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2015 Jules Verne Trophy – Spindrift 2 crosses Cape Horn
Drone shooting at Cape Horn. - 2015 Jules Verne Trophy© Yann Riou / Spindrift racing

Spindrift 2 crosses Cape Horn

Jules Verne Trophy 2015– Spindrift 2 crossed the longitude of Cape Horn on Tuesday, December 22 at 08:09 GMT, with a nice westerly breeze of 20 knots after 30 days four hours and seven minutes at sea since leaving Ushant: that equals an improvement of 18 hours 11 minutes on the record time set by Banque Populaire V. Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard and their 12 teammates will now head back up the Atlantic for one last 7000-mile dash.

In the final analysis the Pacific has been too…pacific. Because even though Spindrift 2 has been faster than the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy across the largest ocean on the planet (9d 23h 30’ against 10d 15h 07’ for Banque Populaire V), the weather conditions were not as high as the hopes of the crew: the light weather off New Zealand, a low-wind transition zone in the middle of the ocean and short, choppy swell and waves in the approach to Drake Passage. Thus, Orange II keeps the WSSRC Pacific Ocean record it set in 2005: 8d 18h 08’.

More than half a day ahead

With a long swell from the west, Spindrift 2 rounded the legendary Cape Horn in the small hours of the morning (local time) under a few rays of sunshine piercing the clouds caught on the steep slopes of Tierra del Fuego. The black and gold trimaran thus took just over 30 days since leaving Ushant to cross the Drake Passage (30d 04h 07’).

2015 Jules Verne Trophy – Spindrift 2 crosses Cape Horn

Drone shooting at Cape Horn. – 2015 Jules Verne Trophy© Yann Riou / Spindrift racing

Spindrift 2 has garnered a lead of more than half a day over the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy and can consider the climb back up the Atlantic with a degree of calm. Although sailing conditions off the coast of Tierra del Fuego are a bit unusual, with an area of light winds between Staten Island and the Falkland Islands. Therefore, a somewhat tricky phase is expected until tomorrow, Wednesday, before hooking onto a new Southern depression that will cross the south of Argentina in order to re-join the disrupted flow from the west of the Atlantic.

Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard, and their 12 teammates will enjoy a deserved break after nearly three weeks in the South Seas. Time to do a complete check-up of the black and gold trimaran, air and dry the entire interior, and even prepare a special meal for this holiday season. But there can be no dawdling on the road because the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy set the fastest time on the section of the course between Cape Horn and the Equator (7d 04h 27’). So, it is anticipated that, in the coming days, Spindrift 2 will lose some of the 530-mile lead it holds at the passage of Tierra del Fuego.

Dona Bertarelli, just before rounding Cape Horn:

2015 Jules Verne Trophy – Spindrift 2 crosses Cape Horn

Drone shooting at Cape Horn. – 2015 Jules Verne Trophy© Yann Riou / Spindrift racing

“At the start of the Jules Verne Trophy, we set a goal to get to Cape Horn in record time; at best with a two-day lead and at worst a day behind. In the end, we’ll have a good half-day lead. Therefore, nothing is decided because Loïck Peyron and his men were like lightning back up the Atlantic. Not unbeatable, but very fast. Since the Equator, where we set a new record, Spindrift 2 has not stopped having trouble with weather systems. First in the Indian Ocean and then in the Pacific: the lead we had acquired melted like snow in the sun in front of ridges of high pressure, troughs and other phenomena regularly blocking the road. I hope that Aeolus (the Greek god of winds) has finished trying to get us with his traps. But I know very well that it’s still a long road ahead. There’ll be more traps, and we’re not going to be able to relax or lose focus at all.”

Cape horners on board

Sébastien Audigane : fifth passage
Thierry Duprey Du Vorsent : fourth passage
Loïc Le Mignon : third passage
Xavier Revil : second passage
Yann Riou : second passage

Dona Bertarelli : first passage
Yann Guichard : first passage
Antoine Carraz : first passage
Christophe Espagnon : first passage
Jacques Guichard : first passage
Erwan Israël : first passage
Sébastien Marsset : first passage
Francois Morvan : first passage
Thomas Rouxel : first passage

Times of Spindrift 2, Yann Guichard:

Start, Ushant: Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 04:01:58secs UTC

Passage to the longitude of Cape of Good Hope: Friday, December 4, 02:06 GMT
Ushant – Cape of Good Hope: 11 days 22 hours four minutes
Delta with Banque Populaire V: more 16 minutes 14 seconds

Passage to the longitude of Cape Agulhas: Friday, December 4, 04:04 GMT
Ushant – Cape Agulhas: 12 days 00 hours two minutes
Delta with Banque Populaire V (WSSRC Record): more 12 minutes 44 seconds

Passage to the Cape Leeuwin (115° 08’ E): Thursday, December 10, 15:27:15 GMT
Ouessant – Cap Leeuwin: 18 days 11 hours 25 minutes 17 seconds
Delta with Banque Populaire V: more 11h 25′ 17′
12 295 miles travelled at an average of 27.73 knots

Passage to the longitude of South Cape of Tasmania: Saturday, December 12, 8h39 GMT
Ouessant – Tasmania: 20 days 04 hours 37 minutes
Cape Agulhas – Tasmania : Eight days four hours 35’
Delta with Banque Populaire V: less two hours 34 minutes

Passage to Cape Horn: Tuesday, December 22, 08h09 GMT
Ouessant – Cape Horn: 30 days four hours seven minutes
Delta avec Banque Populaire V: less 18 hours 11 minutes
19 635 miles travelled at an average of 27.11 knots

by Spindrift racing

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