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Idec Sport & Spindrift 2 Jules Verne Record Attempt

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  • #46
    IDEC Sport Advances Lead

    December 21st, 2015

    After an extraordinary weekend, which saw them regain 850 miles and move ahead of the record time, Cape Horn is coming up for the six sailors on IDEC SPORT skippered by Francis Joyon. Even if they are slowed down in the centre of a small area of low pressure, they should round the infamous cape tomorrow evening (Tuesday) within the record time. In other words just over 30 days, meaning they are still in with every chance during the climb back up the Atlantic.

    The figures reveal some extraordinary gains this weekend. Pushing hard on the direct route (averaging 32 knots with peak speeds of 40), IDEC SPORT has swapped a deficit of 600 miles for a lead of 250 over the record pace. All of that was achieved in just 48 hours between Saturday morning and Monday. “It’s really great being ahead of the record once again,” Francis Joyon confirmed this afternoon. At 1500hrs, the big, red trimaran was only 600 miles from longitude 67°16 West, the official position of the legendary Horn.
    However, the return to the Atlantic via the infamous cape will require a lot of effort, because of a small area of low pressure with light winds not far away to the south of Francis Joyon and his men. The skipper explained, “It’s going to be a little tricky. That’s why we gybed to tack north for a few hours.” In other words, IDEC SPORT is playing it safe attempting to stay in the vein of wind to the north. They are trying to avoid getting caught in the calm patches close to the centre of the low and to avoid being slowed down too much. The result could be twelve hours gained or lost depending on whether the sailors on IDEC SPORT have been lucky or not in dealing with this weather system.

    A few hours ahead at the Cape?

    It is therefore hard to give a clear ETA for rounding the Horn. It is likely to be tomorrow (Tuesday) “perhaps around 1800hrs UTC, but it will all depend on the patch of calms and whether we are slowed down or not,” Francis Joyon warned us. Rounding the Horn at that time would mean they had been racing for 30 days and around 16 hours, while Loïck Petyron’s Banque Populaire V took 30 days, 22 hours and 18 minutes to sail there from Ushant. However, a word of caution about this 6-hour lead, as it will depend on how severely they are held up and for how long. In order to do better than the record holder, IDEC SPORT has to round the Horn before 0042hrs on Tuesday night.
    It can be done of course, but it is not the most important thing for the sailors on IDEC SPORT. What really counts is to be well placed and to have succeeded after 29 and a half days of sailing in being in with every chance before they climb back up the South and North Atlantic. That is what Francis Joyon meant today, when he stated, “There won’t be much difference at the Horn. A little ahead or a little behind means we more or less have the same time as Loïck (Peyron) and his crew. Aboard, we’re very pleased to be up there with the record as we round this cape.”

    Sailing close to the coast

    Their excellent weekend has obviously given a boost to the men on board IDEC SPORT, who have remained upbeat throughout. Gwénolé Gahinet said, “It’s fantastic getting ahead of the record pace. Wonderful! Yesterday was a great day with all the sail combinations. The seas weren’t that easy to deal with and it was quite violent. There was some nasty slamming after accelerating on the waves and we had to look after the gear. For a few hours now, the sea has been calmer and our goal is clear. We have to be fast here. The approaches to the Horn look a little tricky, but it’s not that serious.”
    On top of that, the youngest crewman should be able to see the legendary rock for the first time with his own eyes. “It looks like we’ll be sailing close to land,” Francis Joyon told us. “We may run along the Andes coast off the Patagonian channels. We should have some nice photos for you.”

    In short

    After 29 and a half days of sailing at 1520hrs UTC on Monday 21st December, IDEC SPORT is sailing at 27.4 knots at 56°35 South, 85°24 West, 600 miles west of the Horn. 258 miles ahead of the record time.

    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


    • #47
      Spindrift 2 Prepares To Exit Pacific

      11:15 GMT
      Message from the boat

      59 degrees 56 minutes South. This will the most southerly latitude of this Jules Verne Trophy for Spindrift 2 and its crew. It is 3.6 miles from the sixties South to be exact, which is a good reason to come back, for those who were hoping to spend some time on this famous limit.

      The maxi-trimaran came close to this very southerly latitude on the day of the summer solstice. In fact, there is almost no night. It was dark for an hour at most. It makes life a bit easier for the helmsmen who are benefitting from improved visibility, enabling them to anticipate the movement of the trimaran in seas that are big but very disorderly. So, there were some rough conditions as the wind approached 35 knots, gusting to 40 for much of the day, all capped by polar temperatures. One watch even received a few flurries of snow. It is the season...

      The approach to Cape Horn is looking complex. Spindrift 2 and its crew are going to have to cross a front, then overtake it. There are numerous manoeuvres coming and quite slow progress, before enjoying one last surf towards the famous rock, which marks the end of the Southern Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the return into the Atlantic.

      09:30 GMT
      Xavier Revil’s message, summary of the Indian and Pacific ocean crossing:

      Hello to one and all.

      We’ll soon be leaving the Pacific Ocean. Our reception down here finally lived up to its reputation: 35 knots of wind, a nice big swell and some giant Albatross surfing along.

      I say finally because the Indian Ocean was long and complicated. It even damaged our foil. But it takes a lot more than that to have a chance of discouraging our very own MacGyver on board, Antoine (Carraz).

      He went and locked himself away in the port hull for several hours to secure everything. And seeing how well we’ve been doing with the boat, he must have left an energy booster there. Hats off to him!

      Basically, the Indian Ocean began with a series of gybes in a super cold water (1-3 degrees). It was chilly on deck. We broke out almost all of the autumn-winter collection of our clothing. In a nutshell, there were 16 gybes to the Kerguelens, then a long port tack under gennaker, stuck behind the ridge of high pressure. That bloody ridge, it held us up for five days, which allowed Idec to come back level with us. The timeout was over, the ball was back in court, it was like a new start at the gates to the Pacific.

      Let’s go, we forgot the Indian Ocean and told ourselves that the future would be better. But after a decent start for this part of the world, the weather got more complicated again. It was not to be super surfing on swells under two reefs and the small gennaker. We had to be clever to find the right road.

      We still had some periods of the true Pacific and that was really great. Even without the foil, the boat measured up. It starts on the slope of the wave, accelerates and the bow of the central hull just explodes through the wave in front. The boat forces its way through, foredeck covered in surf, to start again on the next wave. It’s magical. I hope our media man has immortalised the power generated by the boat.

      The Pacific crossing was also marked by Idec coming out of the mist to cross four miles behind us. We spent the day side by side within sight of each other. It was pretty amazing to find ourselves so close to each other on the other side of the world.

      Then, the weather went pretty quiet making life easier on board. We hardly moved around at all, so we slept least, I slept well! The duvets are really comfortable! However, the nights are cold outside; the hats, hoods and waterproof gloves came out - the big blue waterproof gloves that occupy the stand-by watch; putting the first one on is quick, but getting the second one on, with big, sticky fingers, takes some patience and silence.

      Time for the duvet after a good freeze-dried meal, and a freeze-dried apple and apricot compote for dessert, which was excellent, without playing favourites. Everyone’s diet will be like this: after the holidays!

      See you soon,

      After a beautiful day in South Pacific with strong wind and lively conditions, Spindrift 2, is again faced with variable weather and complicated routing. An old depression is dragging along the Antarctic Peninsula where some secondary cold fronts are circulating.


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      • #48
        A New Cape Horn Reference

        Horn, sweet Horn

        Spindrift 2 crossed the longitude of Cape Horn on Tuesday, December 22 at 08:09 GMT, with a nice westerly breeze of 20 knots after 30 days 04 hours and 07 minutes at sea since leaving Ushant: that equals an improvement of 18 hours 11 minutes on the record time set by Banque Populaire V. Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard and their 12 teammates will now head back up the Atlantic for one last 7000-mile dash.

        In the final analysis the Pacific has been too...pacific. Because even though Spindrift 2 has been faster than the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy across the largest ocean on the planet (9d 23h 30’ against 10d 15h 07’ for Banque Populaire V), the weather conditions were not as high as the hopes of the crew: the light weather off New Zealand, a low-wind transition zone in the middle of the ocean and short, choppy swell and waves in the approach to Drake Passage. Thus, Orange II keeps the WSSRC Pacific Ocean record it set in 2005: 8d 18h 08’.

        I was feeling great, I was just blown away by the beauty of the place. We were this morning at sunrise, almost blue skies, we had 15 knots of wind so were just gliding away, passing by, just an amazing feeling, such a beauty. Everything was just perfect. Right now the conditions are quite light, we have a little bit less of 12 knots of wind, we were expecting those conditions, we know that we are in the shadow of the Andes, so we knew we would have light winds until probably the next 6-8 hours, and then we will be able to catch stronger winds and will be sailing upwind towards Falkland islands.

        « The team is doing a great job »

        I will only keep good memories. Of course there have been tough moments, we just spent three weeks in the Southern seas where the conditions are quite hostile. The frustration, the bad moment is that the boat sails well, the team is doing a great job, we are really happy with our performance but the weather is just not being really with us. Since the Equator we have been stoped by our weather system. That is quite frustrating.

        At the beginning we were really happy when IDEC announced that they were doing the Jules Verne the same winter. We thought it was amazing to have two boats going around the world and anyhow is quite comforting to know that when you are gonna be the high seas and something happens to you, you have some friends there. But to tell you the truth, is actually quite stressful because you not only have one competitor but you have a second one that you need to worry about. Obviously we look at what they are doing but it doesn’t really change the way that we are sailing, it doesn’t change the tactics or what we want to do.

        More than half a day ahead

        With a long swell from the west, Spindrift 2 rounded the legendary Cape Horn in the small hours of the morning (local time) under a few rays of sunshine piercing the clouds caught on the steep slopes of Tierra del Fuego. The black and gold trimaran thus took just over 30 days since leaving Ushant to cross the Drake Passage (30d 04h 07’).

        Spindrift 2 has garnered a lead of more than half a day over the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy and can consider the climb back up the Atlantic with a degree of calm. Although sailing conditions off the coast of Tierra del Fuego are a bit unusual, with an area of light winds between Staten Island and the Falkland Islands. Therefore, a somewhat tricky phase is expected until tomorrow, Wednesday, before hooking onto a new Southern depression that will cross the south of Argentina in order to re-join the disrupted flow from the west of the Atlantic.

        Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard, and their 12 teammates will enjoy a deserved break after nearly three weeks in the South Seas. Time to do a complete check-up of the black and gold trimaran, air and dry the entire interior, and even prepare a special meal for this holiday season. But there can be no dawdling on the road because the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy set the fastest time on the section of the course between Cape Horn and the Equator (7d 04h 27’). So, it is anticipated that, in the coming days, Spindrift 2 will lose some of the 530-mile lead it holds at the passage of Tierra del Fuego.

        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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        • #49

          In a light, the like of which you don’t find anywhere else, surrounded by albatrosses, the big, red multihull made her way back into the Atlantic, leaving the desolate Southern Ocean in her wake and in so doing was very close to the intermediate time for the Jules Verne Trophy record set in December 2011 by Loïck Peyron and his crew of 13 on the maxi-trimaran, Banque Populaire V. Rather like in the Indian Ocean, in the huge Pacific, IDEC SPORT switched between long periods of high speed sailing and time-consuming transition zones, often far away from the most direct route. It is almost as if the counter has been reset to zero as they start this final chapter in the Atlantic. Joyon and his friends are still in with every chance of rivaling the Jules Verne record to the finish, meaning that the crew is determined to fight hard all the way to the end.

          31 days, 1 hour, 47 minutes between Ushant and the Horn


          “We had to fight hard to get to the Horn tacking downwind in light winds below the coast of Chile,” explained Francis Joyon, now fully concentrated on the strategy required in the climb back up the South Atlantic. “We took some time out to celebrate that in fitting style,” added Clément Surtel, over the moon after his first experience of the Horn, a moment, which is important in every sailor’s life. Guéno Gahinet, the youngest crewman, did not disagree. For him this was a childhood dream come true. He stood there with his eyes popping out admiring the magnificent sight of the Andes. “I didn’t think there were so many little islands hidden away down here around Tierre del Fuego. It’s fantastic!” Boris Herrmann added, “This is my fourth time. Probably the finest aboard an amazing boat and in really good company.”

          “30 knots or nothing”

          As a reward after this hard work, the wind, which was blocked by the mountains for so long, finally appeared to greet the troops. So it was that in spite of the nasty choppy seas, IDEC SPORT left Staten Island to port at thirty knots. The race against the clock continues with the battle raging. In this part of the voyage, their virtual rival, Banque Populaire V, was fast, so aboard Idec Sport they are reacting with a daring strategy between the St Helena high and the areas of low pressure moving away from Argentina. “We have given IDEC SPORT the nickname of ‘30 knots or nothing’ ” joked Joyon, because the former Groupama 3, fitted with her short mast designed for solo sailing, is proving to be efficient in strong winds, but less at ease in light airs. IDEC SPORT is therefore heading east to look for more pressure, while trying to avoid having to sail too many extra miles. “Before the start, we would have been pleased with the time it took us to reach the Horn,” Francis reminded us. “It means we are still in with every chance of beating the record.”

          Alex Pella, Boris Herrmann, Bernard Stamm and of course Francis Joyon knew the place before, but this was a new experience for Gwénolé Gahinet and Clément Surtel. In any case, the six members of the crew of the maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT could not hide their pleasure this morning, when they crossed the longitude of Cape Horn within sight of the famous rock.

          After rounding the legendary Cape Horn at 0350hrs UTC on Tuesday night. Francis Joyon and his crew of five are now about to tackle the South Atlantic. It took them 31 days 1 hour 47 minutes to sail from Ushant to the tip of South America.

          Francis Joyon and his crew of five passed within 5 miles of the famous rock. The final miles approaching the infamous rock were particularly tough, because of a patch of light airs in an area of low pressure, which the trimaran was forced to cross. They now face the South Atlantic with its many hurdles. It is looking particularly calm around the Falklands, until a new low develops off Argentina. They will have to deal with the unpredictable St Helena high with a lot of tacking upwind expected. Idec Sport is this morning negotiating her way around Tierra del Fuego and the Staten Island (Isla de los Estados). Francis, Bernard, Boris, Alex and the pair discovering the Horn for teh first time, Guéno and Clément are pushing hard. This stretch along the coast will require precision driving and they will have to be particularly clever to stay up with the record pace of Banque Populaire V, which was particularly fast here four years ago.

          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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          • #50
            Iceberg Alert For Christmas

            The six sailors on IDEC SPORT are entitled to a special meal for Christmas Eve, while remaining focused on their main goal, which is finding a way to get around the St. Helena high. At the same time, they are having to be extra cautious as large icebergs have been spotted in the area where they will be sailing.

            “What have we asked Father Christmas for? A good crossing through the area of high pressure. It’s far from certain and that’s why we’re asking him for that big present. Apart from that, we’re in decent winds of around 35-40 knots. We have taken in a reef in the mainsail and are sailing quickly.” With a calm, yet upbeat voice, Francis Joyon summed up well the situation for Christmas Eve: IDEC SPORT is sliding downwind at high speed. They will be “gybing in a few hours to get back on the direct route. We’re trying to get in place in relation to the high, which is hindering our passage towards the north.” The good news is that they should be able to stick with the wind from the low-pressure area for some time. “We should stay with it for 800 or 900 miles,” explained Francis, “After that, we will have to find a way to reach the trade winds on the other side of the high.” With Joyon, it always sounds so simple…

            A 4-mile long iceberg ahead

            We must not forget that they are still in the Furious Fifties, and even if it seems odd that as they are making their way north, there is a real risk of encountering an iceberg today and tomorrow. The router, Marcel Van Triest warned the crew about this. Francis Joyon tells us more, “Our route will take us in amongst the icebergs, even though we are quite some way north. These are icebergs that have drifted a long way from the Antarctic. There is one ahead of us that is 4 miles long. It can be seen on the satellite photos, as it is so big. We shall be approaching the area where icebergs have been spotted. The big one is about 700 miles away and we should pass close to it tomorrow. The sea state? Behind the area of low pressure, it is starting to build and there are white tops with foam. It is still very much a Southern sky with the sea birds.” That is what life is like aboard IDEC SPORT this Christmas.

            Father Christmas driving in 40 knots of wind

            As for the Christmas Eve celebrations, “We don’t have that much due to weight restrictions, but Boris brought a long a flashing star that must weigh about 15g and changes from green to amber to red. That is the only decoration I’ve seen for the moment,” smiled Francis, before adding, “Oh and just now, Boris was at the helm with a Father Christmas hat on in 40 knots of wind. It was a bit different.” After Francis, we tried to find out more from Bernard Stamm, as he is charge of supplies. So what’s on the menu this Christmas? The Swiss sailor told us the main course was “a bean stew with meat, a ‘cassoulet’. This canned meal is very filling and makes a change from the freeze-dried stuff. After that, there is a little surprise: portions of raspberries in Guinness, which is something new to me, I wanted a surprise too! And the lads don’t know yet, but I have two excellent bottles of red wine that I didn’t get through with Jean Le Cam in the Barcelona World Race.”

            That’s the type of guy we like. He takes a mini wine cellar around the world with him, allowing the wine to mature along the way. But this wine is nevertheless in “plastic bottles, so as not to weigh too much.” That should give a nice boost to what is already a friendly atmosphere on board, in spite of the uncertainties about the weather and the infamous high that is hindering their progress. Eyes wide open for icebergs, fast sailing as they try to make their way north, while everyone is enjoying themselves on board during this amazing adventure. As for the numbers, they now have to sail 500 miles a day in terms of distance towards the finish to make it home in record time. And they are still quite rightly aiming to do just that.

            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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            • #51
              Mast Delam Issues For Spindrift 2

              Yann 's comments about the delamination problem in the lower part of the mast​

              "We realised late in the morning that there was a part of the mast which had delaminated. We had to reduce the sail area and immediately make an analysis of what had happened in order to consider what repair work was necessary.

              We’ve had the sea against us for 48 hours now, I think that's why we’ve had some damage to the mast, it must have compressed backwards and Antoine (Carraz) is trying to repair it as well as he can, so, for now, we can’t reset the sails. He is repairing the outside and after he’s going to have to repair the inside.

              That's why we’ve been slow for 5/6 hours and the next 5/6 hours are also going to be slow. So, we’re going to lose a bit more ground, but we don’t have much choice, we have to try our best to fix it so we can forget this problem and get back to 100% of the potential of the boat."

              (Then, after some repair work) "Antoine did a great job on the outside, a bravo to him because it was “challenging” up there. We have to repair the inside of the mat but we are going to put a gennaker so that we can glide a bit more to make it easier in the sea, and I think in 4/5 hours we can start sailing normally again."


              Spindrift 2 is slowly moving out of the low-pressure system she was skirting overnight as she made her way northwards.

              The 30 knot south-westerlies will ease and turn west during the day. Good weather lies ahead in the evening on the approach to a small high moving west to east off the River Plate.

              On the Christmas Dinner menu will be a trip around the western side of the high. Great care must be taken on this type of route to properly use the curvature of the wind field and avoid being caught out in the centre, where there is no wind.

              Looking a little further ahead, the South Atlantic high is blocking almost the entire ocean, so we will need to tag on to an area of low pressure forming near São Paulo.

              Taking this route means close-hauling in 20 knot north-easterlies between December 26th and 29th, but it's the price the crew must pay to escape the clutches of the high on the 29th and accelerate in the south-east trade winds up to the equator.

              Message from Dona

              15:00 UTC (Wednesday, December 23)

              This Christmas Eve, while the world is preparing for a few days of celebration, 13 men and one woman are struggling against a hand of fate that seems to be against them.

              After the foil in the Indian Ocean, now it is the mast that is delaminating in the Atlantic. It was a frightening moment for the crew when Yann (Guichard), making his usual inspection rounds, found a 40cm-long horizontal hollow 1/3 up from the bottom of the mast on the port side.

              The trimmers and bowmen had looked there many times whilst trimming, hoisting and dropping the sails, but there had been no indication of such a problem. Since the Le Maire Strait, we have been sailing upwind, against big seas, with little wind. There’s been nothing abnormal to warrant such damage, but perhaps one wave, more powerful than the others, bent the mast.

              Seb (Marsset) and Antoine (Carraz) made an immediate and careful check of the outside as well as the inside of the mast. After several calls with the design office, the first doubts about whether it is repairable were alleviated, and instructions given. The team has begun working quickly, because we have very little time left to fix it. Ironically, it is when we’re back in the stronger winds that would enable us to protect our lead, that we have to do everything to reduce our speed to allow the repairs to go on more than 15 metres up. It is an really difficult exercise in a wind of over 25 knots into a 2-metre sea, which can make the boat lurch in any direction.

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              • #52
                Big Bergs

                Right in the middle of the South Atlantic, Francis Joyon’s men are out of the Roaring Forties. They are now preparing to face some patches of light airs. They told us more about their extraordinary encounter with a giant iceberg yesterday afternoon.

                “Like others on board IDEC SPORT, I had already come across icebergs, but it was never as spectacular and fantastic as this. We were up close to a huge wall of ice.” On Saturday morning’s radio link-up, Francis Joyon expressed his amazement on seeing this giant iceberg yesterday afternoon in the Roaring Forties. An extremely rare occurrence. “It wasn’t in bad weather or with reduced visibility. It was in brilliant sunshine and we could see huge chunks of glass breaking off into the sea. The huge surface shone like in the mirror in the sun. It was really impressive. It was a fantastic sight and we said to each other that this trip was worth it just to see that.”

                Worth it just to see that

                Francis Joyon has shown us before his childlike wonder facing the beauty of the natural world and he is certainly sincere. He didn’t forget either that encountering an iceberg so far north (43° S) may also be a worrying confirmation of global warming. “This is a matter that worries us all at the moment. We are pushing things too far with the climate. We really need to be careful. It’s important for us to be here to bear witness to what is happening.” Bernard Stamm had also already seen icebergs… but none as large as this one. He gave us his thoughts, “It was like something surreal. It was really impressive seeing this ice cube with such high cliffs and those blue reflections. I had already see icebergs from close by, but never one as big as this. We got to within a mile and a half of it.”

                Going back to the record, the area of uncertainty that Francis Joyon has been telling us about for 48 hours is just ahead of the bows of IDEC SPORT. For the moment, they are continuing to make headway. Not as fast, but they are still moving. How much will it cost them before they pick up the trade winds and the fast route towards the Equator? That is the big question this weekend. Bernard Stamm: “We’re entering that area. There are several small transition zones to get across. For the moment, we’re tackling the first one with a Westerly wind easing off until we pick up wind on the other side coming from more or less the opposite direction, from the east. We have two or three transition zones like this one ahead. We’re going to have to fight hard with these patches of light airs.”

                Fighting hard to avoid getting stuck too long. That is the programme for this weekend, according to Francis Joyon. “What is really happening is that we are entering the heart of a small area of high pressure. We’re still moving forward at ten knots and we should get through this one quite quickly. But there will come a time, when the wind drops right off for several hours and we will be tossed around on the swell. We’re going to have to struggle for a few hours to find our way out to the north looking for the wind, which will then allow us to sail efficiently once again towards the Equator.” Francis Joyon added, “It’s important to get out of here as best we can, as if we manage to save a couple of hours during this crossing, that could mean we have a decent enough time at he Equator. I’d say that if we get moving again tomorrow morning, that will be fine.”

                What lies ahead? They will then have around 800 miles tacking upwind, before the wind shifts to the east, “which will allow us to sail well with the wind on the beam towards the Equator. That’s a fairly traditional route, once we are away from these hold-ups.”

                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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                • #53
                  Shower Time For Spindrift 2 Crew

                  First shower in almost a month yesterday for the crew on Spindrift 2​

                  Some favorable conditions - with the light weather and the temperature of the seawater at around 20℃ - allowed everyone to wash themselves in the sun yesterday, Friday. It was real moment of happiness.

                  Finally, Spindrift 2 got through the ridge of high pressure at end of the evening, a little after the live link with i-Télé, when we took advantage of some light winds to fly our drone during the broadcast. That was a first.

                  The night was more serious, reaching into an oncoming sea. We had to reduce the sail area and slow down to protect the material and especially the rigging.

                  Lots of squalls, some rain. Very uncomfortable. It’s actually quite surprising that this discomfort manifests itself most inside the boat. Without being able to see the horizon, it’s impossible to anticipate the impact of the boat in the waves. Every movement and action, however trivial, becomes complicated: moving, getting dressed, having something to eat. Some of the team have had difficulty getting to sleep, being too busy clinging to the frames of their bunks to stop themselves from falling.

                  To make matters worse, the cabin temperature is starting to rise, to the point where you start to suffer from the heat, especially with the engine running (to charge the batteries) or when preparing meals. The seawater is already 23°C.

                  Since then, the wind and sea conditions have eased a bit, but we have between 800 and 1000 miles upwind on the nose. Fortunately, the majority will be done on a port tack, and we can use our working foil, which will cushion the banging of the boat in the waves.

                  Today, it’s about jumping waves and circling the stormy depression that is hanging around off Porto Alegre.

                  Spindrift 2 is rapidly heading to the north and the stormy depression that it will reach during the day.

                  The swell from the north is two to three metres, and very choppy, subjecting both crew and structure to a severe test.

                  In the afternoon, it’s tacking and then a port tack towards the edge of the South Atlantic anticyclone.

                  He’s going to shape the route for the next three days.

                  He’s also the one that will either open the door (or not) to the North, the South Atlantic trade winds and the Northern Hemisphere.

                  Suffice to say that we hope he’s in good spirits and has been thoroughly pampered during the holidays

                  Position at 08:00 GMT :

                  33° 15' 70" S and 46° 48' 18" W
                  254 behind the record holder Banque Populaire V
                  Distance covered from the start: 21 407 nM
                  Distance traveled over 24 hours: 315 nM
                  Average speed over 24 hours: 13,2 knts
                  Actual speed: 31 knts
                  Waves: 2 meters
                  Water temperature: 19°C
                  Air température: 20°C
                  Wind: 19,4 knts East – South East

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                  • #54
                    Drifting Behind

                    5:00 GMT


                    "These stupid countries where it never rains"

                    Delays on the northbound carriageway due to subtropical anticyclones. It is a rather pompous name for the ruthless tyrants who rule over the World Ocean.

                    They supposedly bring good weather and protect us from evil lows, but the little devils swell, spread and send ridges and pitfalls for sailing boats.

                    The anticyclones, or highs, determine the weather in the World Ocean, while depressions, or lows, are just aggressive swirls that move energy from the the tropics to higher latitudes.

                    French singer-songwriter Brassens, who knows a thing or two about sailing, warned us in his song “L’Orage” (The Storm): “Le beau temps me dégoute et me fait grincer les dents. Le bel azur me met en rage” (I can’t stand good weather; blue skies fills me with rage). He adds: “ces pays imbéciles où jamais il ne pleut” (these stupid countries where it never rains). We agree!

                    13:04 GMT

                    Message from Dona

                    Bric-a-brac bartering

                    These have been the words on everyone’s lips for some time on board the black and gold maxi trimaran. The conversations are rife among the crew. Chocolate is being exchanged for Panettone, Ovaltine bars for Bounty ones, and Balisto for Twix or Snickers. I even exchanged a clean cap for some Oreo biscuits. Only one thing has been jealously guarded by everyone: the small truffle-coated saucisson we received at Christmas.

                    This is because there are only 2 things that act as barometers for the mood on board: performance and food.

                    With this race against time around the world coming to an end soon, and the weather conditions, and particularly the conditions for sailing, not making our task easier, everyone is jumping on the only comfort on board – sugar.

                    It also has to be said that everyone’s fed up with the freeze-dried food. Even with all Xavier’s compassion varying the dishes, and the amount of mustard or harissa (or both!) that everyone adds to their ration, it becomes very repetitive from one week to the next. The dishes all have either a red or yellow colour, and the appearance and texture of jars of 12-18 month baby food. But beware, some pieces of meat have trouble rehydrating and are still hard, so, pulling a face like baby (or even spitting it out), is allowed…


                    POSITION AT 7:30 GMT - SOUTH ATLANTIC

                    25° 8' 55" S and 38° 21' 21" W
                    453.8 behind the record holder Banque Populaire V
                    Distance covered from the start: 22,263 nM
                    Distance traveled over 24 hours: 349.8 nM
                    Average speed over 24 hours: 14.6 knts
                    Actual speed: 18.8 knts
                    Waves: 2.5 meters

                    By Dona Bertarelli

                    I want to thank all our partner schools, in France and Switzerland, and the 2,000 students who are following us. Whenever I can, I will be answering your many questions throughout this journey around the planet, a journey that we are taking together to discover the wonders of our world.

                    With all the crew of Spindrift 2, through our observations and our encounters, not only with marine life, but also with the islands and peninsulas that we pass, with the meteorological phenomena we experience, and with the birds and the stars that accompany us during our voyage, we will help you to live this adventure, like Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s famous book. We are calling our Spindrift for Schools series - Out of the Classroom.

                    The Seabirds of Antarctica

                    As we have rounded Cape Horn and started sailing back up the Atlantic following the coast of Argentina, we have gently left the South Seas. As a farewell, many birds have followed us during these past days, more than we ever seen in our entire rounding of Antarctica. As sudden as it might sound, and surprising as well, the sea temperature increased from 3 degrees to 15 over night and the seabirds of Antarctica gave way to the flying fishes.

                    Many species of seabirds spend the majority of their lives at sea, far from the eyes of humans. As a result, little is known about their habitats and movements. Despite their mystery, seabirds still provide one of the most visible indicators of ocean health, acting as sentinels of what is going on beneath the ocean surface. It is particularly telling, but not altogether surprising, that over the past several decades, during which time many of the world’s fisheries have suffered precipitous declines, the populations of many seabird species have also suffered dramatic reductions in their numbers, declines that are linked to commercial fisheries targeting their feeding areas, making them amongst the most threatened group of birds in the world. Some 45 species of seabirds live south of the Antarctic Convergence, but only 19 of these breed on the Antarctic continent itself. These include pelagic, or free-ranging, species such as albatrosses and petrels. By contrast, coastal species, including skuas, cormorants, terns and sheathbills, forage close to the shore. And last, but certainly not least, are 7 different species of penguins, flightless birds who make up in aquatic dexterity, what they lack in the air.

                    The seabirds of Antarctica face unique challenges. Able to withstand the harshest climate on earth, each species has its own unique survival techniques and characteristics ranging from shared parenting and monogamy to flexible webbed feet and feathering that gives them greater buoyancy and insulation. Long-lived and slow to reproduce, the common thread among these remarkable denizens of the southern oceans is the important role they play in Antarctica’s intricate food web, both as predator and prey. Seabirds need forage species—in particular, tiny Antarctic krill—to survive. They can feed on huge amounts of these tiny crustaceans and expend enormous amounts of energy in doing so. For example, the emperor penguin is the deepest diving bird in the world, capable of reaching depths of more than 600 meters in search of food. But some unlucky few may end up as meals for orca whales or leopard seals, top predators in the Southern Ocean who rely on seabirds and other prey for their own survival.

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                    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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                    • #55
                      A Cruel Climb Up The Brazilian Coast


                      28 December 2015
                      With the wind strengthening during the night off the south of Brazil, Francis Joyon and his crew of five have gone from gloom and doom to sunshine. Seriously slowed down for 36 hours by a ridge of high pressure, which continued to expand along their route, the crew has been through the nightmare scenario dreaded by all sailors struggling in light airs. On this 37th day at sea, IDEC SPORT is more than 800 miles behind the Jules Verne Trophy record holder. With 5000 miles to go to the finish, it is seeming less likely that they will set a new record time at Ushant, but aboard IDEC SPORT with her short mast and short-handed crew, the spirit remains one of determination.

                      A sleepless night…
                      “We all felt a bit down,” Francis Joyon told us. “We were expecting to spend just a few hours getting through a calm patch. But in the end it cost us a good day! Everyone kept their feelings to themselves and just carried on working to the best of their ability.” Francis, as is his custom, didn’t get a wink of sleep during this passage through the light airs. A stronger air stream arrived earlier than forecast during the night, enabling the giant trimaran to pick up speed but on a bearing that is not very efficient in terms of VMG, as throughout the night IDEC SPORT was heading towards Brazil.


                      Tacking upwind to the trade winds
                      Since the middle of the day, Joyon and his men have started to sail as close as possible to the wind towards the NW. This tacking has so far gone well for the trimaran, on seas that are still smooth. “We have 18 knots of wind, and the boat is doing well, without slamming too much…” Gwénolé Gahinet explained. It is by tacking upwind that IDEC SPORT hopes to reach the latitudes, where the SE’ly trade wind is blowing. She will then be able to sail towards the Equator at a decent speed and on a route that is very efficient to get them back to the tip of Brittany. The crew made the most of the period of calm to give the boat a check-up. “Clément Surtel, who isn’t claustrophobic, climbed up the inside of the mast,” explained Francis, “while Alex carried out a big repair job on the G1 gennaker.” The maxi, IDEC SPORT is therefore in the best of shape to complete this stretch of the South Atlantic with all its contrasts and head into the North Atlantic hoping that the wind will be kinder to them, allowing them to get back to the level of performance we saw in the Indian Ocean in particular.

                      IDEC SPORT’s 36th day of racing in her attempt to grab the Jules Verne Trophy record was a dark day.

                      The passage through a huge area of high pressure stretching out across the South Atlantic off Brazil was, as expected by Francis Joyon and his troops, extremely difficult and costly in terms of performance. Since yesterday morning, the big, red trimaran has only advanced 184 miles towards the Equator, a distance well below the 500 miles required each day to stay within record pace. Her virtual opponent, Banque Populaire V is this morning 750 miles ahead, a situation which already occurred on 6th December, when Loïck Peyron moved 793 miles ahead. Following that, we were able to see the ability of the IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran to regain all that lost ground. For this to happen, the wind gods are going to have to be kind to Joyon and offer him an easy route through this tricky patch. Although the St. Helena high is for the moment offering them some wind, it is from the NNW, which is far from favourable for speed. IDEC SPORT will therefore continue to tack upwind today, looking for the salvation of the SE trade winds, but these tacks are not very efficient in terms of VMG towards the Equator. With 5000 miles to go to the finishing line between The Lizard and Ushant, IDEC SPORT hasn’t given up.

                      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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                      • #56
                        Not looking good for a new record, is it?


                        • #57
                          Lotta time to make up!


                          • #58
                            Hoping For A Miracle


                            “We’ll see what happens at the Equator.” Pragmatic and realistic, Francis Joyon and his crew of five are taking each difficulty as it comes. The one that they have been dealing with for the past couple of days is associated with the huge area of high pressure blocking the South Atlantic at the latitude of Rio, destroying the dream position IDEC SPORT took up in the east after rounding the Horn.

                            The maxi trimaran has since sailed close to the wind, a point of sail hated by sailors and three-hulled machines, which is both uncomfortable and especially not very profitable in terms of making gains towards the finish. There is now light at the end of this tunnel and Francis hopes to pick up some more wind this evening. The wind shifting to the east should allow the big, red trimaran to accelerate and make good headway towards the Equator, which will be when Francis, Guéno, Boris, Alex, Bernard and Clément can really see the state of play in this Jules Verne Trophy attempt after the expensive toll they had to pay in the South Atlantic.

                            It was another uncomfortable night on IDEC SPORT, which continued on the port tack on the edge of the St. Helena high. A bumpy old road, where they were slowed down heading into a very light NW’ly. At around lunchtime, Francis and his troops changed tack and carried out what they hope will be one of the final manoeuvres before reaching the trade winds. They will sail on a long tack northwards to get to the Equator as quickly as they can. At that point they will be able to judge how much of a penalty charge they had to pay in the Southern Hemisphere after all the hurdles they have faced in recent days. The extent to which the St. Helena high has expanded westwards has certainly not been kind to Francis and his crew. “We were hoping to gain an advantage from our positioning off to the East after the Falklands,” admitted Joyon, “but we had to head back west to avoid being becalmed, which meant sailing upwind in a northerly flow along the coast of Brazil.”

                            As enthusiastic as ever

                            Far from abdicating at this point, and in spite of the clock ticking, the men on IDEC SPORT are continuing to give it their all. They remain as enthusiastic and determined as ever, which is something they can be proud of after all the work done over the past 38 days by all six of them on a boat designed for ten. They have sacrificed rest and sleep to ensure they have been getting the most out of the boat. “The boat is in perfect condition,” Francis stressed, before praising his crew for their vigilance over the past few weeks. “The South Atlantic wasn’t on our side,” he said smiling. “Let’s hope the North Atlantic will allow us to finish this round the world voyage in style.”


                            Weather forecast by Jean-Yves Bernot

                            Finally in the South Atlantic trade winds, that are flowing nicely from ENE to ESE at 15-20 kts.

                            Good weather for sailing, punctuated with refreshing squalls.

                            On the way to the Doldrums, which should be arranged sympathetically at this time of year: passage on the evening of January 30 at around 1 30 S.

                            The future: the Equator as a New Year’s Day present, crossing on January 1, then the climb up the North Atlantic with the Azores as the final judge.

                            Not won yet, not lost yet...

                            Message from Dona

                            We are finally out of the salad spinner. There are two ways of seeing things and of describing how we lived through this period: a realistic, brutal and predictable way; or a more playful, cheerful and lyrical way. I think the Beatles song, Twist and Shout, sums up the situation we just experienced perfectly. The Beatles’ "Babe" is second to none because there it has as much movement as sound. We even had the right lighting, as if we were in a concert, with flashes of lightning illuminating the black night. The crowd, that is to say, us, (not screaming, but at the end of our tethers) cheered Aeolus and Neptune, who have taken pleasure in playing this song on a loop.

                            Extract :​

                            Well, shake it up, baby, now (Shake it up, baby)
                            Twist and shout (Twist and Shout)
                            C'mon c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby, now (Come on baby)
                            Come on and work it on out (Work it on out)
                            Well, shake it, shake it, shake it, baby, now (Shake it up baby)
                            Well, shake it, shake it, shake it, baby, now (Shake it up baby)
                            Well, shake it, shake it, shake it, baby, now (Shake it up baby)

                            Now, we are sailing on a starboard tack with at least 6,000 km to the Azores High. We are fine-tuning our bunks, and our steely morale, in order to tackle the last stretch of the South Atlantic, which will offer us no respite.

                            7:30 GMT

                            POSITION AT 7:30 GMT - SOUTH ATLANTIC

                            20° 17' 5" S and 34° 55' 49" W
                            604.1 behind the record holder Banque Populaire V
                            Distance covered from the start: 22,677 nM
                            Distance traveled over 24 hours: 348 nM
                            Average speed over 24 hours: 14.5 knts
                            Actual speed: 18.6 knts
                            Waves: 1.5 meters

                            - See more at:
                            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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                            • #59
                              39 Days In

                              25-30 knots tonight


                              The situation has clearly improved on IDEC SPORT on this 39th day of sailing after three horrendous days of tacking upwind in light airs. While the trajectory taken by the multihull still is not as straight as in the Indian Ocean for example, it is becoming more so with each passing hour, as the trade wind shifts further and further to the east. They can now head due north and it is only down to squalls that the boat has moved slightly towards the west at times. “We are taking advantage of each wind shift,” explained Francis. “When it strengthened late in the night, we even removed the foil and lifted the daggerboard, which is something we haven’t done for ages.”

                              A strengthening trade wind

                              The helmsmen were thus able to get back up to speeds above 25 knots for a few hours, a situation the men on IDEC SPORT hope will stabilise today to become the norm until they reach the Equator. “The charts are looking more positive now,” Joyon said sounding upbeat. “According to our latest analysis, the trade wind should strengthen, allowing us to get to the Equator on the night of the 1st-2nd January.” The Equator and the climb back up towards the Horn of Brazil are the current goals. It is true that back on dry land, Marcel van Triest, and at sea the six men on IDEC SPORT are also looking ahead to the weather patterns in the North Atlantic. But for the time being, the important thing is finishing this climb back up the coast of Brazil with its paradise resorts, as efficiently as possible. After the recent painful experiences in the Southern Hemisphere, IDEC SPORT hopes to begin 2016 in style with a dash towards the tip of Brittany with the spray flying and very high speeds.
                              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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                              • #60
                                Fighting Back

                                Fighting back

                                With the Equator still 24 hours on the horizon, Spindrift 2 is more than a day behind the Jules Verne Trophy holder. But if the last five days have been particularly difficult on board and unproductive in terms of their overall goal, the weather situation is now clearing up ahead of the bows of the black and gold trimaran.

                                Eight days ago, as they rounded Cape Horn, Spindrift 2 was more than 500 miles ahead of Banque Populaire V. Today, the day before New Year's Eve, the black and gold trimaran is nearly 800 miles behind. It is a balance sheet that is simply the result of unfavourable weather systems in an area where, four years earlier, the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy managed an extremely fast ascent of the South Atlantic: 7 days 4 hours 27 minutes...While two years before that, the record breakers on Groupama 3 registered 9d 16h 35'. That is almost exactly the time that Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard and their 12 teammates need to match to reach the Equator on the night of December 31.

                                From the Le Maire Strait, the average speed dropped to less than 15 knots. Then on Christmas Eve, the mast started showing a depression in its lower part and the crew had to repair it. They had to slow down just as conditions were enabling a quicker escape from the miasma of weather systems off Argentina. It was a few lost hours that cost them dear. And when the speeds went back up off the Uruguayan and then the Brazilian coast, they had to tack against a north-easterly breeze until they reached the latitude of Salvador de Bahia.

                                It was only on the 38th day at sea that Spindrift 2 began to be able to express its potential in an easterly trade wind of around 20 knots. The deficit is unlikely to stop growing until tomorrow night because Banque Populaire V was very fast until they crossed the Equator. This is especially so, because the trimaran skippered by Yann Guichard is still slightly handicapped on starboard tacks since the lower part of the port foil is damaged following an impact.

                                The situation may seem bleak with only seven days to cross the longitude of the Créac'h lighthouse at Ushant, but everything will depend on the Azores. The Jules Verne Trophy holder had to make a big circle round to avoid this area of high pressure, deviating from its route by heading towards the West Indies and finishing on the coast of Ireland. It was a detour that took 7d 10h 58' between the Equator and Ushant.

                                Cards to play

                                Though it is still too early to anticipate the behaviour of the Azores High, it is, however, clear that the Doldrums (the area of light Equatorial winds), located around 1° 30 South is not very active, while, by contrast, the North Atlantic trade winds are quite strong, with over 20 knots from east. The first few days of the new year are thus promising to be very fast and the succession of depressions sweeping Europe for two weeks is not about to disintegrate: everything will therefore depend on this transition zone between the sustained easterly wind at the level of Cape Verde and a powerful Westerly wind at the latitude of the Azores.

                                Spindrift 2 can therefore fight back after crossing the Equator and enjoy the redistribution of weather cards at the start of the year. Aside from the port foil, the black and gold trimaran is still at full potential, particularly for the final push and the crew can bring to bear all its strengths: an unwavering motivation, a keen sense of competition and the certainty that the record will not be decided for a little while yet.

                                13:00 GMT

                                Weather forecast by Jean-Yves Bernot

                                The South Atlantic trade winds are more alive than expected. We've finally got decent wind speeds of 25-28 knots.

                                We need to pass the north-east of Brazil without being held up by coastal storms.

                                We will have the pleasure of seeing the North Equatorial Current flowing east to west at 2 knots before crossing the equator during the final hours of 2015.

                                At that point, we will be able to see how we must negotiate the Azores High. It looks like it will not be easy.

                                POSITION AT 7:30 GMT

                                13° 6' 1" S and 33° 46' 12" W
                                788.51 behind the record holder Banque Populaire V
                                Distance covered from the start: 23,124.1 nM
                                Distance traveled over 24 hours: 436.2 nM
                                Average speed over 24 hours: 18.2 knts
                                Actual speed: 30.7 knts
                                Waves: 1.5 meters


                                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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