One man on a 140ft trimaran

Photos; Chris Schmidt / Spindrift Racing
Yann Guichard on Spindrift 2's ambitious Route du Rhum and transatlantic record campaigns
Franck Cammas has a lot to answer for. In the last Route du Rhum in 2010 there was a whole array of large multihulls entered, ranging from the 100-105 footers such as Cammas’ Groupama 3 and the trio of Irens Cabaret sisterships IDEC, Sodebo and Oman Air Majan to Yann Guichard in the modified ORMA 60 Gitana 11, extended up to 77ft, and Ellen MacArthur’s 75ft solo round the world boat B&Q Castorama, sailed by round the world legend Philippe Monnet as La Boîte à Pizza. Prior to the start there was furious debate over whether the smaller more nimble boats capable of faster manoeuvres could outstrip the more cumbersome, but faster in a straight line bigger boats. In the end Cammas, in a feat reminiscent of Eric Tabarly sailing his Whitbread maxi Pen Duick VI to victory singlehanded in the 1976 OSTAR, sauntered across the Atlantic to bring home his 105ft trimaran (which earlier in the year he’d set a new Jules Verne Trophy record aboard with a few crew) more than nine hours ahead of race favourite Francis Joyon’s IDEC 2. Groupama 3 is back in the Route du Rhum this year (confusingly) as Banque Populaire VII, now in the hands of Armel le Cleac’h (currently trailblazing his way across to the Bahamas on a solo Route of Discovery record – closing on the finish more than 500 miles ahead of Francis Joyon’s record pace). But yesterday the Spindrift Racing team upped the ante with the announcement that Yann Guichard will be sailing the world’s largest (and fastest) racing trimaran - formerly Banque Populaire V, now Spindrift 2 - in this November’s race. Singlehanded. On a boat that is 40m long by 23m wide, where the mainsail alone is at present 450sqm and the genniker 610sqm. To put this into