Yann Guichard and Spindrift 2 are in the starting-blocks in Saint-Malo!
  • Maxi Spindrift 2
October 24, 2014

Summary:
- The maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2 arrived in Saint-Malo this morning, docking at the Gare Maritime.
- Yann Guichard feels in great shape and is ready to go.
- Information about Spindrift racing's activities in the race village.
- How to follow Yann Guichard and Spindrift 2 during the race.

Never in the race's 36-year history have there been so many competitors and so many huge trimarans. The 10th edition of the most famous single-handed transatlantic yacht race is already rewriting the record books. A record 91 sailors were in Saint-Malo this Friday for the opening of the official village, in the shadow of the city walls. As happens every year, large crowds will line the docks of the Breton city for the race start on Sunday, November 2nd. Perhaps the record 2 million visitors in 2010 will also be broken. What we can say for certain is that, at 40 metres long, Spindrift 2 will be the largest boat ever to compete in the race. You might think the skipper, Yann Guichard, was crazy, but the 40-year-old has every confidence in the preparations made by his team to make the maxi-trimaran competitive when raced by a single yachstman. Yann is driven by his competitive spirit, and is all set to do battle.

"We have just sailed Spindrift 2 from La Trinité-sur-Mer to Saint-Malo with some members of the technical and sailing team," explains Yann, who leads a 30-strong team of people with Dona Bertarelli. "Not everybody could be aboard, but it was still lovely to share this moment with them and enjoy the boat together before the race. Our arrival in Saint-Malo is a symbolic moment. It feels like we have already achieved our first success. Before a race, I like to spend time with my family and to study the weather with my routers. I like to be surrounded by people, even though I gradually start moving into my bubble. The Route du Rhum is such a magical event that everybody wants to talk to the skippers. It is all part of the fun, but you must not overdo things. You have to save all your energy for the start of the race."

Experience and confidence
Yann Guichard has been sailing since he was 10 years old. He has started hundreds of races in different types of boats, including the Optimist class, the 420, the Tornado in which he finished at a 4th place at the Sydney Games in 2000 and the AC45 on the America’s Cup World Series. He has also completed several transatlantic crossings in multihulls, both in races – notably the Transat Jacques Vabre with Marc Guillemot, Fred Le Peutrec and Lionel Lemonchois – and in record attempts, breaking the North Atlantic Record twice, first with Bruno Peyron, then with Franck Cammas, and breaking the Discovery Route record last year as skipper of Spindrift 2 alongside Dona and the crew. Yann is no rookie in the Route du Rhum's Ultimate Class. In 2010, he took 4th place at the helm of the trimaran Gitana 11 in its 70 ft modified version.

This wealth of experience in a career spent aboard sundry multihulls, floating between the expanses of water and air, has given Yann the confidence he needs to compete single-handed in the Route du Rhum at the helm of the world's largest racing trimaran, which can carry as much as 800 square metres of sail! "Before a race I feel calm but ready, and that is how I feel today," he explains. "The stakes are high, which puts you under pressure. Of course I cannot be sure whether I will make it. You never can when you attempt something for the first time. As a team we have prepared exactly as planned, and with a week to go before the race I know I have made the right choice by competing in the Route du Rhum with Spindrift 2."

Focus and desire
Experts and spectators are trying to predict what will happen in the Ultimate Class, which has eight contenders this year, including three boats that are more than 30 m long. "Physically, I am in great shape. I have been working on my fitness, and I realise how important it is every time I set sail," explains Yann. "I continue to train to work on skills, but I feel strong, which is vital for my confidence. Once the weather forecast becomes clearer and we draw up our strategy for the first few days of racing, I will be ready to go. I know my opponents and I know the limits of solo racing on a boat as powerful as Spindrift 2, but if I have a good race with no technical or strategic errors I know I have a chance. That is why I am so excited about this race!"

SAINT-MALO, THE HEART OF THE PARTY WITH SPINDRIFT RACING!

From October 24th to November 2nd, you can visit the Spindrift racing stand in the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe village on Saint-Malo's waterfront. A host of activities will take place throughout the week-long festival. Spindrift racing hopes to share its passion for sailing with as many people as possible as it prepares for this adventure.

Find us in Hall 8, Espace 8001 

SIMULATOR: Equipped with a grinder winch and a bicycle (similar to the one Yann will use on Spindrift 2), the simulator lets you test the two sail-mounting systems to see which requires most effort. This will help you understand why the maxi-trimaran will be fitted with both a winch and a bicycle during the Route du Rhum.

KIDS: Exciting quizzes and colouring activities for children every day from 3-4 pm.

"DRAW ME SPINDRIFT 2" COMPETITION FOR KIDS: Yann will choose his favourite drawing and take it with him during the race. Children can put their drawings in a box at our stand.

AUTOGRAPHS: Yann will be signing autographs at the Spindrift racing stand on Thursday, October 30th from 5:30 to 6:00 pm.

GOODIES: Every day we will be have goodies available, including lip balm sticks, Swiss chocolates, sweets, balloons, flags, stickers, posters, postcards and activity books. Come along!

SPINDRIFT RACING SHOP: Spindrift racing merchandise and a collection of replica items will be on sale at the stand.

FOLLOW YANN GUICHARD AND SPINDRIFT 2 DURING THE RACE:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE AND MAPS: www.spindrift-racing.com
FACEBOOK: spindriftracing
TWITTER: @spindriftracing
INSTAGRAM: spindrift_racing
ALL THE VIDEOS: spindriftracing

ROUTE DU RHUM – DESTINATION GUADELOUPE:

Conceived in 1978 by Michael Etevenon, the 10th edition of this iconic single-handed transatlantic race from Saint-Malo to Pointe-à-Pitre will see a record number of participants, with 91 boats due to take the start line.

Former winners: Mike Birch (1978, at 6.33 kn), Marc Pajot (1982, at 8.17kn), Philippe Poupon (1986, at 10.05 kn), Florence Arthaud (1990, at 10. 23 kn), Laurent Bourgnon (1994, at 10.33 kn), Laurent Bourgnon (1998, at 11.94 kn), Michel Desjoyeaux (2002, at 11.06 kn), Lionel Lemonchois (2006, at 19.11 kn) and Franck Cammas (2010, at 16.14 kn),

Event record: Lionel Lemonchois won in 2006 aboard the trimaran Gitana XI Orma in a time of 7 days, 17 hours, 19 minutes.

2014 start time: Sunday, November 2nd at 2pm.

Route: 3 542 nautical miles. After crossing the start line to the north of Pointe du Grouin in Saint-Malo, leave the Cap Fréhel buoy to starboard. At Guadeloupe, leave the the main island to port, the Tête à l’Anglais islet to port and the Basse-Terre buoy to starboard. The finish line, located near Pointe-à-Pitre, is defined in the Sailing Instructions.

Participants: 91 solo sailors in five categories: Ultimate Class (multihulls above 60 feet), Multi50 (50-foot trimarans), IMOCA (60-foot monohulls), Class40 (40-foot monohulls) and "Rhum" Class (any other monohulls or multihulls with a length of at least 39 feet)

Eight boats are competing in the Ultimate Class: Spindrift 2 (Yann Guichard), Maxi Solo Banque Populaire VII (Loïck Peyron), Sodebo Ultim’ (Thomas Coville), Idec Sport (Francis Joyon), Maxi 80 Prince de Bretagne (Lionel Lemonchois), Edmond de Rothschild (Sébastien Josse), Paprec Recyclage (Yann Eliès) and Musandam-Oman Air (Sidney Gavignet).