at least 30% of the ocean and the earth by 2030. The maxi-trimaran will deliver this message around the world, with #30×30 logos emblazoned on her sails and hulls, together with distinctive blue and green color-coding for the new livery on the racing stable’s flagship.
“Through the medium of a sport that we love, I invite everyone to climb aboard with us in this human adventure and discover the beauty of nature and join us in our circumnavigation of the globe,” says Dona Bertarelli, on-board reporter for this latest attempt.
Within the context of this fourth attempt, the whole crew is keen to show what is within the realms of possibility during this challenge targeting self-sufficiency in energy. For the first time, the whole journey will be undertaken with no auxiliary engine.
“We’re going to take on an additional challenge, since we’ll be attempting to break the round the world record without using any energy produced using fossil fuels. Our main sources of energy will come from the sun and wind, as well as an on-board bike-powered generator. We are keen to show it’s possible,” explains skipper Yann Guichard.
Ten sailors with complementary backgrounds, five of whom have already circumnavigated the globe, will set sail alongside skipper Yann Guichard on this fourth crewed attempt. Two of them, Thierry Chabagny and Xavier Revil, won the Jules Verne Trophy in 2012, whilst Dona Bertarelli has held the title of fastest woman to sail around the world since 2016.
In all, nine of the eleven sailors have previously been involved in a Jules Verne Trophy attempt. Only Julien Villion and Yann Jauvin will be making their Trophy debut in this legendary international offshore racing event.
2021 crew on the maxi-trimaran Sails of Change
Yann Guichard – skipper
Dona Bertarelli – on-board reporter
Benjamin Schwartz – navigator
Jacques Guichard – Watch leader
Xavier Revil – Watch leader
Jackson Bouttell – Watch leader, bowman
Duncan Späth – sailor
Thierry Chabagny – sailor
Gregory Gendron – sailor
Julien Villion – sailor
Yann Jauvin – sailor, bowman
Jean-Yves Bernot – onshore router
The Jules Verne Trophy is the crewed, unassisted, round the world record under sail. In less than 30 years, the reference time has been halved, from 79d 06h 16’ in 1993 to 40d 23h 30’ in 2017.
Spindrift has made three previous attempts at breaking the record, posting the third best time in history in 2016 and securing the record between Ushant and the equator in 2019. The team has been on standby since November 1.
To put into perspective how difficult it is to win the Jules Verne Trophy, it’s worth noting that out of thirty-three departures off Ushant, just nine of these round the world attempts under sail have been successful:
• Commodore-Explorer in 1993 (79d 06h 16’)
• Enza-New Zealand in 1994 (74d 22h 17′)
• Sport-Elec in 1997 (71d 14h 22′), Orange in 2002 (64d 08h 37′)
• Geronimo in 2004 (63d 13h 59′)
• Orange II in 2005 (50d 16h 20′)
• Groupama 3 in 2010 (48d 07h 45′)
• Banque Populaire V in 2012 (45d 13h 43′)
• Idec-Sport in 2017 (40d 23h 30′)
Intermediate Crewed Reference Times:
Ushant-equator: 4d 20h 07’ (Spindrift 2 in 2019)
Equator-Agulhas Cape: 6d 08h 55’ (Banque Populaire V in 2012)
Agulhas Cape-Cape Leeuwin: 4d 09h 32’ (IDEC Sport in 2017)
Cape Leeuwin-Cape Horn: 9d 08h 46’ (IDEC Sport in 2017)
Cape Horn-Equator: 7d 04h 27’ (Banque Populaire V in 2012)
Equator-Ushant: 5d 19h 21’ (IDEC Sport in 2017)
Crewed Records listed by World Sailing Speed Record Council:
North Atlantic crossing (Ushant-Equator): 4d 20h 07’ (Spindrift 2 in 2019)
Indian Ocean crossing (Agulhas Cape-South Tasmania): 5d 21h 07’ 45’’ (IDEC Sport in 2017)
Pacific Ocean crossing (South Tasmania-Cape Horn): 7d 21h 13’ 31’’ (IDEC Sport in 2017)
Equator-Equator: 29d 09h 10’ 55’’ (IDEC Sport in 2017)
Round the world (Jules Verne Trophy): 40d 23h 30’ 30’’ (IDEC Sport in 2017)
Source: Spindrift Racing