Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Trans-Atlantic- Less than 1,000 miles to go for Spindrift 2 - Day 5

by Spindrift racing on 4 Nov 2013
Dona Bertarelli - Spindrift Racing - Offshore training October 2013 Chris Schmid/Spindrift Racing
On the fifth day of racing, Spindrift 2 has broken the barrier of the final 1,000 miles of what is a theoretical total course of 3,384 miles from Cadiz, on the Discovery Route, across the Atlantic. The long tacks in the trade winds actually means that Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard's maxi trimaran has clocked up 3,350 nm at the breath-taking average speed of 29.9 knots, that is 25.7 knots on the theoretical direct course.

Suffice to say that the first two thirds of the route, in an almost ideal scenario of strong north easterly winds, enabled the largest trimaran in the world and its crew of 13 men and 1 woman to unleash its full potential.

Dona and her 13 sailors crew have had a pretty good ride so far, but a highly strategic phase will start today in wind conditions that are expected to decrease. It is the end of the fast, 40 knots on the speedometer, reaching conditions. It will come down to positioning ourselves in the right place to get across the area of light pressure, an area of transition between two weather systems, to reach the strong winds along the north American coast.

Yann Guichard, Dona Bertarelli and Erwan Israel, the boat’s afterguard, together with Richard Silvani of Météo France ashore, brainstormed the issue throughout the whole of yesterday. The best option is to take a route as close as possible to the theoretical course, the most direct to the finish. 'Head west as soon as possible' is Yann’s watchword for the coming 20 hours. 'An almost 400 mile long buffer zone separates us from the next weather system. The dilemma is over. We have to move as quickly as possible closer to the theoretical direct course. '


Life aboard Spindrift 2 has changed considerably in a few hours. After some easily gained miles when the big black, white and gold bird kept flying at over 30 knots on the waves, now the progress will become more arduous, as the 25 tons giant trimaran is struggling in less than ten knots of wind. Not to mention the occasional storm, as it was the case last night, that further complicate life on board, with the squalls quickly changing strength and wind direction. 'We must work hard, make the most of the slightest breeze to go west', insists Guichard. 'The sea is flat, and we are exactly on course. Maximum attention is paid to trimming; we have made no changes to our watches on board and keep a constant eye on the clock; you can feel that everyone is totally vigilant and focused to the smallest detail, trying to help Dona’s work at the helm.'

A crucial point for the crew and the friendly and professional atmosphere on board. Everyone is well aware that the 300-plus miles lead is important on the final stretch to the finish. Guichard does not want to estimate an ETA as of yet. 'We still have two good days ahead. Hard to be more specific at this time.' Today is crucial. Spindrift 2, the largest racing trimaran in the world, is facing her worst conditions. 'Because of the height of our sail plan we can get the winds that are higher up, whereas at sea level there is little', says Yann. In the muggy heat, Spindrift 2 wrote a new score of her adventure on Christopher Columbus’ tracks, harder and certainly more mentally demanding. 'Full speed to the finish line' punctuates Yann Guichard.


Night message from onboard:
Good evening,
27°52.25N, 54°45.30W, somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, we are getting into our fifth black night at sea. Since the beginning of this race against time on the Discovery Route, we have not had any moonlight to light up the immense playing field we are on.

The sailors on board Spindrift 2 scrutinise the skies and computer screens for signs of squalls, whilst the helmswoman trusts her intuition and watches closely the red lights on the screens for the right course. For the past couple if nights we had squalls pepper our path that, depending on our position, can either kill or increase the wind. We are keeping a constant watch to be able to react quickly.
Good night. Xavier




Crew of the maxi Spindrift 2 for The Discovery Route :
Dona Bertarelli
Yann Guichard
Xavier Revil
Jean Baptiste le Vaillant
Antoine Carraz
Thierry Douillard
Christophe Espagnon
Sébastien Marsset
Nicolas Texier
Erwan Tabarly
François Morvan
Thomas Rouxel
Simone Gaeta
Erwan Israel

Hall Spars - BoomWildwind 2016 660x82Helm Events 660x82

Related Articles

RORC Transatlantic Race – Day 14 – Aragon watches the clock
Aragon crew are a blend of family, friends and professional sailors and the youngest sailor was at the helm of Aragon. The crew of Aragon are a blend of family, friends and professional sailors and the youngest sailor, Anna Van Nieuwland was at the helm of Aragon as the team crossed the line.
Posted today at 3:03 pm
Strong winds continue on Day 4 of Sailing World Cup Melbourne
Matt Wearn enjoyed the strong winds today, winning both races in the Laser fleet. Wearn is currently leading overall. Matt Wearn enjoyed the strong winds today, winning both races in the Laser fleet. Wearn is currently leading overall, three points ahead of Cypriot Pavlos Kontides. Rio Silver medallist, Tonci Stipanovic finished second in both today’s races and is currently lying third overall, while Australia’s Tom Burton is in fourth overall. Burton scored a 12 and a five in today’s two races.
Posted today at 12:02 pm
Extreme Sailing Series – Oman Air close gap on Alinghi
Oman Air took every opportunity today and cornered the podium to close the gap at the top of the Act eight leaderboard. Team Oman Air took every opportunity on the Sydney Harbour race course today and cornered the podium to close the gap at the top of the Act eight leaderboard as the rivalry with Alinghi intensifies.
Posted today at 11:09 am
SWC Final – Badloe and Squires pick up where their countrymen left off
Badloe holds the lead after nine races and Squires pushed himself into contention after two bullets and a second. Badloe holds the lead in the men's windsurfer after nine races and Squires pushed himself into contention after two bullets and a second. The pair, and the sailors across the ten Olympic and Open Kiteboarding fleets battled against a south westerly wind in excess of 20 knots coupled with a big sea state.
Posted today at 10:38 am
ESS Sydney - second day images from Beth Morley
The Open Water session due for 4pm to 6pm today but it was cancelled due to the wind Beth Morley was back out on the water to capture the second day of Act Eight of the Extreme Sailing Series. An Open Water session was due for 4pm to 6pm today but it was cancelled due to the wind, so these are from the Stadium race. Enjoy!
Posted today at 10:09 am
Alinghi and Oman Air neck and neck at Extreme Sailing Series finale
Swiss crew Alinghi remain in pole position after two days of breathtaking action on the iconic waters of Sydney Harbour. Swiss crew Alinghi remain in pole position after two days of breathtaking action on the iconic waters of Sydney Harbour, but it couldn't be tighter at the top as the battle between the two Series frontrunners intensifies.
Posted today at 10:08 am
Tom Squires 'dab's' while skydiving at Sailing World Cup - Melbourne
Tom Squires from the British Sailing Team is in Melbourne jumped out of a plane as part of the event earlier this week. Tom Squires from the British Sailing Team is in Melbourne for the Sailing World Cup Final sailing on the RS:X jumped out of a plane as part of the event earlier this week. He took the opportunity to do his first 'dab' and managed to hurt his shoulder.
Posted today at 7:25 am
Vendee Globe - Dealer's choice - Antipodean duel in stormy low
Armel Le Cleac’h and Alex Thomson have throttled back to preserve their boats and equipment as best they can Gusty, squally winds averaging 40kts, big, confused seas compounded by an awkward wind angle are all contributing to the worst period yet for two leaders of the Vendee Globe as they deal with a nasty, messy low pressure system. Armel Le Cleac’h and Alex Thomson have throttled back to preserve their boats and equipment as best they can but even so speeds are still averaging between 18 and 20 kts.
Posted today at 6:11 am
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman - 'It’s emotional and shocking'
Conrad Colman has shown in this race that he is not merely able to deal with the technical problems thrown at him Conrad Colman, currently in twelfth place directly south of Madagascar, has shown in this race that he is not merely able to deal with the technical problems thrown at him, but he has also revealed his ability to communicate how he feels and what life is like aboard an IMOCA with all its ups and downs. Here is his reaction to the recent incidents in the race.
Posted today at 5:24 am
Solo Round the World record attempt makes long-term sponsorship work
The recent focus in the sailing news has been on the boats racing in the Vendée Globe and the epic battle Tomas Coville is aboard Sodebo vying for the single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation record. Coville rounded Cape Horn at the tip of South America yesterday and is currently turning his bow north as he deals with the strong currents in the Estrecho de le Maire, or the Straits of le Maire
Posted on 8 Dec