Sailing

Jules Verne Trophy - Spindrift racing clocks second-fastest time ever

As Spindrift 2 passed Ushant lighthouse at 4.01 p.m. on 8th January 2016, the trimaran skippered by Yann Guichard closed the circle on its first sailing voyage around the world with the second best time in the history of the Jules Verne Trophy.
© ThMartinez/ Spindrift racing

Mission accomplished

"I'd really like to do it again!" said Yann Guichard, co-founder with Dona Bertarelli of the professional sailing squad Spindrift racing, after spending 47 days 10 hours 59 minutes 2 seconds at sea. The circumnavigation set several new records, including that of Spindrift racing co-founder Dona Bertarelli, who became the fastest woman to sail around the globe: a magnificent achievement.

Taking part in the Jules Verne Trophy was a real challenge and the Spindrift racing team rose to it, gathering a wealth of experience and a feeling like no other. The black-and-gold boat’s circumnavigation did take more than a day longer than the record set by Loïck Peyron in 2012, but what an adventure it was! "Simply making it around the world was my main goal," explained Dona Bertarelli, Spindrift 2's helmsman and trimmer. "Although we didn't beat the world record, I don't regret anything. I'm proud of what we achieved."

“ Simply making it around the world was my main goal.”

Dona Bertarelli, Spindrift 2's helmsman and trimmer

Perseverance: a key value

After many months of preparation and waiting for suitable weather conditions, the 14 sailors set off in the dead of night on 22nd November 2015 for what would be their first joint trip around the globe. About 29,000 nautical miles, or almost 54,000 kilometres later, Spindrift 2 closed the circle on its circumnavigation in the second-fastest time in history, with an average speed of 25.35 knots. Admittedly, the winds were not always favourable, particularly during the final leg up the Atlantic. But the sailors can be proud to have completed their circumnavigation despite some damage along the way. "The most frightening moment for me was when the foil touched an unidentified object. I thought we would have to throw in the towel," said Yann Guichard. A problem with the mast then forced the crew to make emergency repairs off the coast of Uruguay. Their efforts and perseverance paid off as Spindrift 2 can feel a great sense of achievement having broken several records, notably on the sections between Ushant and the equator, Tasmania and Cape Horn. The crew even held the record for crossing the Indian Ocean for a few hours before this was snatched away again by another boat that had left Ushant the same day. The circumnavigation also ended with Dona Bertarelli being crowned the first female navigator to complete the Jules Verne Trophy and the fastest woman to sail around the globe.

“ The most frightening moment for me was when the foil touched an unidentified object. I thought we would have to throw in the towel.”

Yann Guichard, co-founder of Spindrift racing

A shared adventure

It's a well-known saying that a problem shared is a problem halved. With this in mind, the Spindrift racing team made every effort to widen its audience beyond fans and sailing aficionados. Sharing this record-breaking attempt in words and pictures with as many people as possible was therefore also one of the crew's objectives. In all, Spindrift 2's journey attracted some 5 million views on the website dedicated to the record attempt, more than 2 million views for the 42 videos sent from on board, 100,000 hits on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, international media coverage and involved 8,000 schoolchildren through the Spindrift for Schools programme. There was also yet another first for a multihull boat of this size at sea: the use of a drone, launched and piloted from on board, to shoot footage. The stunning aerial images, particularly off Cape Horn, were watched more than 350,000 times online and broadcast by numerous television stations. "Because I was writing articles for classes in France and Switzerland, continually communicating with people on land and exchanging ideas, I never felt alone during this adventure," said Dona Bertarelli.

“  Mirabaud would like to congratulate the Spindrift 2 team on an exceptional round-the-world trip. All our staff passionately followed the Jules Verne Trophy.”

Antonio Palma, CEO of Mirabaud & Cie SA

Mirabaud, this exceptional team's partner for the past three years, followed the adventure closely. One of its managing partners, Antonio Palma, CEO of Mirabaud & Cie SA and a sailing enthusiast himself, voiced praise for the crew’s exploits: "Mirabaud would like to congratulate the Spindrift 2 team on an exceptional round-the-world trip. All our staff passionately followed the Jules Verne Trophy," he said.

The adventure therefore ended on a positive note and some are already dreaming of a second attempt. "This Jules Verne Trophy was a series of firsts for me: sailing around the world, passing all three capes, clocking up so many days... And I'd really like to go back. The boat is perfectly suited to this type of undertaking. We just need the weather to be favourable," Yann Guichard explained.