Spindrift 2 dismasted

16 Jan
Spindrift 2 dismasted
There is a superstition among sailors that it’s bad luck to change the name of a boat. According to legend, when a boat is named the name is recorded in the ‘Ledger of the Deep’ and is known personally to Neptune, the god of the sea. If you want to change the name of a boat you need to consult Neptune first (not exactly sure how you go about doing so) otherwise the renamed boat will invoke Neptune’s wrath and bad things will happen. I personally don’t go along with legends and superstitions but I am starting to rethink things. Take for example the Ultime trimaran Spindrift 2. The boat started out as Banque Populaire V and under that name set numerous records including the fastest time for a fully crewed, non-stop circumnavigation.

In 2013 billionaire Dona Bertarelli, the funding behind Spindrift Racing, bought Banque Pop and renamed the boat Spindrift 2. The boat underwent a refit and emerged in a striking black, white and gold livery. The boat really does look stunning but despite the new paint job, and even in the hands of a very competent team, Spindrift 2 has not really accomplished much. In 2015 they attempted to break Banque Populaire’s Jules Verne record but fell short by over two days. In 2016 the boat got into a collision with a RIB where a female passenger on the RIB was ejected into the water and later, as a result of the injuries she sustained, had to have her leg amputated. Charges were filed against Spindrift 2 skipper Yann Guichard who was later given a suspended sentence of 6 months in jail and a hefty €25,000 fine.

Their latest bit of bad luck happened on Monday when Spindrift 2 was heading out for another attempt on the Jules Verne record. Last week they attempted the same thing but gave up when the forecast changed and conditions were not as favorable as they had hoped. Monday was a lot worse. They were barely halfway to the start area when the giant wing mast came crashing down.

“Everything happened very fast,” said Yann Guichard. “We were heading to the start line. There were relatively strong conditions with 30 knots of wind and three meter seas. A few moments before we were going to tack towards Pointe Saint-Mathieu, the mast broke for some unknown reason. The most important thing is that there were no injuries on board. Unfortunately we had to drop the mast into the sea as we did not want to take any unnecessary risks for the crew because we were very close to the rocks at Toulinguet. Operations are currently underway to recover the mast and rigging as quickly as possible, as the weather is set to deteriorate early tomorrow morning. We will now start the process of understanding what has happened,” he concluded.

So that would appear to be that, but you never know. Bertarelli has deep pockets and could quite easily spring for a new mast, but why would she? I don’t think Spindrift 2 has any realistic chance of breaking the Jules Verne record which now stands at 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds. They would have to sail almost a week faster  than their last attempt which is a huge amount in a boat that gets older by the day. My suggestion to Ms Bertarelli is to build a new generation foiling trimaran and go for the record once the new boat has been fully tested. Oh, and in the meantime ask Neptune for forgiveness.

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This article was syndicated from Great Circle Sails Blog


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