MOD70 Mania

24 Jun

The Route des Princes is certainly delivering great multihull action. But they almost certainly did not intend to provide this much excitement, achieved via a 70-foot trimaran capsizing in 30 knots.

Retour sur le chavirage de Spindrift by routedesprincesTV

Here’s the story:

All crew are safe and sound, but Jacques Guichard, Yann’s brother and a key member of the crew, was hurt in the accident. Both brothers were airlifted by helicopter to the hospital in Dublin, where Jacques was diagnosed with fractures to the pelvis.

Yann Guichard, the skipper of Spindrift explained the circumstances of the capsize: “We had 22 to 24 knots of wind on the start line with gusts of up to 30 knots at the lower end of the course. We were at the limit of weather conditions for our boats and it was not great for racing. All the MODs had one reef in the main and staysail. We started a bit below and behind the fleet and found ourselves slightly in a wind shadow. When our rivals had moved away we had a sudden gust literally flattened us.

“I was unable to do anything at the helm, the boat was turned over with a single blow. We let out out the staysail immediately, but it was too late as it all happened in a split second. the boat was lifted onto the port float and went over. Jacques was with me in the cockpit and we found ourselves in the net … we managed to get out and then were airlifted. The mast broke in two when Spindrift turned over. The frame of the trimaran was towed away to the port.”
It’s a good reminder that it is not just AC72s that can doe serious damage to a human being. The fact is, this new generation of blazing fast, ultra-powerful, multihulls have taken the sport of sailing to a new level of risk and danger. It can be managed, or course. But it can not be eliminated.


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