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news - First race for the giant trimaran Spindrift 2

Aug 10 2013

First race for the giant trimaran Spindrift 2

After a studious July, punctuated by two long, intensive training sessions, Spindrift 2, the largest racing trimaran in the world, will compete in the 45th edition of the classic, legendary and very British Rolex Fastnet Race. The colourful 608-mile course starts in Cowes, England’s sailing Mecca, passes along the coast of Cornwall and round the famous Irish rock called Fastnet, returning via the Isles of Scilly to the finish in Plymouth bay.

Competing in one of the greatest RORC races is a huge motivation for the two skippers and they have one eye on the record (1 day, 8 hours and 48 minutes) set by the same boat in the 2011 race. It is an ambitious benchmark and to beat it they will need to be faultless on board and make the best of the weather conditions available.

The Fastnet: the culmination of one month of sailing

The weather forecast, at the start at least, does not seem made for record breaking. There is a headwind of increasing strength from the west south west, which will be like a barrier in front of the boats, who will start from Cowes for the 45th edition of a race that first took place in 1925 and which is traditionally contested every two years. The race will start at Sunday lunchtime in the Solent. All of the Spindrift racing team have worked incredibly hard in training for more than a month and have seen a gradual rise in pace and quality during testing. The increasingly long sailing sessions, off shore as well as closer to the coast, have allowed the 14-strong crew of men and women to grow accustomed to – and to make their mark in – their respective roles, all the time seeking that little bit more. The secret to sailing this “monster” of the sea lies in one word: “anticipation”. Its length, size and weight of sails require the crew, especially those on the foredeck, to learn the right timing and method to make assured manoeuvres.

A crew working as one?The crew members chosen to execute this extraordinary act of marine balancing are naturally attuned to these watchwords and the scale of the proposed challenges. The crew, who have lived together for a month, have the characteristics and technical ability, leaving the skippers and owners to focus on the atmosphere and team spirit. The Rolex Fastnet Race has arrived at the perfect time to give a group, who have already bonded, a full-blown test in a high-level competition. While few boats can compete on paper with the intrinsic performance advantages of Spindrift 2, the predicted weather condition will mean that, among the 300 or so competitors, there will many more boats of different type who will be perfectly capable of handling the upwind conditions that are forecast.

The crew on the maxi Spindrift 2 for the Rolex Fastnet:

Dona Bertarelli – Skipper

Yann Guichard – Skipper

Xavier Revil

Erwan Tabarly

Antoine Carraz

Christophe Espagnon

Nicolas Texier

Jean Baptiste le Vaillant

Thierry Douillard

Sébastien Marsset

Thomas Rouxel

François Morvan

Simone Gaeta

Erwan Israel

© Eloi Stichelbaut / Spindrift racing

© Eloi Stichelbaut / Spindrift racing

© Eloi Stichelbaut / Spindrift racing