© Yann Riou I Spindrift racing
THE EQUATOR EXPRESS: THE RECORD BEATEN
By switching hemisphere at 0131hrs GMT (0231hrs French time), the crew on Spindrift 2 managed to break the five-day barrier for the Ushant-Equator course. The new record time is now 4 days, 21 hours, 29 minutes (the previous record held by Loïck Peyron and his crew on Banque Populaire V was 5 days 14 hours and 55 minutes). The first live video link with the boat was made for the occasion, with Jo Wilfried Tsonga as the guest. During their conversation, the French tennis player asked Yann Guichard particularly about life on board a 40-metre boat with 14 sailors. The trimaran is now en route to the Cape of Good Hope and must negotiate the southern hemisphere trade winds and the St Helena High.
15h15 GMT : 373 miles ahead of the current record holder
Distance covered from the start: 3697 miles
Average speed over 24 hours: 24 knots
COURSES OF SPINDRIFT 2 AND BANQUE POPULAIRE V FROM USHANT TO EQUATOR
REPLAY THE VIDEO LIVE WITH SPINDRIFT 2 AND JO-WILFRIED TSONGA!
WEATHER FORECAST - JEAN-YVES BERNOT
Friday 27th :
South Atlantic trade winds 15-18 kt, E.SE. Swell SE, 1.5 m to 2 m. Good sailing conditions. Dead run south in the trade wind playing with the boat’s speed.
Saturday 28th :
cold front linked to an old area of low pressure which has been off the coast of Bahia for a few days. We’ll have to get through it as best we can : wind variable, rather light, stormy squalls.
Sunday 29th and Monday 30th :
the big issue is the deepening of a low off Buenos-Aires which will be heading off to do its own thing in the Southern Ocean next week. It’s the southbound train Spindrift 2 would like to catch. We’re already thinking about it!
Drone footages yesterday above the Atlantic - Yann Riou / Spindrift racing
Message from Dona:
"We’re making slow progress. So, this is a chance to release the drone! The magnetic fields on the boat are disrupting its compass, but Yann Riou, our talented media man, doesn’t give up and he’ll be able to send you some sequences of Spindrift 2 in action.
After an unsatisfactory first attempt, the drone is flying now. It’s perilous work guiding it for the first few metres because our speed, and the turbulence generated by our sails, are significant factors.
But now the drone is flying over us like a bird, following us, then going beyond us as if it wants to play. We almost forget that Yann is piloting it.
The landing is even more perilous. Thom managed to catch it, but not without difficulty and he came away with a slight scratch on the forearm. As well as the helmet and gloves, we’ll have to be in oilies in future to handle our pet."
4 days, 21 hours, 29 minutes!
Spindrift 2 crossed the equator at 0131hrs UTC on Friday 27 November, just under five days after setting off! Yann Guichard and his crew are on world-record pace. Current Jules Verne Trophy holder Banque Populaire V crossed the equator in 5 days, 14 hours, 55 seconds in 2011. The trimaran must now negotiate the trade winds of the Southern Hemisphere as she makes her way to Cape of Good Hope.
Spindrift 2 (and the trimaran, IDEC Sport, departing two hours earlier) took advantage of exceptional weather conditions to cover the 3,171 nautical miles (as the crow flies) between Ushant island (Brittany) and the equator in just 4 days, 21 hours, 29 minutes and 2 seconds, averaging a remarkable 26.99 knots. This first milestone on the crew’s circumnavigation is important not only important in terms of timing, but also mentally for the crew, since, even with the benefit of hindsight, they know they chose the right weather window for their departure.
Full steam ahead!
Spindrift 2 is 17 hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds up on 2011 record, or 13% faster than the previous time, and over 277 miles ahead, thanks in particular to the fairly straight route taken by the trimaran. Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard have sailed only 3,326 miles, having made only one major manoeuvre, a jibe off the Azores, whereas the current record holder sailed 3,582 miles to reach the equator, a difference of 256 miles to reach the same latitude! Spindrift 2 will now sail along the Brazilian coast in 15-knot south-easterlies until they reach the latitude of Rio de Janeiro, where they will need to hook onto the first southern hemisphere depression to catch a fast ride to the Roaring Forties.
Yann Guichard spoke by telephone on Thursday evening:
“We were still in the doldrums at the end of the afternoon. There were small windless squalls all round and speeds varying from 4 to 25 knots. We’ve been in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ : violent squalls alternate with dead calm) on Thursday morning, when the first squalls kicked in, but we’ve always had a bit of wind, with really strong gusts every now and again. This is all pretty usual for the doldrums, where the wind is unstable, but unfortunately they moved south with us!”
“It meant we had to do quite a few manoeuvres and make sail changes, sometimes almost immediately after having just finished one. One reef, two reefs, gennaker, genoa, jib. We’ve had almost the entire wardrobe out! But we’ve never been at a full halt. We can just make out a little sunshine to windward with clouds starting to form, which suggests that the end of the tunnel is nigh. I hope we manage to latch onto the more stable south-east trades by nightfall, in which case we might make it across the Equator in the middle of the night. If we make it by 5:02 (CET), that would mean less than five days, but our friend (Francis Joyon and his crew) is not far behind and is sailing fast!”
“The crew has been working hard since the tough start across the Bay of Biscay, and now in the doldrums. But everyone is in the swing of things now. We’ve been able to give the boat a good check-up and everything’s fine on board. We’re ready for the next stage! The guys are just a little disappointed not to have had big rainy squalls today; they’ve not been able to take a shower! But anyway, we’ve had a nice start and now we’re going to concentrate on the southern hemisphere and follow on as fast as we can to the Cape of Good Hope.”
© Yann Riou I Spindrift racing
Spindrift 2 time, Yann Guichard:
Ushant departure, Sunday 22 November 2015 at 04:01:58 UTC
Equator crossing, Friday 27 November 27 at 01:31hrs UTC
Ushant-equator in 4d, 21h, 29m, 2s
Lead over Banque Populaire V: 17h 25m 16s
Banque Populaire V times, Loïck Peyron:
Ushant departure, Tuesday 22 November 2011 at 08:31:42 UTC
Equator crossing, Saturday 27 November 2011 at 23:26:00 UTC
Ushant-equator in 5d, 14h, 54m, 18s
Spindrift 2 pace schedule for Jules Verne Trophy record attempt:
Day, date (dd.mm.yy), 24h distance covered, 24h av. speed, gap on record pace at 4 am UTC
Day 0, 22.11.15, departure at 4:01:58
Day 1, 23.11.15, 727.9 n. miles, 29.4 kts, +26.96 miles
Day 2, 24.11.15, 639.5 n. miles, 26.6 kts, +15.17 miles
Day 3, 25.11.15, 736.5 n. miles, 30.7 kts, +273.59 miles
Day 4, 26.11.15, 726.0 n. miles, 30.2 kts, +346.13 miles
Day 5, 27.11.15, 455,9 n. miles, 19 kts, + 296 miles