Mark Lloyd / MOD SA

Spindrift Racing claims first MOD70 championship

Plus on board video from our ride during the Marseille City Race

Wednesday October 10th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Following the Krys Ocean Racing and then the MOD70 European Tour, Yann Guichard and the crew of Spindrift Racing won the first season championship for the MOD70 class. The prizes were awarded at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa at the end of the European Tour.

The overall results were:
1 - Spindrift racing EUR (Yann Guichard, FRA)
2 – FONCIA, FRA, (Michel Desjoyeaux, FRA)
3 - Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, FRA (Sébastien Josse, FRA)
4 - Race For Water, SUI (Stève Ravussin, SUI)
5 - Musandam, Oman Sail OMA (Sindey Gavignet FRA)

Spindrift Racing skipper Yann Guichard commented: "First was that super fast transatlantic and then a tour of Europe, both very stressful and high intensity, but in the end it was consistency which paid. Michel (Desjoyeaux) had a 3 and 1, we a 1 and 2: That is a great start for the first MOD70 season! It motivates us for the future too, continuing our work and efforts to do well in 2013. I am really happy.”

The former Tornado Olympian and ex-Gitana Route du Rhum skipper added: “We are a new team which we built with Léo Lucet from the ground up in less than a year, so it is great to win the Multi One Championship in 2012. I’m happy for myself and for the team that we did so well. One of our strengths is that we worked so well as a team, there were always good combinations [of crew] on board and a good atmosphere. It worked, the winning spirit was developed. And that is the role of the skipper. We had regular guys on board, as well as Pascal Bidégorry and others, and I am really pleased to have had him and everyone with us through the season.”

With Spindrift Racing set up by Yann Guichard and Executive Director Léo Lucet, their black and white MOD70 has successfully been launched, refined and made reliable thanks to the competence of their expert technical team.

In addition to Guichard and Lucet, over 2012 the line-up of Spindrift Racing included among the sailing team Pascal Bidégorry, ex-Vendee Globe skipper and 2011 Solitaire du Figaro winner Yann Eliès, Erwan Tabarly, Jacques Guichard, Sébastien Marsset, sailmaker Jean-Baptiste Levaillant, Devan Le Bihan, Thierry Douillard, ex-Banque Populaire crewman and technical ace Kévin Escoffier, Christophe André, Frédéric Brousse and 470 Olympic medallist Nicolas Charbonnier. The shore team has comprised  Philippe Echassoux, Tim Carrie, Florent Le Gal, Nicolas Débordès and Astrid van den Hove.

Leo Lucet endorsed the MOD70 circuit: “The format is fantastic. It’s an exceptional international communications tool which worked wonderfully in New York and at every European tour city stopover. VIPs and journalists alike were able to sail with us, and the general public, a stone’s throw away from the boats, really enjoyed the show. The objective, which we reached, was to make the discipline spectacular to demonstrate the excellent visibility it offers to sponsors and partners.”

All five MOD70 trimarans this season finished both the Krys Ocean Race across the North Atlantic and the MOD70 European Tour without any serious incidents other than encounters with unidentified floating objects.

During the Krys Ocean Race, which Spindrift Racing won, they completed the New York to Brest crossing in less than five days at an average speed of more than 25 knots. At times this season the MOD70s’ ultimate speed have been touching 40 knots.

“We still aim to progress further”, concludes Guichard, “in all areas – sports, technical, human. We are optimistically and impatiently looking forward to 2013.”

Thedailysail had an opportunity to sail on board on Spindrift Racing during one of the City Races in Marseille during the MOD70 European Tour.

In the lighter winds this wasn’t the crash and burn experience of our Artemis Challenge, when we set a new outright record for sailing around the Isle of Wight with Michel Desjoyeaux on board the Foncia MOD70. Nonetheless it was interesting to see how the MOD70s are raced in light winds. Of course the boats are supreme apparent wind generating machines, so once they get going they will readily sail at more than twice the wind speed.

While in the Artemis Challenge we spent the 2 hours and 20 minutes feverishly clinging on to the netting by the weather hull, either forward or aft, depending on the point of sail, in the light conditions off Marseille, the crew (and passengers), when they were not involved in manoeuvres back in the cockpit, were gathered on the netting either side the bow on the main hull. 

On board Yann Guichard was hunched on the helm in the weather of his two ORMA 60-style bucket seats at the apex of the aft crossbeam, with Nicolas Charbonnier acting as his tactician and with the eminent ex-Banque Populaire maxi trimaran skipper and conceiver, Pascal Bidegorry also offering opinion.

Unfortunately when we were on board was not one of Guichard and the crew’s best performances...



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