Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Spindrift 2 negotiates Transition zone in Atlantic record attempt

by Spindrift racing on 4 Nov 2013
Dona Bertarelli - Spindrift Racing - Offshore training October 2013 Chris Schmid/Spindrift Racing
Making the most of a powerful trade wind, Spindrift 2 continues its Atlantic crossing at full speed. On a starboard tack throughout the day yesterday, the largest trimaran in the world – skippered by Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard – did a double jibe overnight to plunge into the stronger winds blowing from the east.

The most delicate moment of the Discovery Route is coming up, with the transition zone to negotiate in approximately thirty hours, between the trade wind and the strong low-pressure system settling in along the North American coastline and to the Bahamas. The situation is being closely monitored by Richard Silvani ashore and the trio Guichard-Bertarelli-Israel on board the maxi multihull. From tonight they will have to apply their seamanship and regatta experience to manoeuvre a double gybe approaching the weaker wind zone in order to reach the strong north-easterly flow and finish the record attempt on a starboard tack.


'The problem is twofold,' explains Yann Guichard. 'If we cross the low pressure area from the north, we will be out of the zone of light winds sooner, but for this, we will have to sail further north. If we cross it from the south, we will remain on the most direct route, but will have to negotiate the calm waters for longer'. The good news for the 14 men and one woman on board, is Spindrift 2’s lead – described as 'interesting' – over the current record holder, Franck Cammas’ Maxi trimaran Groupama three, racing in 2007 and at this point of the race, more than 330 miles in their wake. 'Reason enough to take it calmly', said Richard Silvani.

'Things are unfolding as we had expected from the outset at Cadiz', Guichard said. 'We will not take any risks. We will choose the latitude to attempt the passage in the next five or six hours. We should not lose more than four to five hours in the thalweg. ' Spindrift 2 can then make the most of the fine trade wind conditions for a good part of the day. 'The sea has continued to improve and flatten, making Dona’s work easier', says Yann.

Dona Bertarelli is really getting her bearings on her first Atlantic crossing. Her account is most revealing of the complexity of piloting the largest racing trimaran in the world. ' I managed to overcome the psychological barrier when I was able to successfully helm at 40 knots of speed. The difficulty is not so much the wind strength or the boat speed but the magnitude and direction of the waves that complicate the task and are still today a challenge for me.


Keeping the boat consistently at high speed and in tune to the state of the sea requires technique, concentration and also physical strength. When conditions are very tough, I do not helm for more than 30 minutes at a time'. And she treated us to an eloquent postcard; 'It is very hot inside. Everyone is suffering from the clammy humidity, and rest has become more difficult, while preparing meals has become a hard slog in a real sauna! I really picked up the pace, however demanding, sailing all the time above 30 knots. Loud noise is constant below deck, the sound of waves crashing on the hulls, the sheets rattling with each shock, the grinding of the boat…. but also on deck, with the wind, and life on board is sporty, with the boat constantly swinging about, racing down a wave to then to crash, pitch up again, leap out of the water … it’s moving all the time!

Staying on your feet is a challenge. Having said that, the atmosphere is excellent, the focus is on the boat speed but there is also a friendly atmosphere and we all muck in. We are all enjoying ourselves; it is extraordinary to experience this record attempt on this boat, with this crew and with a challenge of this magnitude.'

Racing at full speed to break the Discovery Route record, Guichard, despite the significant lead gained from the first miles, is far from complacent. 'There are still over 1500 miles to be covered and we must remain extremely focused and vigilant. The wind will ease and we are going to have to navigate, helm and trim with even greater precision to maintain the pace and speed if we want to beat the record.'

At 14:30hrs GMT this morning Spindrift has a 311.99 miles lead on the current record time.


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

Weather routing : Richard Silvani

Time to beat : 7 days, 10 hours, 58 minutes, 53 seconds
To beat the current record, Spindrift 2 must cross the finish line in under Thursday, november seventh at 02hrs, 17ms, and 27 seconds
Current record : Groupama 3 (Franck Cammas) in 2007
Distance : 3884 milles (WSSRC)

Barz Optics - Melanin LensesNorth Technology - Southern SparsNaiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

Cool drone footage of Dongfeng Race Team on the water
Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Stunning drone footage of the re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 has been released as the team hit the water off the coast of Lisbon.
Posted today at 3:52 am
49th Transpac early entry deadline approaches on March 1st
Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race is well underway Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from nine nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.
Posted today at 3:36 am
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - LIVE Coverage - NOW SAILING
Live coverage of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain Live coverage of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain
Posted today at 3:25 am
Hat-trick all around for Phaedo^3 in this year Caribbean 600
Lloyd Thornburg and crew of Phaedo^3 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class. Lloyd Thornburg and the crew of his MOD70 Phaedo^3 for the last three editions of the RORC Caribbean 600 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class.
Posted today at 3:16 am
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman's thoughts on his incredible performance
Colman was the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels After finishing 16th in the Vendee Globe, crossing the finish line under the jury rig which had carried him the final 720 miles of his race since he was dismasted, Conrad Colman was greeted by a hero's welcome into Les Sables d'Olone. The first New Zealander to complete the race he was also the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels.
Posted on 24 Feb
More winners announced in RORC Caribbean 600
As dawn broke on day five, crews who had finished the race were beginning to arrive back in Antigua. At Dawn on the fifth day, the leading Class40s were approaching the finish. Throughout the race, the battle in the class had been intense, with three yachts taking the lead at various points along the course.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig
Colman constructed and stepped a remarkable jury rig which has allowed him to sail the final 740 miles of 27,440nm race New Zealander Conrad Colman wrote a new chapter in the storied history of the Vendée Globe when he crossed the finish line of the eighth edition of the non stop solo round the world race under a makeshift jury rig.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendée Globe – Romain Attanasio takes fifteenth place
French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the solo race around the world French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the non stop solo race around the world this morning (Friday 24th February) when he crossed the finish line at 1006hrs UTC.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig - First images
New Zealand solo sailor Conrad Colman has finished the Vendee Globe race under Jury rig. New Zealand solo sailor Conrad Colman has finished the Vendee Globe race under Jury rig. Here are the first images from the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
Posted on 24 Feb
International Maxi Association 2017 program full due to new events
The 2017 calendar, open to owners of all maxi boats (ie 60+ft LOA), features two new events in the Mediterranean. The 2017 calendar, open to owners of all maxi boats (ie 60+ft LOA), features two new events in the Mediterranean.
Posted on 24 Feb