Spindrift Starts Jules Verne Trophy Record Attempt. ALL You Need to Know

The crew of Spindrift 2 at the start of the Jules Verne Trophy record attempt.
pic by Chris Schmid/Spindrift racing

‘Spindrift 2′ crossed the start line of the Jules Verne Trophy last night to begin their 21,600 miles around the world record attempt. The Objective is to beat the existing record of 40-days 23 hours 30 minutes and 30 seconds and cross back over the line again before 20h 27′ 25″ UTC on January 13, 2020.

The twelve crew of the black and gold trimaran crossed the line in front of the Créac’h Lighthouse (Ushant) in a very moderate 15 knot easterly breeze. The relatively calm conditions are a change from the stronger conditions normally associated with a start of a round the world attempt, but by daybreak, as ‘Spindrift 2′ approached the Spanish coast, Yann Guichard and his crew were expected to benefit from these constant winds that will veer to northerly, strengthening to 25-30 knots and gusting along the Portuguese coast.

It is expected that ‘Spindrift 2′ should cross the Bay of Biscay and arrive at the Equator in a little over five days. Once into the Southern Hemisphere, the crew will be able to sail more or less directly to South Africa with a view to cross the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope in less than thirteen days. Once at the entrance to the Indian Ocean, the black and gold trimaran, will be able to assess its performance against the existing record and the potential of completing the 21,600-mile course in record time.

This is the team’s third attempt at targeting the 40d 23h 30 ’30’ record around the world.

Yann Guichard: “There is a good weather window that shows us reaching the equator in a little over five days and the South Atlantic seems to be improving so, hopefully the first section of this record will be good. ‘Spindrift 2′ has two new rudders that will allow us to further improve on performance but nevertheless, the record will be difficult to beat! Whatever happens, it is an incredible voyage, and it’s still a human, technical and sports adventure. The crew is really motivated and my core team that has been part of this journey before. So we will leave the Bay of Biscay in relatively quiet conditions before accelerating significantly after Cape Finisterre … ”

Erwan Israel (navigator): “You have to be persistent in the Jules Verne Trophy! First you need a good, well-prepared boat, good chemistry amongst the crew and of course, favourable weather conditions. The conditions look to be relatively easy at first, which will give us a nice descent to the Equator. We anticipate that we should be able to reach the Cape of Good Hope in twelve days, which is a very good time compared to the reference time.”

Grégory Gendron, a novice to this record attempt: “I am very happy with this rather peaceful and calm departure from La Trinité-sur- Mer: it is good way to start a world tour for the first time, so it will be a really big adventure! I do not know the Southern Ocean or the Southern Hemisphere… You experience four seasons during this Jules Verne Trophy: we leave in the autumn, we enter the South Atlantic in the spring, we complete the Southern Ocean in early summer and finish in Brittany in the middle of winter … ”

Thierry Chabagny (helmsman): “I’m not the only one onboard to already have the record, there is also Xavier Revil! Six out of twelve of us have already completed the round the world in a multihull, but a coordinated crew, that works well together and knows the boat that, we have optimised over the years, is a key ingredient. ‘Spindrift 2′ is now lighter, so more able to get airborne with the added advantage of being able to adjust the thrust with rudders, so it more efficient, and more sensitive. We are trying for a third time, but the Jules Verne Trophy becomes a bit of a habit because as a crew you get hooked after the first attempt! ”

The round-the-world record, which in a quarter of a century has been reduced from 79 days (‘Commodore Explorer’ in 1993) to a little over 40 days (‘IDEC Sport’ in 2017), usually requires two or three attempts before it is broken. The record has been successfully won by Peter Blake and Robin Knox-Johnston (‘Enza New Zealand’ in 1994), Olivier de Kersauson (‘Sport Elec’ in 1997), Bruno Peyron (‘Orange’ in 2002), Steve Fossett (‘Cheyenne’ in 2004), Bruno Peyron (‘Orange 2′ in 2005 ), Franck Cammas (‘Groupama 3′ in 2010), Loïck Peyron (‘Banque Populaire V’ in 2012) …

Spindrift 2 on her way around the world for the third time in an attempt to break the Jules Verne Trophy record.
pic by Chris Schmid/Spindrift racing

‘Spindrift 2′ – Jules Verne Trophy Squad
Yann Guichard – skipper
Erwan Israël – navigator
Jacques Guichard – watch leader / helm
Jackson Bouttell – helm / bow
Thierry Chabagny – helm
Grégory Gendron – helm
Xavier Revil – watch leader / helm
Corentin Horeau – helm / bow
François Morvan – helm
Duncan Späth – helm
Erwan Le Roux – watch leader / helm
Benjamin Schwartz – helm / bow

Jean-Yves Bernot – router

The Jules Verne Trophy
Start and finish: an imaginary line between Créac’h lighthouse (Isle of Ushant) and Lizard Point (England)
Course: non-stop around-the-world tour travelling without assistance via three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn)
Minimum distance: 21,600 nautical miles (40,000 kilometres)
Ratification: World Sailing Speed Record Council, www.sailspeedrecords.com
Time to beat: 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds
Average speed: 22,84 knots
Date of current record: January 2017
Holder: IDEC Sport, Francis Joyon and a 5-man crew
Start date for ‘Spindrift 2′: 3rd December 2019 at 20h 55min 54sec UTC
To beat the record: ‘Spindrift 2′ needs to complete the course before 20h 27′ 25″ UTC on January 13, 2020.

Crew Split Times References
Ushant-Equator: 4d 20h 07′ (‘Spindrift 2′ in 2019)
Equator-Cape Aiguilles: 6d 08h 55′ (‘Banque Populaire V’ in 2012)
Cape Aiguilles -Cape Leeuwin: 4d 09h 32′ (‘IDEC Sport’ in 2017)
Cape Leuuwin-Cape Horn: 9d 08h 46′ (‘IDEC Sport’ in 2017)
Cape Horn-Equator: 7d 04h 27′ (‘Banque Populaire V’ in 2012)
Equator-Ushant: 5d 19h 21′ (‘IDEC Sport’ in 2017)

WSSRC Crewed Records
Crossing the North Atlantic (Ushant-Equator): 4d 20h 07′ (‘Spindrift 2′ in 2019)
Crossing the Indian Ocean (Cape Aiguilles-S Tasmania) : 5d 21h 07’ 45’’ (‘IDEC Sport’ in 2017)
Crossing Pacific Ocean (S Tasmania-Cape Horn) : 7d 21h 13’ 31’’ (‘IDEC Sport’ in 2017)
Equator-Equator- : 29d 09h 10’ 55’’ (‘IDEC Sport’ in 2017)
Around the World (Jules Verne Trophy) : 40d 23h 30’ 30’’ (‘IDEC Sport’ in 2017)

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