In pursuit of trans-Atlantic record

Published on July 27th, 2023

New York, NY (July 27, 2023) – The maxi trimaran Sails of Change set out today in an attempt to break the trans-Atlantic record. Yann Guichard and his 11-strong crew arrived in the United States the day before to take advantage of a favorable weather window.

In their sights is the record set by Pascal Bidegorry in August 2009 aboard the same boat (previously called Banque Populaire V) of 3 days, 15 hours and 25 minutes.

The maxi trimaran had arrived on the US east coast last May to prepare for one of the most prestigious records in the sailing world: crossing the Atlantic from west to east.

“It’s one of the most incredible records to go after, along with the Jules Verne Trophy and the 24-hour record,” said Guichard.”To beat it we need to maintain an average speed of around 33 knots throughout the attempt.

“As soon as we landed, we got together on the boat to get ready and cast off. The record period is between July and early November so we wanted to be ready, while keeping an eye of the most favorable weather window.”

Many of the 11 sailors joining Guichard had been on stand-by last winter for an attempt at the round-the-world Jules Verne Trophy. “There’s a great state of mind — everyone decided to come at the last moment,” said Guichard. “We all want to give it our all and try our luck.”

They have an incredible tool at their disposal: the largest ocean-racing trimaran ever designed at 37 metres long and 23 metres wide. Sails of Change holds two Jules Verne Trophies (2012, 2017), the Discovery Route record between Cadiz and San Salvador (2013), and a prestigious win in the Transat Quebec – Saint Malo (2016).

Sails of Change passed the Ambrose Light, the startling line for the attempt outside of New York Harbor, at 13:10:08 UTC (09:10:08 EDT), and is now heading for Lizard Point on Great Britain’s southwest coast, a course of 2,880 nm across the heart of the North Atlantic.

The weather window identified by the Sails of Change team offered the right conditions for the attempt. “The two weather models seem to be aligned,” explained Guichard. “We should set off ahead of a low-pressure system forming on the east coast which will move northwards.

“Throughout the crossing the wind will be from the south, southwest. The whole crossing should be on a starboard tack with only one or two gybes. The conditions will put us well within the record time.”

Guichard seeks to reclaim the record he previously held as one of the crew that lowered the time in 2006 to 4 days and 8 hours with Orange II, and again in 2007 on Groupama 3 in a time of 4 days and 3 hours.

Sails of Change crew:
Yann Guichard (skipper)
Duncan Spath (helmsman)
Benjamin Schwartz (navigator)
Xavier Revil (watch leader)
Jacques Guichard (watch leader)
Thierry Chabagny (helmsman-trimmer)
Grégory Gendron (trimmer)
Loic Le Mignon (trimmer)
Thibault Julien (trimmer)
Christopher Pratt (helmsman-trimmer)
Clément Giraud (bowman)
Pieter Tack (bowman)

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