Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

North Atlantic and Zenith 24 hour record - Spindrift 2 on standby

by Spindrift Racing on 5 Jun 2014
Spindrift Racing
Safely delivered from La Trinité-sur-mer Spindrift 2 arrived in Newport on Tuesday following eight days at sea. Standby begins for Spindrift racing and its attempt to break the crewed North Atlantic record and ‘Zenith 24-hour record’ - Currently no suitable weather window for the next 10 days, with icebergs identified along the route.


Newport, one of the sailing world’s most renowned destinations, welcomes a new giant. Following eight days of delivery from La Trinité-sur-Mer (France), during which substantial information was obtained, Spindrift 2, the maxi-trimaran, arrived at the famous Rhode Island harbour on Tuesday late afternoon. Co-skippers Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard and their crew now enter the critical phase of meticulously monitoring the weather. They must wait for the best window to launch their attempt to break the crewed North Atlantic record between New York and Lizard Point (England). With 3 days, 15 hours and 25 minutes (at an average of 32.94 knots) to beat, the challenge is daunting and will require optimal sailing conditions. If the weather permits, the team will also go for the ‘Zenith by Spindrift racing 24-hour record’, aiming to improve on the existing record of 908 miles, itself an impressive distance, equivalent to two Marseille-Carthage (Tunisia) crossings in 24 hours.


Spindrift 2’s elegant black, white and gold 40-metre hulls certainly attract their fair share of attention. Newport has been part of sailing history for many years, in particular with the America's Cup, but also in connection with oceanic records. Less than 200 miles from New York and the Ambrose Light, Rhode Island, where the start-line for this record commences, benefits from a good geographical position and offers exceptional infrastructure. As such, it is considered an ideal base for technical preparation.

'This start of the standby is incredibly important for the team. We’ve been anticipating and preparing for this for a long time,' said Dona Bertarelli. 'The North Atlantic record has reached such a level that we are pushing the boundaries of technical and sporting excellence, while still dealing with the unpredictability of the weather, which can be stressful and frustrating. The crew will return home before the start to remain as relaxed as possible. Yann, Erwan Israël (the navigator) and Richard Silvani (the meteorologist) must face the responsibility of choosing the best time to set off. The intensity of these challenges reflects the mindset of the team, our dynamism and expertise.'


A delivery from the South
Before leaving their French base last Monday, the crew decided to take a southerly route to seek the downwind conditions that they will need for the record attempt as well as test the new configuration of the boat, including the modified rig. 'We made the right choice by heading south,' said Yann Guichard. 'We came very close to the Canaries before heading west, but it was worth it. We were able to collect valuable data with the same angles and wind strength that we hope to see during the record. On the climb to Newport, we encountered a significant depression from the north with 35-40 knots of winds, combined with messy five-metre waves. It was ferocious on the boat, I can tell you, but we negotiated the conditions with more flexibility than ever before, achieving higher average speeds. It’s very encouraging.'


A 4,248-mile flight and a trimaran in perfect condition
Despite their on-going intense season, which includes the D35 circuit, crewed records and the single-handed Route du Rhum in November, the Spindrift racing crew were able to enjoy their best training to date during the delivery to Newport. 'Nothing beats sailing 4,000 miles together, it’s an ideal opportunity to learn even more about each other and Spindrift 2,' said Guichard. 'We were constantly sailing at over 30 knots, there was lots of vibration, lots of noise, the deck was very windy day and night and, by their nature, there is lots of tension on board these multihulls. But everything went well and we didn’t have any ‘boo boos’ for the crew or the boat. We’ll check the structure, but Spindrift 2 seems to be in perfect condition. If we had to, we could almost have set off immediately after arrival here in Newport.'

A configuration pushed to its limits
For the North Atlantic record, one ton of weight will be removed from the maxi-trimaran. 'We are removing the engine, whilst are also customising the boat in anticipation of a crossing on one 'starboard' tack (the wind coming from the right),' said Guichard, who has already beaten this record twice - in 2006 on board Bruno Peyron’s catamaran, Orange II, and in 2007 on Franck Cammas’ trimaran, Groupama 3. 'This involves leaving the foil that won’t be used, plugging the hole and swinging the mast. Such efforts may appear extreme, but the existing record is sufficiently impressive that it will be necessary to optimise every possible advantage if we are to succeed.'
Icebergs on the road

The daily weather monitoring and analysis routine is already in place. Guichard, Israël and Silvani will study the forecast in great detail morning and night, each time the weather reports are updated. They will use the routing software to identify whether a crossing under the crucial three days, 15 hours is possible. As previously announced earlier this week, Armel Le Cléac'h is also currently on standby in New York for the same record, but will attempt the journey en solo. At the moment there is ice drifting unusually far south, the result of a particularly harsh winter. 'We are taking this very seriously,' said Guichard. 'The solo record can still be beaten on a route slightly further south, similar to the one taken by Francis Joyon, the current holder. For the crewed record, however, it is a game which needs to be played in the north, taking the most direct route, and that is where the ice is right now. The water is warming up and conditions are improving each day. Currently, however, there is no identifiable start window over the next 10 days.'

In Numbers: The crewed record attempts by Spindrift racing - 2014 season
Crewed record to beat: 3 days, 15 hours and 25 minutes; 32.94 knots.
Zenith by Spindrift racing 24-hour record: 908 miles; 37.84 knots.
Holder since August 2009: maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V (now Spindrift 2); held by Pascal Bidégorry and his crew.
Route: 2,880 miles (5,333 km) between Ambrose Light in New York and Lizard Point, on the southwest tip of Cornwall, England.
Spindrift 2: the largest racing trimaran in the world (40 metres), architects VPLP.
Skippers: Yann Guichard (FRA) and Dona Bertarelli (SUI).
Crew: from 12 to 14 people on board for this record, plus routing onshore (final crew to be confirmed)
Standby dates: June 3 to mid-august, 2014.



Schaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250Zhik ZKG 660x82Kilwell - 5

Related Articles

Clipper Race fleet makes a crucial decision to miss the Scoring Gate
The brakes have been put on the rollercoaster ride for now after the teams made the turn north around Ice Box perimeter. The brakes have been put on the rollercoaster ride for now after the teams made the turn north around the Ice Box perimeter and now find themselves caught in the lighter winds of the North Atlantic High, but they are at least now pointing towards finish destination Derry-Londonderry.
Posted today at 11:27 am
18ft Skiffs Fiji Fizz - Aussie's win on Practice day in Denerau
Perfect conditions welcomed the fleet to Fiji for the Mark Foy Championship and round three of the Triple Crown Trophy. Perfect conditions welcomed the fleet to Fiji for the Mark Foy Championship and round three of the Triple Crown Trophy. Sailing in a 12knot sea breeze and two windward/leeward races, Race 1 got underway with a clear start and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers stuck their nose out in front and lead till the finish. The fight for second was a good one with a group of boats all close together.
Posted today at 7:32 am
RORC IRC Nationals - Thunder and lightning - very, very frightening!
With micro-storms conditions for Day 2 of IRC National Championship resembled an episode from the Old Testament With micro-storms, intense, frequent deluges, thunder and lightning, conditions for day two of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC National Championship resembled an episode from the Old Testament; the Great Flood perhaps.
Posted today at 5:33 am
Superyacht Cup - Win Win fastest of the fleet and overall winner
This year's 22-strong fleet is teeming with the latest flyers, carbon rockets, and offshore racers. This year's 22-strong fleet is teeming with the latest flyers, carbon rockets, and offshore racers. Moreover, most competing yachts boast having some of the biggest names in sailing on board. From America's Cup supremos to Olympic champions: stunning entries are handled by the world's racing elite.
Posted today at 5:13 am
RORC IRC National Championship - Day 2 - Life in the FAST40+ lane
The Fast40+ Class permits guests to sail on board, although not allowed to take part in the racing The Fast40+ Class permits guests to sail on board, although not allowed to take part in the racing, your reporter was permitted to 'sit at the back of the bus' and watch the action on board Sir Keith Mills Ker 40+ Invictus ...and there was plenty of it.
Posted today at 4:54 am
LBRW - Beautiful day on water – but a good day to stay out of water
Shark Week arrived a day early this year, muscling in on Ullman Sails LBRW with great white sharks sighted off peninsula Shark Week arrived a day early this year, muscling in on Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) with several great white sharks sighted off the peninsula this morning, prompting a marine safety advisory here. While the juvenile sharks (four to seven feet) fed in the shallows, there was another feeding frenzy going on offshore.
Posted today at 4:35 am
470 Junior World Championship - 'We love to fight'
The Spanish women’s crew will start starting as title favourites in the Super Sunday Medal Race. A protest in the evening brings excitement to the men's fleet. The Spanish women’s crew will start starting as title favourites in the Super Sunday Medal Race.
Posted today at 3:08 am
Sailors enjoy another day of challenging racing at the 14th Clagett
Day two of racing at the 14th C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta had a delayed start Day two of racing at the 14th C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta had a delayed start when the race committee held the sailors ashore while they waited for the breeze to fill in.
Posted today at 2:01 am
Oman Air dominate in Cardiff with Act 3 masterclass
Extreme Sailing Series™ maestro Morgan Larson will take his Oman Air team into the finale of Act 3 Extreme Sailing Series™ maestro Morgan Larson will take his Oman Air team into the finale of Act 3, Cardiff in pole position following a masterclass of big breeze sailing.
Posted today at 1:42 am
Day 3 of J/70 European Championship have a big effect on points table
No fewer than 38 disqualifications because of OCS were reported in the list of 91 teams, who started in the sixth race. In the first race for the Blue fleet over 30 boats were disqualified due to an early start. And several crews were subsequently judge OCS in other races. But staying clear of trouble Claudia Rossi (Italy) and her professional team continued their winning ways.
Posted on 25 Jun