Spindrift racing: setting the course for new projects
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Thierry Martinez / Eloi Stichelbaut
Maxi trimaran Spindrift 2 bearing Zenith colors remained on stand-by in Newport from the beginning of summer, awaiting a weather window suitable for attempting a speed record-breaking crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. Following its impressive victory at the Mirabaud Bol d’Or on June 14th, the Spindrift racing crew switched both projects and craft, instead targeting the North Atlantic Record by team aboard the maxi trimaran Spindrift 2. The time to beat: 3 days, 15 hours and 25 minutes at an average of 32. 94 knots, or more than 61 km/h. However, a number of pitfalls occurred on the sailors’ route. At the beginning of summer, drifting ice resulting from a particularly harsh winter presented a very real danger.
In addition, at the beginning of July, cyclone Arthur developed in Miami and travelled all the way up the East Coast of America, generating 160 km/h winds. This was followed by the Azores High which spread over North America, pushing back the minor lows to the far north. As conditions never came together, the crew decided to call off the attempt. “It is frustrating for the crew and for Dona and me not to have been able to attempt this sprint across the North Atlantic” said Yann Guichard. “But one has to bow to the law of records which dictates that the weather either paves the way … or doesn’t. ”