The crew of Spindrift Racing, the 130-foot maxi trimaran, have been forced to abandon their attempt to set a new fully-crewed, non-stop circumnavigation record. After setting a blazing pace which saw them set a new record for the fastest time from Ushant, on the northwest coast of France, to the equator, and a fast, but tricky passage around the South Atlantic High the wheels fell off west of Australia when the yacht collided with something damaging the starboard rudder. The incident took place at night and the crew waited until daylight so that they could assess the damage before making any decision, but what they saw at first light was not good. Skipper Yann Guichard radioed their shore team with the news. “Because of this technical problem we have no choice but to stop this record attempt. It is a huge disappointment to all of the crew. We are now heading to the south west coast of Australia and expect to reach there in the next four days.” And that’s that for this record attempt.
|Before the rudder was damaged
The team were on pace to break the record set two years ago by fellow French sailors aboard IDEC Sport, also a massive trimaran. They were well ahead of IDEC when they set a new record of 4 days, 19 hours and 57 minutes to the equator and had at one point opened up a gap of 550 miles, but that shrank to less than 100 miles as Spindrift had to sail extra distance to get around the South Atlantic High. Skipper Guichard explained; “We had to take a large detour to get around the Saint Helena anticyclone. We had to go down to 40° South before turning left! It was pretty extreme, but we didn’t have any other way of cutting across. We just had to grin and bear it, especially as we had had a crosswind and head seas which weren’t easy to navigate.”
At the time of their retirement they were still ahead of IDEC but not by much but that’s of no matter anymore. They are currently limping toward Fremantle.
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This article was syndicated from Great Circle Sails Blog