Just as Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier and media man Yann Riou – onboard maxi trimaran Edmond de Rothschild – approach the finish line in Brest with a healthy lead in the inaugural Brest Atlantiques race, Yann Guichard and eleven crew are beginning an entirely new adventure.
Sailing onboard the world’s largest maxi-trimaran, Spindrift 2, (formerly Banque Populaire V) the team is making another attempt at the Trophy Jules Verne for fastest outright time around the globe. Beginning tomorrow during day light hours, the Swiss and French based team will cross the starting line off Ushant to once again take a crack at toppling Francis Joyon and IDEC Sport’s lofty record of 40 days 23 hours and 30 minutes.
A record that this boat, formerly known as Banque Populaire V, established under the leadership of Loick Peyron in the first days of 2012, Spindrift 2 has a checkered past in trying to break this most prestigious of ocean records. In 2015 the team came a couple days short of the mark, finishing in 47 days and change (at that time, the record was still 45 days 13 hours).
Trying again in January of 2018, just a year after Joyon and IDEC Sport’s record setting run, the team’s attempt was over before it began when their 40-meter trimaran dismasted on the way to the starting line. Coming back again at the beginning of this year, the team was forced to abandon to the Australian coast after suffering rudder failure while crossing the Indian Ocean.
Now re-launched with new rudders and associated structures, the Spindrift team is back to attempt this record for a fourth time. With a weather window that looks very favorable to reach the equator in five days, the team will need a weather window that allows them a fast passage of the Cape of Good Hope and on across the Indian Ocean.
Crossing this second section of the course – the Indian Ocean – is where Joyon and company made their big gains with successive 800 mile days. Sailing with a crew of twelve versus IDEC’s light-weight approach of sailing with just six should, in theory, allow Spindrift 2 the ability to push harder for longer, but only time will tell as the big 40-meter boat has continued to be plagued by reliability problems in recent years.
As for the current record holder, Francis Joyon and IDEC Sport, the team has just reached the breeze after a challenging light-air struggle in the islands of Indonesia, and should soon light the afterburners and blast off towards Vietnam in big conditions while setting a new reference time for a brand new record between Mauritius and Vietnam as the second stage of their Asian tour which will culminate with an attempt at Giovanni Soldini and Maserati’s China Tea Trade record from Hong Kong to London. – Ronnie Simpson.