Krys Ocean Race skipper Yann Guichard and his crew, Pascal Bidégorry, Léo Lucet, Jean-Baptiste Levaillant, Jacques Guichard and Kévin Escoffier, aboard Spindrift Racing, have won the first transatlantic race between New York and Brest (France) opened to 70 feet One Design Multihulls (MOD70 Class).
Spindrift Racing - Krys Ocean Race 2012
Spindrift Racing crossed the finish line yesterday Thursday July 12th at 14 hours, eight minutes and 37 seconds, French local time.
They covered the 2950 miles theorical course in four days, 21 hours, eight minutes and 37 seconds, averaging 25.3 knots. Their actual course was 3284 miles long, at 28.04 knots.
A few hours after crossing the finish line in Brest, Yann Guichard reflects upon the incredible past week, the exciting regattas off Manhattan, the mad rush across the Atlantic, and a great victory built on performance and most of all, on a fantastic team effort by a solid crew of friends totally dedicated to the boat. Speed, record pace, opposition, teamwork and the key to a great victory… Guichard says it all:
'It actually all comes down to our ability to stay longer than anyone under gennaker on the second night of the race. Winds were really blowing hard as we entered the low pressure system and we were picking up speed, close to 35 knots. The sea was still very calm and flat so we pushed an little bit harder than any of our competitors. We were able to combine great boat speed and a better wind angle. We slid downwing the entire night and in the next morning, we were in command, on a better course with greater speed. It was then all a matter of keeping that advantage, which we did as we were day after day the fastest boat in the race. We only slowed down as we reached the Scilly Islands with the low pressure dying out on us. But we had a small edge over our opponents that proved sufficient to secure victory…'
'Considering the start inside New York Bay and the mark at the Scilly Islands, we've raced as fast as the Maxy Catamaran Orange in 2006. I was part of Bruno Peyron’s crew at the time and we set a transatlantic record in four days and eight hours. Our performance on board Spindrift Racing, which is a much smaller boat is quite comparable. We were able to maintain high speed during a long time by switching the man at the helm very often, to make sure we had at all times the fitter man to deal with conditions that kept on getting rougher as we moved along. It’s been an all out team effort, with constant watch on the proper sail plan, according to sea state.'
'We’ve been under water most of the time. Big waves kept spraying the cockpit and the man at the helm was the most exposed. We’ve stayed wet during the entire race. We were quite tense at the beginning as it takes a while to get used to high speed sailing. When you do 35 knots and over for hours, you get the feeling that disaster awaits at the next wave. Then you kind of get used to it, you build up confidence and you keep on pushing hard. At night, things really get stressful as you can no longer anticipate the direction of the waves. I know all the MOD70 have had their moments of sheer fright, when the boat hits the wave with three hulls and boat speed drops from 35 to 5 knots within seconds. You wonder which side the boat is going to fall. And then you just keep on going.'
'Spindrift Racing is a project born out of nothing. We’ve built everything on human qualities, competence and respect. And it works. Everyone involved with the project has blended into that philosophy. The atmosphere onboard during the race was the perfect representation of that philosophy, when every man looks after each other, and dedicates himself to the boat.'
Spindrift Racing website