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Spindrift 2 on stand-by

Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard's crew on stand-by for Route of Discovery record

Thursday October 10th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

The 40m maxi trimaran Spindrift 2 has arrived in Portimao, southern Portugal, where Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard and their crew of 12 are now on standby, waiting for the optimum weather window to attempt to beat the Route of Discovery record between Cadiz and San Salvador in the Bahamas.

With autumn advancing, the ideal trade wind conditions are becoming rarer. Richard Silvani, the Météo France meteorologist and router, will increase the frequency of his exchanges with Guichard and navigator Erwan Israel as he analyses the forecasts to find the most positive forecast allowing the team to set off on their attempt. "We are ready for every window which can be found in the next few days," Guichard says.

Meanwhile, the Spindrift team continues with its meticulous program of getting to grips with the largest racing trimaran in the world. Winning the Rolex Fastnet Race this summer proved to be both an intense and profitable workout that strengthened not only the crew's understanding of the boat, but the cohesion of the crew. Dona Bertarelli and Guichard, the two Spindrift skippers, have brought together a mix of sailors familiar with trimarans, and multihull specialists well-versed in the boats of the Spindrift team: including the D35 Ladycat and / or the MOD70 Spindrift.

The team is ready, the boat optimised, they are just waiting to find an opening in the weather for this singularly complex route first sailed by Christopher Columbus in 1492. A quick descent to the Canary Islands, an express passage between the islands and then finding the trade wind highway by good routing around the Azores high: this is the ideal scenario. But the advance of autumn makes it harder. "We will not be looking for the perfect window," Guichard says, "When there is the right wind to allow us to quickly get into the Atlantic, we will try our luck."

The 21.70 knot average speed of the current record (7 days,10 hours, 58 minutes and 53 seconds ) is well within reach of the maxi trimaran. But the route to the Bahamas can be difficult, with one, or even more areas of dreaded transition and high pressure which can stop a record and with the weather forecast uncertain beyond five days, it leaves out the last 48 hours of racing in fickle Caribbean conditions.

Crew of the maxi Spindrift 2 for The Discovery Route:
Dona Bertarelli
Yann Guichard
Xavier Revil
Jean Baptiste le Vaillant
Antoine Carraz
Thierry Douillard
Christophe Espagnon
Sébastien Marsset
Nicolas Texier
Erwan Tabarly
François Morvan
Thomas ROuxel
Simone Gaeta
Erwan Israel

Weather routing : Richard Silvani

Time to beat : 7 jours, 10 heures, 58 minutes, 53 secondes

Current record : Groupama 3 (Franck Cammas) in 2007

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