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Yann Guichard and Spindrift 2 at Cape Horn during their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt - photo © Eloi Stichelbaut / Spindrift racing
Yann Guichard and Spindrift 2 at Cape Horn during their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt - photo © Eloi Stichelbaut / Spindrift racing

Jules Verne

After a long stand-by, in the main due to a very active North Atlantic, Spindrift Racing, skippered by Yann Guichard and owned by Dona Bertarelli, started their Jules Verne Trophy attempt late Monday. .

However it was not to be. Yann Guichard has made the decision to return to Brest following analysis of this evening’s weather files. The weather window, which mobilised Yann Guichard and his eleven crew to leave Brest at 1800h did not materialise as expected, the team reported just 12 hours after departure.

“The weather window has deteriorated. This evening’s files give us an unacceptable time to the Equator and the Cape of Good Hope, it is too much of a risk for a window that was far from ideal in the first place. We have made the decision to return immediately to Brest as there is potentially a more favourable window from the evening of the 12th and we will watch carefully how it evolves. We should arrive back in Brest at about 0100h on Tuesday.”

The team remains fully committed to achieving their goal of the Jules Verne Trophy but must now wait a few days before going back to sea.

Earlier story: The crew have all arrived in Brest to make the final preparations ahead of leaving for the start line late Monday afternoon.

The 40metre trimaran from the design board of VPLP, launched in August 2006 and began life as Banque Populaire V, setting one new non-stop circumnavigation record of 45days 13hrs and 42 minutes with Loick Peyron as skipper, before being purchased by Dona Bertarelli. During her last refit, a new 42metre mast was fitted. The trimaran has also been lightened by 2000kgs.

The more favourable weather window comes after a series of depressions and extreme conditions similar to those seen with Carmen and Eleanor in Western Europe at the start of this year. While the North Atlantic still remains complicated, a more favourable weather window is emerging with the arrival of a succession of fronts off the Azores. After an upwind start, a wind shift in the Northwest will allow the team to quickly join the trade winds at the Canaries.

Yann Guichard and Spindrift 2 at Cape Horn during their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt © Eloi Stichelbaut / Spindrift racing

Yann Guichard and Spindrift 2 at Cape Horn during their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt © Eloi Stichelbaut / Spindrift racing

“We have not had an opening since the start of our stand-by mid-November! This is the first opportunity that is emerging but we will start by joining the front to the West that will then allow us to go downwind from Northwest to the Canaries. With the exception of this start, the route looks pretty classic towards rounding the Azores. ” says the skipper of Spindrift 2, Yann Guichard.

“Spindrift 2 is ready, the crew is ready, we are happy to leave.

“The only thing left is to pick up the fresh food this morning, and we anticipate leaving the dock at about 1700h and crossing the line late tonight (Monday)”, Yann Guichard added.

It is anticipated that the team will cross the equator in a little over five days, slightly longer than the time achieved by Spindrift 2 during its first attempt in November 2015 (4d 21h 29 ‘), but it should set a good benchmark against the current crewed record (IDEC Sport 2017: 5d 18h ??59 ‘).

The aim is to enter the Indian Ocean with a small margin compared to the current Jules Verne Trophy, but also to pull together a favourable meteorological configuration in the Southern Ocean.

by Sail-World NZ and Sprindrift

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