• Chomping At The Bit

    The Maxi Trimaran Spindrift 2 is currently awaiting a window of opportunity in Brest, Journalist Philippe Eliès conducted this interview for the le Telegramme

    After a first unsuccessful attempt two years ago, Yann Guichard and the crew of "Spindrift 2", the world's largest racing trimaran (40 meters), once again tackle the Jules Verne Trophy record with a crew slightly overhauled and a platform boosted. Time to beat: 40 days, 23 h 30 '30' '. The decision to leave will be taken Monday morning in Brest for a possible passage line in the evening or at night off Ouessant.

    Is this weather window good?

    Let's say that it is a window atypical because we will go to near-reaching with southerly winds to fetch a front in the west and touch the wind that will then descend to the Doldrums. But we're going to get a little brewed at first. It is expected to leave the wharf at Brest around 15 hours. The start-up could occur around 19-20 hours but we will refine all this Monday morning. At that moment, we will decide whether we leave or not.

    It gives a passage from the equator after how many days?

    About 5 days and 8-10 hours, it depends on the sequence of the departure.

    Do you have visibility in the South Atlantic up to the Cape of Good Hope?

    We have a little visibility but it moves a lot. For now, it does not seem to be closed. So we have an opportunity to spend and be at Good Hope in about 12 days. For the moment, we do not have an anti-Helena anticyclone across the track.

    Is it a last-ditch attempt because you can not afford to leave, to come back for a fresh start?

    Yes, it must be a good start. Our stand-by stops at the end of January so I hope that this attempt is going to be the right one.

    We know that Joyon and his teammates had been very fast in the South Seas. What delay would be acceptable at Cape Horn according to you?

    If we arrive at Horn late, I do not see how we can beat the record. We can gain a little time in the ascent of the South Atlantic, but, in contrast, in the North Atlantic, it is certain that we will lose time. They had put 5 days and a few hours. They had gone as fast up as down. I estimate a chance in 500 that we have exactly the same weather (laughs). Ideally, you should be at Cape Horn one day ahead. Once we leave, we know we will not turn back, we will do with the weather we have. We will not find ourselves in the middle of the Indian and turn around, it would take more time. The limit for turning around is at the equator. At this level, we already have a visibility of of what will happen in the Indian. After 7 days of maximum seas, we give ourselves the opportunity to turn back, no more.

    Do not you regret not having taken the same weather window as that taken by François Gabart?

    We were not ready! We started the stand-by on November 6th and I have not really looked before because I was on the World Tour (note: world championship match-racing). It turned out to be a good window, I think that on that one, François was opportunistic. The window was perhaps not exceptional to go down to the equator but it was in the time of Thomas Coville and behind, it was completely open and the anticyclone left him the place and he went all law. It was a great window but we can see that now he is having trouble with the Indian. So it is not because we will make a time of 11 days at the Cape of Good Hope that behind, it will go alone. Given the time that Francis Joyon has achieved, you can easily lose two days in the Indian in a week.

    Vincent Lauriot-Prévot, the architect of your trimaran, thinks that with its 40 meters long and despite its weight, "Spindrift 2" is quite capable of breaking the current record ...

    Of course the boat has the potential to break the record. It must be remembered that two years ago, when we left at the same time as Francis Joyon, we went faster than him when we had to go fast. The boat has a higher potential at Idec Sport at the speed level. Now, to break a record like that, there are a lot of parameters: there is the boat, the crew, the weather and a bit of luck. All the parameters must be met. But it is clear that the trimaran has the potential. Now, will we have 40-day weather beats to break that record? we'll know when we'll be there.

    You have kept a hard core but there are new faces this time. Why these changes?

    The idea was to keep the core hard, we are seven out of the twelve of the last attempt. They are my faithful companions, whom I have known for a long time, who know the boat perfectly. I also wanted to bring other sailors from other horizons. There is Thierry Chabagny who comes from Figaro but who was holder of the Trophy Jules-Verne on this boat there (note: with Loïck Peyron under the colors of Banque Populaire). He knows the boat well and he already has a world tour in his wake. There is Thomas Le Breton who comes from the Olympic, who tasted a bit off and landed the America's Cup with Franck Cammas. He is a guy who is happy at sea and off, he quickly melted into the team. Then there is Ewen Le Clech who was boat-captain of the boat of Pascal Bidegorry's time, so he knows him very well. Erwan Le Roux who returned in time from the Transat Jacques Vabre (Ed .: 2nd in Multi50 with Vincent Riou). Tanguy Cariou was ready to replace him. The Roux is a good helmsman, a good trimmer. And the last is Sam Goodchild. He is also a top guy I know well since he has been sailing with us for two years on different media. It's not blood, it's a renewal of part of the team because some of them had different projects. There, I find that we have a balance between experience and youth. The team is complementary and knows how to move quickly the boat without suffering.

    Dona Bertarelli, the only woman on board two years ago, does not leave again?

    No, we're going to twelve.

    Has the boat evolved since the last attempt?

    We have carrying plans on the rudders. My goal was to put some but only on one side for an Atlantic record. I had not imagined doing this around the world but given the time Francis Joyon has done, we saw that it was a gain in performance at certain speeds. In addition to carrying planes, we also changed the foils. Before, we had the "tip" that was down before. Now he is up, like those of Thomas Coville on Sodebo. This brings more lift so we are more aerial than Archimedean even if we do not fly, far from it. The boat has a little less drag hydrau and at certain speeds, it goes faster than before.

    According to you, we can scratch how many days, hours on the record?

    It's hard to say. When the reference time was 45 days, everyone said we could go down to 42-43 days. Francis Joyon did a little less than 41 days ... If we beat him for an hour, I'll be very happy. When you add up all the best cumulative times, I think it's been 38 days. The goal is to do less than 40 days 23 h 30 ', I think this is the record, so we will focus on it. The pace may be different, it may need to go further south than last time.

    Have you shipped food for how many days?

    For 43 days.

    Go back to sea, with this boat and this crew, we imagine that the skipper is happy ...

    I rejoice. We are twelve sailors on the boat but there is a whole team behind. I have the good team around me to get this record. It's a record but it's an adventure, it's a trip to go around the world. I already have the experience of a first round of the world, so I have a lot less fears and unknowns than two years ago. I know exactly what I want to go for and how I will manage my team. Clearly, I am stronger today than I was two years ago.

    Francis Joyon broke this record by betting to leave with a crew of six men. Have you considered doing the same?

    No, because the boats are not comparable at all. We, a sailing maneuver before, must be ten or even 11 on the deck. These maneuvers set the limits of the exercise. We, at the start of the world tour, will be at 22 tons, Idec must have been 15-16 tons. And the six tons of difference make it 25% heavier, 25% harder to tuck the sails. Everything is harder. When you shout or hug, you need people at the column. From 14 to 12 men, it's already a weight reduction. We removed a sail from before. Previously, we had three gennakers on the boat. There, there are two left so it is a sail of 150 kg less. We gained weight. Down to 6-7 men, no! We are not in the same configuration as Idec .. Do not forget that we also rebuilt a mast two years ago. I found the pole of "Banque Populaire" too big. Ours is 3 meters shorter. We have always worked in this direction, to have a lighter boat and go fast in all conditions.

    If this record resists you a second time, would you consider building a new trimaran, smaller, lighter, more flying perhaps?

    Today, it is not at all relevant. To be honest, we have not even discussed the 2018 season. Everything will depend on this record, if we beat it or if we do not beat it. We are focused on the Jules Verne Trophy. After, we will ask and we will look at what we will do with this boat or perhaps another but, I repeat, this is not at all relevant. We see that the new generation of trimaran is progressing, they are semi-flying boats. It is clear that things are going faster. I think a well-born 30-meter trimaran, whether flying or Archimedean, can beat this record with a good crew and the weather that goes with it. But it's nice to see these new flying boats, all stuffed with technology, but they are mostly solitary boats.

    You have already participated with this maxi-trimaran at the Route du Rhum. The next edition is tomorrow, in 2018 ...

    I'm not planning on it. It will depend on a lot of things, whether you hang on this record or not. We do not forbid anything. The Route du Rhum, we have the opportunity to do it since it is open to all sizes of boat. But now, I can not tell you what we will do next year. We will sail, that's for sure! Maybe an Atlantic record, maybe another round of the world if we do not break the record. We will define all this when we return.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Spindrift Racing Readies For Jules Verne Attempt started by Photoboy View original post