Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden 728x90

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

Insun - AC ProgramFever-Tree 660x82KZRaceFurlers

Related Articles

World Sailing look to leading influencers to Balance the Boat
There have been some good initiatives within sailing to date, but more work needs to be done to level the playing field. At World Sailing's 2017 Annual Conference, four of sports leading influencers will spark discussion and debate at a special forum titled, Balancing the Boat: growing female participation and developing pathways in competitive sailing.
Posted today at 5:21 pm
World champions come to the forefront at Sailing World Cup Series
Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Irmina Gliszczynska finished tenth at the Rio 2016 but their decision to compete in Gamagori Challenged by a 5-6 knot breeze over the first two days of the World Cup Series event, the champions have used all their experience to position themselves at the top of the pack or firmly in medal contention.
Posted today at 4:35 pm
Clipper World Yacht Race – Day 14, Race 2 – Photo finish on the cards
Dare To Lead emerged from Stealth Mode at 18:00 UTC yesterday, but failed to make any significant ground on Greenings Separated by just a few nautical miles after sailing over 3,500 natuical miles through the South Atlantic, Greenings, which has set the pace the whole way in this race, currently has the edge but has the Dare to Lead team in full view, as a constant reminder that there is no room for error in this final approach.
Posted today at 4:19 pm
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image – Discover best sailing photos of the year
The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image is open to professional photographers from all over the world. No less than 134 pictures have been submitted by photographers spanning 27 countries: a record ! The competition will be tight once again this year, with extraordinary images from the America’s Cup, Vendée Globe, Mini Transat, Olympic sailing events and much more.
Posted today at 4:11 pm
2017 Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race - they're off!
It was a game of staying in pressure, with Matteo Savelli’s Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino leading the fleet A beautiful day in Hong Kong harbour with blue skies and a north easterly breeze of 10kts for the start of IRC Racer 0 and 1 in the Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race. 10 boats were on the start line - IRC Racer 2 division started yesterday, 25 hours earlier.
Posted today at 10:28 am
Mini-Transat - First leg - Race round-up
With the arrival of Julien Mizrachi (UNAPEI), 78 racers have now made it safely into port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. With the arrival of Julien Mizrachi (UNAPEI), 78 racers have now made it safely into the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Of the 81 competitors at the start, just three solo sailors are no longer officially racing: Matteo Rusticali due to a dismasting, Luca Sabiu who triggered his distress beacon offshore of La Coruña and Frédéric Guérin
Posted today at 8:28 am
Still seriously competitive, Amer Sports One enters legends race
Amer Sports One is the fifth boat to enter the Legends Race, which starts from Gothenburg in June 2018. Amer Sports One, the last boat in the Volvo Ocean Race to be skippered by New Zealand’s Grant Dalton, nowadays chief executive of the America’s Cup-winning Emirates Team New Zealand, is the fifth boat to enter the Legends Race, which starts from Gothenburg in June 2018.
Posted today at 4:56 am
Sir Ben Ainslie to bolster Land Rover BAR Academy in ESS Act 7
Sir Ben Ainslie, four-time Olympic gold-medallist and America’s Cup sailor, is to return to the Extreme Sailing Series™ Sir Ben Ainslie, the four-time Olympic gold-medallist and America’s Cup sailor, is to return to the Extreme Sailing Series™ as helm of Land Rover BAR Academy for the penultimate Act of the season in San Diego, from 19 – 22 October.
Posted today at 3:35 am
Sailors battle on opening day of World Cup Series Japan
Burton and Thompson got off to the best start in the 50-boat Laser fleet sharing the top two places. Burton and Thompson got off to the best start in the 50-boat Laser fleet sharing the top two places with Kontides following in seventh.
Posted on 17 Oct
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race – A mighty challenge
A significant number of offshore pocket rockets will be taking part, including Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron. A significant number of offshore pocket rockets will be taking part, including Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron with Class40 Campagne de France.
Posted on 17 Oct