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Spindrift Racing Readies For Jules Verne Attempt

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  • Spindrift Racing Readies For Jules Verne Attempt


    Spindrift’s skipper, Yann Guichard (FRA), has carefully selected a crew of eleven sailors who bring with them a depth of sailing experience from the worlds of Figaro, Olympics and racing multihulls. His crew include seven who formed part of the first attempt on the record, with the other five bringing multiple complementary skills to the team.

    The current Jules Verne Trophy record, set by Francis Joyon and his crew last winter, stands at 40 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes, and Spindrift has spent much of the past two years optimising its 40-metre maxi-trimaran, Spindrift 2, in Brittany to take on this new challenge.


    Joining the team are Thierry Chabagny (FRA) just returned from a Solitaire and a Fastnet in the Figaro, Ewen Le Clech (FRA), who rejoins the trimaran having worked on updating it with Pascal Bidégorry in 2010. Britain's Sam Goodchild joined Yann Guichard on the match-race circuit this season, having spent two years racing offshore trimarans. Also joining is Thomas Le Breton (FRA), a former member of the French Olympic team in the Laser and then the Finn, who has recently returned from Bermuda where he was a tactician for the French challenge in the America's Cup. Finally, completing this group are Tanguy Cariou, ex-member of the French Olympic team and crew in D35, who will be on the first part of the stand-by, and then Erwan Le Roux (part of the Spindrift 2 crew for the Transat Québec-Saint Malo) will take over from November 26, 2017, when he returns from the Transat Jacques Vabre.

    This five-man squad will join Yann Guichard and six crew from the 2015 attempt. These are sailors that Guichard knows well: Xavier Revil, Christophe Espagnon and François Morvan have all run Olympic campaigns together. Antoine Carraz or Jacques Guichard have been part of the Spindrift team since its inception, and Erwan Israel is back onboard again as navigator.


    Yann Guichard is in no doubt of the incredibly tough challenge that lies ahead and has appointed Jean-Yves Bernot to be the onshore weather router for this attempt.

    The original record set by Commodore Explorer was for 79 days 6 hours and 16 minutes, in the intervening 24 years the record has been almost halved and after iDec Sport’s successful challenge last winter, now stands at 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes.


    Yann Guichard (skipper)
    Erwan Israël (navigator)
    Jacques Guichard (watch captain/helm/timmer)
    Christophe Espagnon (watch captain / helm / bow)
    Xavier Revil (watch captain /helm /trimmer)
    François Morvan (helm / trimmer)
    Antoine Carraz (helm / trimmer)
    Thierry Chabagny (helm /bow)
    Ewen Le Clech (helm / trimmer)
    Sam Goodchild (helm / bow)
    Thomas Le Breton (helm / trimmer)
    Tanguy Cariou (helm / trimmer) / Erwan Le Roux (helm / trimmer)
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Current record is 40 Days, 23 Hours, 30 M and 30 S

    How much faster can they get around the globe?


    • #3
      The French guys get all the cool multihulls!


      • #4
        Spindrift 2: Dedicated To The Jules Verne Record




        TIME TO BEAT
        40 23 30 30

        Designed in 2008, the largest ocean maxi-trimaran in the world joined the Spindrift racing team in 2013 with the name of Spindrift 2. Built for offshore racing, it has already proved itself in several ocean races with Yann Guichard at the helm, whether that be setting a race record in the 2016 Transat Québec Saint-Malo, winning the Rolex Fastnet Race in 2015, setting the Discovery Route record in 2013 or the Route du Rhum in 2014 (2nd place).

        In its 2017 configuration, Spindrift 2 has updated its appendages with new rudders and new tips on the foils to significantly reduce the overall drag of the hulls and increase speeds in certain conditions. In addition, the overall weight of the boat has been reduced as well as a multitude of small details, which on a vessel of this size can quickly make a difference.

        It now time for a new challenge for this super sized trimaran and all of its team - the legendary Trophy Jules Verne.

        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


        • #5
          Spindrift Eases Into The Starting Blocks!

          The Maxi Trimaran Spindrift has arrived at Brest at Quai Malbert as she engages in final preparations
          for a Jules Verne attempt!

          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


          • #6
            Chomping At The Bit

            The Maxi Trimaran Spindrift 2 is currently awaiting a window of opportunity in Brest, Journalist Philippe Eliès conducted this interview for the le Telegramme

            After a first unsuccessful attempt two years ago, Yann Guichard and the crew of "Spindrift 2", the world's largest racing trimaran (40 meters), once again tackle the Jules Verne Trophy record with a crew slightly overhauled and a platform boosted. Time to beat: 40 days, 23 h 30 '30' '. The decision to leave will be taken Monday morning in Brest for a possible passage line in the evening or at night off Ouessant.

            Is this weather window good?

            Let's say that it is a window atypical because we will go to near-reaching with southerly winds to fetch a front in the west and touch the wind that will then descend to the Doldrums. But we're going to get a little brewed at first. It is expected to leave the wharf at Brest around 15 hours. The start-up could occur around 19-20 hours but we will refine all this Monday morning. At that moment, we will decide whether we leave or not.

            It gives a passage from the equator after how many days?

            About 5 days and 8-10 hours, it depends on the sequence of the departure.

            Do you have visibility in the South Atlantic up to the Cape of Good Hope?

            We have a little visibility but it moves a lot. For now, it does not seem to be closed. So we have an opportunity to spend and be at Good Hope in about 12 days. For the moment, we do not have an anti-Helena anticyclone across the track.

            Is it a last-ditch attempt because you can not afford to leave, to come back for a fresh start?

            Yes, it must be a good start. Our stand-by stops at the end of January so I hope that this attempt is going to be the right one.

            We know that Joyon and his teammates had been very fast in the South Seas. What delay would be acceptable at Cape Horn according to you?

            If we arrive at Horn late, I do not see how we can beat the record. We can gain a little time in the ascent of the South Atlantic, but, in contrast, in the North Atlantic, it is certain that we will lose time. They had put 5 days and a few hours. They had gone as fast up as down. I estimate a chance in 500 that we have exactly the same weather (laughs). Ideally, you should be at Cape Horn one day ahead. Once we leave, we know we will not turn back, we will do with the weather we have. We will not find ourselves in the middle of the Indian and turn around, it would take more time. The limit for turning around is at the equator. At this level, we already have a visibility of of what will happen in the Indian. After 7 days of maximum seas, we give ourselves the opportunity to turn back, no more.

            Do not you regret not having taken the same weather window as that taken by François Gabart?

            We were not ready! We started the stand-by on November 6th and I have not really looked before because I was on the World Tour (note: world championship match-racing). It turned out to be a good window, I think that on that one, François was opportunistic. The window was perhaps not exceptional to go down to the equator but it was in the time of Thomas Coville and behind, it was completely open and the anticyclone left him the place and he went all law. It was a great window but we can see that now he is having trouble with the Indian. So it is not because we will make a time of 11 days at the Cape of Good Hope that behind, it will go alone. Given the time that Francis Joyon has achieved, you can easily lose two days in the Indian in a week.

            Vincent Lauriot-Prévot, the architect of your trimaran, thinks that with its 40 meters long and despite its weight, "Spindrift 2" is quite capable of breaking the current record ...

            Of course the boat has the potential to break the record. It must be remembered that two years ago, when we left at the same time as Francis Joyon, we went faster than him when we had to go fast. The boat has a higher potential at Idec Sport at the speed level. Now, to break a record like that, there are a lot of parameters: there is the boat, the crew, the weather and a bit of luck. All the parameters must be met. But it is clear that the trimaran has the potential. Now, will we have 40-day weather beats to break that record? we'll know when we'll be there.

            You have kept a hard core but there are new faces this time. Why these changes?

            The idea was to keep the core hard, we are seven out of the twelve of the last attempt. They are my faithful companions, whom I have known for a long time, who know the boat perfectly. I also wanted to bring other sailors from other horizons. There is Thierry Chabagny who comes from Figaro but who was holder of the Trophy Jules-Verne on this boat there (note: with Loïck Peyron under the colors of Banque Populaire). He knows the boat well and he already has a world tour in his wake. There is Thomas Le Breton who comes from the Olympic, who tasted a bit off and landed the America's Cup with Franck Cammas. He is a guy who is happy at sea and off, he quickly melted into the team. Then there is Ewen Le Clech who was boat-captain of the boat of Pascal Bidegorry's time, so he knows him very well. Erwan Le Roux who returned in time from the Transat Jacques Vabre (Ed .: 2nd in Multi50 with Vincent Riou). Tanguy Cariou was ready to replace him. The Roux is a good helmsman, a good trimmer. And the last is Sam Goodchild. He is also a top guy I know well since he has been sailing with us for two years on different media. It's not blood, it's a renewal of part of the team because some of them had different projects. There, I find that we have a balance between experience and youth. The team is complementary and knows how to move quickly the boat without suffering.

            Dona Bertarelli, the only woman on board two years ago, does not leave again?

            No, we're going to twelve.

            Has the boat evolved since the last attempt?

            We have carrying plans on the rudders. My goal was to put some but only on one side for an Atlantic record. I had not imagined doing this around the world but given the time Francis Joyon has done, we saw that it was a gain in performance at certain speeds. In addition to carrying planes, we also changed the foils. Before, we had the "tip" that was down before. Now he is up, like those of Thomas Coville on Sodebo. This brings more lift so we are more aerial than Archimedean even if we do not fly, far from it. The boat has a little less drag hydrau and at certain speeds, it goes faster than before.

            According to you, we can scratch how many days, hours on the record?

            It's hard to say. When the reference time was 45 days, everyone said we could go down to 42-43 days. Francis Joyon did a little less than 41 days ... If we beat him for an hour, I'll be very happy. When you add up all the best cumulative times, I think it's been 38 days. The goal is to do less than 40 days 23 h 30 ', I think this is the record, so we will focus on it. The pace may be different, it may need to go further south than last time.

            Have you shipped food for how many days?

            For 43 days.

            Go back to sea, with this boat and this crew, we imagine that the skipper is happy ...

            I rejoice. We are twelve sailors on the boat but there is a whole team behind. I have the good team around me to get this record. It's a record but it's an adventure, it's a trip to go around the world. I already have the experience of a first round of the world, so I have a lot less fears and unknowns than two years ago. I know exactly what I want to go for and how I will manage my team. Clearly, I am stronger today than I was two years ago.

            Francis Joyon broke this record by betting to leave with a crew of six men. Have you considered doing the same?

            No, because the boats are not comparable at all. We, a sailing maneuver before, must be ten or even 11 on the deck. These maneuvers set the limits of the exercise. We, at the start of the world tour, will be at 22 tons, Idec must have been 15-16 tons. And the six tons of difference make it 25% heavier, 25% harder to tuck the sails. Everything is harder. When you shout or hug, you need people at the column. From 14 to 12 men, it's already a weight reduction. We removed a sail from before. Previously, we had three gennakers on the boat. There, there are two left so it is a sail of 150 kg less. We gained weight. Down to 6-7 men, no! We are not in the same configuration as Idec .. Do not forget that we also rebuilt a mast two years ago. I found the pole of "Banque Populaire" too big. Ours is 3 meters shorter. We have always worked in this direction, to have a lighter boat and go fast in all conditions.

            If this record resists you a second time, would you consider building a new trimaran, smaller, lighter, more flying perhaps?

            Today, it is not at all relevant. To be honest, we have not even discussed the 2018 season. Everything will depend on this record, if we beat it or if we do not beat it. We are focused on the Jules Verne Trophy. After, we will ask and we will look at what we will do with this boat or perhaps another but, I repeat, this is not at all relevant. We see that the new generation of trimaran is progressing, they are semi-flying boats. It is clear that things are going faster. I think a well-born 30-meter trimaran, whether flying or Archimedean, can beat this record with a good crew and the weather that goes with it. But it's nice to see these new flying boats, all stuffed with technology, but they are mostly solitary boats.

            You have already participated with this maxi-trimaran at the Route du Rhum. The next edition is tomorrow, in 2018 ...

            I'm not planning on it. It will depend on a lot of things, whether you hang on this record or not. We do not forbid anything. The Route du Rhum, we have the opportunity to do it since it is open to all sizes of boat. But now, I can not tell you what we will do next year. We will sail, that's for sure! Maybe an Atlantic record, maybe another round of the world if we do not break the record. We will define all this when we return.
            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

   Photo Gallery


            • #7
              Code Green For Spindrift 2

              We are now Code Green! All the Spindrift racing team is now in Brest making final preparations for the departure of Spindrift 2 and her team for the Jules Verne Trophy record. The team will dock out from the Marina du Chateau at 1800h this evening (local) and make their way to the start line advance of their round the world challenge!

              After a long stand-by, in the main due to a very active North Atlantic, Spindrift racing is planning to start their Jules Verne Trophy attempt late tonight (Monday). The crew has all now arrived in Brest to make the final preparations ahead of leaving for the start line late this afternoon.

              This more favourable weather window comes after a series of depressions and extreme conditions similar to those seen with Carmen and Eleanor in Western Europe at the start of this year. While the North Atlantic still remains complicated, a more favourable weather window is emerging with the arrival of a succession of fronts off the Azores: after an upwind start, a wind shift in the Northwest will allow the team to quickly join the trade winds at the Canaries.

              "We have not had an opening since the start of our stand-by mid-November! This is the first opportunity that is emerging but we will start by joining the front to the West that will then allow us to go downwind from Northwest to the Canaries. With the exception of this start, the route looks pretty classic towards rounding the Azores. " says the skipper of Spindrift 2, Yann Guichard.

              It is anticipated that the team will cross the equator in a little over five days, slightly longer than the time achieved by Spindrift 2 during its first attempt in November 2015 (4d 21h 29 '), but it should set a good benchmark against the current crewed record (IDEC Sport 2017: 5d 18h ​​59 '). The aim is to enter the Indian Ocean with a small margin compared to the current Jules Verne Trophy, but also to pull together a favorable meteorological configuration in the Southern Ocean.

              “It does not look as if the St. Helena High in the South Atlantic will block us, but let's face it: we planned a stand-by until the end of January and starting at the beginning of this week, we no longer have a joker to play! Whether it is a successful attempt or not, there will be no more this winter ... So we must make good time (around 12 days) to reach the longitude of Cape Agulhas. IDEC reached this point in 12d 21h 22s but then had a remarkable section across the Indian Ocean.

              "Spindrift 2 is ready, the crew is ready, we are happy to leave! The only thing left is to pick up the fresh food this morning and we anticipate leaving the dock at about 1700h and crossing the line late tonight (Monday). " Yann Guichard

              JOIN THE ADVENTURE!
              With a departure imminent later tonight, Spindrift racing has launched its website platform dedicated to following the record attempt with real-time cartography and an interactive dashboard: WWW.SPINDRIFT-RACING.COM/JULES-VERNE

              This is where the adventure starts and ends. Discover the atmosphere of the departure along the coastline of the island of Ushant by meeting Thierry Leygnac. Thierry, a helicopter pilot based in Morbihan has been at many of the starts and finishes and gives his bird’s eye view of this iconic race. Click here
              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

     Photo Gallery


              • #8
                Good luck guys!

                That new mark set by Gabbart will be tough for even a fully crewed boat!


                • #9
                  Reset For Spindrift2

                  Yann Guichard has made the decision to return to Brest following analysis of this evening's weather files. The weather window, which mobilised Yann Guichard and his eleven crew to leave Brest at 1800h did not materialise as expected.
                  “The weather window has deteriorated. This evening’s files give us an unacceptable time to the Equator and the Cape of Good Hope, it is too much of a risk for a window that was far from ideal in the first place. We have made the decision to return immediately to Brest as there is potentially a more favourable window from the evening of the 12th and we will watch carefully how it evolves. We should arrive back in Brest at about 0100h on Tuesday."

                  The team remains fully committed to achieving their goal of the Jules Verne Trophy but must now wait a few days before going back to sea.
                  " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

         Photo Gallery


                  • #10
                    That's a bummer.

                    But I suppose that prudence is key with a program like that.


                    • #11
                      Spindrift 2 Dismasted At Way To Start Of Jules Verne Record Attempt

                      At about 1600h Spindrift 2 dismasted between Point St Matthieu and Camaret as they were making their way to the start of the Jules Verne Trophy.
                      Everyone onboard is safe and the shore team is currently planning the recovery of the boat.
                      More information available in due course.

                      At about 1600h (CET) today, Monday 15 January 2018, Spindrift 2 was sailing just off Point St Matthieu and Camaret in Brittany on her way to the start line of the Jules Verne Trophy, when she dismasted.

                      At the time the 40m trimaran was sailing at 15-18 knots of boat speed in 30 knot westerly winds and in three metre seas. Spindrfit 2 had two reefs in the main and the J3 (ORC).

                      Yann Guichard, skipper of the Maxi Spindrift 2 says: "The crew is safe and sound. Everything happened so fast. The mast fell to the leeward of the boat. The conditions were not so extreme. It's too early to know exactly what happened. We had to drop the rigging to save the boat and prepare it for towing. Operations are currently underway to recover it.”

                      Spindrift 2 will now return to Brest and is currently under tow and expected to arrive later this evening.

                      After a false start on January 8th, the crew of the maxi-trimaran Spindrift, who had left Brest at 2:30 pm on Monday for a second attempt, dismasted 6 miles south of Pointe Saint-Mathieu, 16 hours while traveling to the starting line at Ouessant. Everyone is well on board and no one is hurt. The largest trimaran in the world has completely lost its mast. The mast and sails were dropped by the crew, to protect the platform. At the end of the day, Spindrift was towed by SNSM's "Notre Dame de Rocamadour". During the assistance operation, several means were committed by the Navy, including two school buildings. During record attempts, especially on the Jules Verne Trophy, propellers are often removed. The maxi-trimaran is expected in the evening, quai Malbert in Brest.

                      "The crew is safe and sound," explains Yann Guichard, "everything happened very quickly, the mast fell to the leeward of the boat, the conditions were not so bad, for now it is too early to know What happened was that we had to dump the rigging to secure the boat and allow towing, and there are ongoing operations to recover it. " Spindrift 2 is currently towing towards Brest, it will moor at Quai Malbert in the evening.

                      The Spindrift 2 is the largest trimaran in the world (40 m long, 23 m wide with a mast 42 m high), launched in August 2008 under the name Banque Populaire V, and became Spindrift in June 2013.

                      Guichard has already been around the world in search of the Jules Verne Trophy 2 years ago with Spindrift. The navigator was launched in November 2015 with 13 crew members. He had failed by closing his circumnavigation on January 8, 2016 in 47 d 10 am, 2 days more than the current record at the time, 45 d 13 h 42 min by the French Loïck Peyron on Banque Populaire V on 6 January 2012.

                      Articles HERE and HERE

                      "Yann Guichard and his crew arrived in Brest last night to start the Jules Verne Trophy. Despite a good though not ideal weather window, after two months on stand-by Spindrift racing has decided to take its chance and will leave the dock late this morning to be at the Créac'h lighthouse in the afternoon.

                      The team was planning to start a week ago, but the weather further down the course did not materialise as anticipated. However, the area of depression that is currently sitting off the coast of Brittany has finally given the team the opportunity to start their challenge on the Jules Verne record. With strong conditions forecast for the start, the current files show the team reaching the equator in just over five days (5d 5h - 5d 10h), which will give them a cushion on the reference time set by Francis Joyon and his crew (5d 18h ​​59').

                      The team is aiming to catch an area of depression off the coast of Brazil to give them a quick crossing of the South Atlantic towards the Cape of Good Hope.

                      “We are now Code Green: the latest weather files confirm our departure from the pontoon around noon today, with a Jules Verne Trophy line crossing following quickly. The 25-30 knot wind from west to north-west will strengthen as we cross the Bay of Biscay, and we are expecting big seas with five metre waves. It looks like the first 12 hours will be hard going, but then the wind will soften off Cape Finisterre to more moderate trade winds, and we will be doing a lot of gybes towards the Canary Islands,” commented Yann Guichard as the last of the fresh food was taken onboard Spindrift 2.

                      The Jules Verne Trophy record has been held by IDEC Sport (Francis Joyon and his crew) since January 2017, with a time of 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes. During that challenge the team took 12 days 21 hours 22 minutes to reach the tip of South Africa, so improving this time is one of the first objectives of Yann Guichard and his eleven crew.?

                      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

             Photo Gallery


                      • #12
                        Spindrift 2: The Aftermath

                        Spindrift 2 was ready for this new attempt around the world with a relatively favourable weather window, after a long two-month stand-by at La Trinité sur Mer and then in Brest, Brittany.

                        With strong winds around Brest, the start from the pontoon was delayed to 1430h. Once Spindrift was into the Iroise, an area of open sea in front of Brest between the Atlantic and the Channel, the sea state was already well formed and the wind blowing at more than 30 knots with strong gusts. As the boat tacked towards the Ouessant Channel, with no warning suddenly Spindrift 2 dismasted. No crew member was injured in the incident.

                        “Everything happened very fast! In a few seconds, the mast was down. We have been waiting for two months for this new attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy: this window was our last chance. It is a big disappointment for the whole team, both at sea, and on land as we were all ready. We have spent a lot of time optimising the boat, and everything collapses in a few moments,” said Yann Guichard.

                        "We were heading to the start line: there were relatively strong conditions with 30 knots of wind and three metre troughs. A few moments before we were going to tack towards Pointe Saint-Mathieu, the mast broke for some unknown reason. The most important thing is that there were no injuries on board. Unfortunately we had to drop the mast into the sea as we did not want to take any unnecessary risks for the crew because we were very close to the rocks at Toulinguet. Operations are currently underway to recover the mast and rigging as quickly as possible, as the weather is set to deteriorate early tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. We will now start the process of understanding what has happened," he concluded.

                        The mast, in pieces will be towed in separately...
                        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

               Photo Gallery


                        • #13

                          To have the mast blow up like that must have been scary.


                          • #14
                            I wonder if Virginie Le Namouric put a voodoo hex on the program?


                            • #15
                              Maybe went to boat in the wee hours and whacked the pbo rigging?