2015-16 Jules Verne Trophy – Thank you everyone!
They Said: Sébastien Audigane, helmsman-trimmer, fifth circumnavigation:
This was my fifth circumnavigation and my second this year, as I took part in the double-handed Barcelona World Race. I rounded Cape Horn twice in 2015! I already sailed on this boat in 2009, but to sail her after she has been further optimised for the Jules Verne Trophy with such a great team is fantastic. The boat was much lighter, and you can feel that she’s much quicker. But we haven’t had much luck with the weather. A memory I’ll treasure is an amazing tack we performed just before Cape Horn. The sea was flat, the night was clear, and we were cruising along at 35 to 40 knots. It was a fantastic moment. Looking towards the future, I’d like to do the Vendée Globe one day, and I still need to beat the Jules Verne Trophy record!
Trophée Jules Verne – Ensemble // All togetherLa Trinité-sur-Mer, 23h00 (GMT+1)Sea Events – Eloi Stichelbaut
Posted by Spindrift racing on Saturday, January 9, 2016
Christophe Espagnon, helmsman-bowman, first circumnavigation:
‘We’re still buzzing from the race and the finish. It was my first round-the-world tour, and my first experience of living in a confined space. It was cool! The real action starts two or three weeks in. There are some tough moments, but it was really nice for me. We went past some legendary places It was long, but there was no let-up as we had many changing situations. The transition from sports catamaran to offshore maxi-trimaran racing didn’t bother me. It’s still wind and sea, and this boat is perfect for offshore. I want to go back, if only for the beautiful long swells.
Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, helmsman-trimmer, third circumnavigation, and record holder since 2012:
‘The boat has changed a lot over the last four years, in a good way, especially in the transition phases. And I quickly settled in, because the interior hasn’t changed. But we didn’t get any luck with the weather, with the same issues we had four years ago in the Pacific. On board, the crew was less experienced in offshore racing than that of Banque Populaire V, which brought a different approach to the setup. Each time you go out to sea you learn something new. I’m happy. I’ll remember the sheer number of albatrosses we saw. I’ve never seen so many so often. After Cape Horn, 40 or 50 came and played around the boat. I was glad when we departed, I’m glad to be back, and I’ll be glad to go again. The boat and crew are capable of beating this record. This is just a postponement for me, and I’d love to sail around the world again.’
Jacques Guichard, helmsman-trimmer, first circumnavigation:
‘I’m happy with my sails (Jacques is the sailmaker for North Sails)! We performed a lot of manoeuvres, so I had my fingers crossed for 47 days, but we didn’t have any problems. I have never sailed for so long. It was quite long, but it’s an experience to be repeated. It was a wonderful adventure, a childhood dream, even though I’m obviously disappointed we didn’t get the record. Despite the lack of wind, we had some wonderful times at the helm of this boat. And there’s the memory of Cape Horn, which for sailors is like the Himalayas. All the great names have been there. And we go there with a lead over Banque Populaire V. We’ll go again next winter!’
Erwan Israël, navigator, second circumnavigation:
“It finished so quickly, just two days too many…But time began to pass more slowly when we knew we wouldn’t beat the record. My job wasn’t easy, there was a lot of frustration, trying options we thought were working only to end up becalmed. We attacked hard at times, to force the issue, but we always stumbled on weather systems. The climb up the Atlantic was especially difficult because Banque Populaire V had great weather while we had more classic conditions. But overall I’m happy, especially my partnership with Yann (Guichard) and the chemistry with Jean-Yves (Bernot), from whom I learned a lot. This is a completely different sport from the Volvo Ocean Race. They have nothing in common, only the climb up the coast of Brazil, upwind, when we were slamming. The boat is exceptional, it’s fast while also being reasonably comfortable, although its weight meant that you had to be working on it. I will forever remember rounding Cape Horn and the day that followed it. I think that with a crew you don’t have the same emotions as the solo skipper on the Vendée Globe, who has a hard time for weeks. We came across a lot of marine life, planes flying over us, the earth…then all of a sudden we were back.
Sébastien Marsset, foredeck crew, third circumnavigation:
Although we didn’t break the record, it was a great challenge and I’m proud to have faced it with Spindrift. Out there, in the sea, I felt fit, but I know that once back on land, we will feel every one of 47 days we’ve spent at sea. Inevitably, Cape Horn was the best moment and you realise that it’s a place that only a few people have seen. On a sailing level, I was really impressed by the boat. At the end of the descent of the Atlantic, we had some nights under gennaker, reaching, with average speeds of around 40 knots on a flat sea. I really thought that was exceptional. On the foredeck, we knew to be careful all the time, and the danger is fatigue. In those moments when you’ve been called upon because of the needs of the boat, manoeuvres or a few tweaks, you have to redouble your attention; for yourself but also for others, because it is in those moments that you can get hurt.”
Yann Riou, Mediaman, second circumnavigation:
“It’s difficult to sum up 47 days at sea. Anyway, it was full of memorable moments and for me to go around the world, that was a first…And especially to spend so much time at sea and to do that many miles. It’s basically all good memories, even if there is a bit of a taste of disappointment at having not broken the record. We had an incredible adventure: the image that remains engraved on my mind, is (as for many others) the one of Cape Horn because it wasn’t easy – at least not the ones taken by the drone. It was a very powerful moment in the race, I think for all the crew, because it was beautiful landscape and superb conditions. I’m very happy because the crew was great from start to finish: there were no harsh words and in human terms, although there were some sailors I only knew a little, it was very rewarding. But 47 days at sea, it’s a long time, especially at the end when we knew the Jules Verne Trophy was not possible.”
Xavier Revil, watch leader, second circumnavigation, record holder since 2012:
“Everything went well, even in terms of the victualing, although I’m not the most objective person to talk about it, since it was my job. But no one lost any weight. The boat was modified by Spindrift racing, it has made significant progress, it is more lively because it’s lighter. It gave it some wings in the light air. And that’s what we got, light weather. Too much, in our opinion. But it was nice to be able to sail as fast with less sail up, it eases the load off the machine a little. The rounding of Cape Horn remains my highlight of this voyage around the world. We saw it, we passed by very close to it. It’s a legendary rock and the landscape was awe-inspiring in the sun, we even saw the glaciers that came almost within a lick the sea. We did not see ice though, unlike four years ago. But that’s not so bad, I didn’t miss it.”
François Morvan, helmsman-trimmer, first circumnavigation:
“I’m happy to have finished, to have completed this round-the-world voyage. We will see our family and friends again…In the end it was a bit long, from the moment we knew we could no longer beat the record. But the boat’s nice, the crew’s nice…It wasn’t a nightmare! The crew worked well together, it was fun. With Antoine it was amazing, it was magical, we always took care of each other, and he was amazing with all the repairs. He really is the key man for the record for me, it was great to spend time with him, always on form, smiling, in good spirits…It was great to spend those 47 days with him. I already knew the boat well, I had done four transats with it, it’s an enjoyable boat to helm; it’s fast but you still have to get stuck in when you’re helming to get it going forward. You have to find the right settings, the right rudder angle. The moments at the head of the front before we entered the Indian Ocean, on a flat sea, at 32 knots on the boat flying all on its own, that was a good moment.” –
Antoine Carraz, helmsman-trimmer,first circumnavigation:
“We’re happy, especially me, who took care of the technical side with Thierry. The challenge was both to break the record but also to get the boat around the world, and I think it has done that and done it well. It’s a great satisfaction to bring it around to the pontoon; we had some moments of doubt, we had some technical problems, but we overcame them every time. It is a very proud moment for the guys who have worked on the boat for two and a half years. My role was to take care of the technical side, because I’m the person who knows the most about the boat, having been here since the beginning of this adventure with Spindrift. It wasn’t always easy, because when we had a problem we’d say to ourselves we’ll have to abandon and then we’d reflect on the solutions with Sébastien (Marsset) and Thierry and manage to find one every time, that would allow us to continue safely without slowing down or losing time. The mast was a big blow because the foil, there’s not much that can be done about that, we know that there are lots of things in the sea, you know you can hit stuff.
The repair (of the mast) was very complicated because we had very little time before we would lose the wind, and there was lots of sea, so we were shaken around a lot on the mast with Seb. And then the repair held up, so…It’s a bit cliché but Cape Horn, it’s really this kind of thing that makes a round-the-world, it’s a childhood dream. There are lots of great times but it’s still quite legendary, we were fortunate to have great conditions to round it so close, that was a highlight, and it is the end of the South Seas. Even though it was, unfortunately, a bit complicated afterwards, when we thought it was going to get easier, that boundary was the hardest phase. And I’m lucky to have shared that with François, who was a friend from before, we were a little like the “youths” of the crew, but we used that as motivation, we never gave up, it was great to fly together.”
Thomas Rouxel, helmsman, bowman,second circumnavigation:
“I’m happy to finish because it was a bit long, but I’m very glad to have done it on this boat and with this project. The boat is truly exceptional, I really enjoyed myself every time I helmed and the team was great, we had a real laugh. I already knew the majority of the team, and we’d sailed a lot together before. Seb (Audigane) and Loïc joined us later, but they were quickly integrated and fitted in with the rest of a team that were used to working together. And we also benefited from the experience of the two grandpas (laughs). It was really cool. It was longer than the Volvo because there, you never spend more than 25 days at sea. Here, 47 is a bit longer, but the boat goes faster, we have the speed to change weather systems, and the field of play, fairly regularly, which allows to put up with a lot. But the times when there was not much wind and we were held up on our routing…they were a little long. We had superb conditions for Cape Horn, we went right up to the coast. To be able enjoy that legendary rock like that was crazy. You can do five circumnavigations and never see it, while we went right up to it, that was super nice, we had time to enjoy it and look at it. It was really cool.
Loïc Le Mignon, helmsman-trimmer, fifth circumnavigation:
“I was called up at the last minute, I caught up as we went, so I had to adapt quite quickly to the crew and to the boat. We quite quickly realised the potential of the boat when we beat the Ushant-Equator record. But then we stumbled across (weather) systems, so we found we had to resign ourselves to suffering a bit rather than taking the routes we wanted. The whole of the Southern Ocean was complicated; looking for the right roads, going further south, into the cold, and the waves…And from Cape Horn, on the ascent (up the Atlantic) we had cross seas, which is painful enough, but we couldn’t even speed up a little bit. It was quite a frustrating round-the-world, but we’re satisfied because we did all we could. The crew worked well together. The young ones were more used to getting things done quickly on the boat, and trimming all the time, than we, who were used to doing round-the-worlds, and so did the job a bit more from the horizontal position. But we found common ground. It was nice to pass the islands with the documents Erwan had prepared. Usually we pass by, see a stone, and then that’s it. This time we had all the documentation; how many people lived there, what they were doing…That was a nice change.”