WORLD MATCH RACING TOUR DEBUT FOR YANN GUICHARD
  • M32
February 29, 2016
From March 2nd to 7th, Yann Guichard and his crew will make their maiden appearance in the World Match Racing Tour at the year’s opening event in Fremantle (Perth), Australia. Yann is the only French skipper taking part in the 2016 championship, in which participants will race M32 catamarans. This invitation is an opportunity for the multihull specialist to learn new skills and improve as a sailor on this leading international match-race circuit. The Spindrift racing crew compete in Copenhagen in May and Newport in June before travelling to Marstrand in Sweden for the coveted World Match Race Championship Finals in early July.
 
This season’s World Tour will be a stiff challenge for Spindrift racing as they grapple with a new boat. The team will quickly have to get to grips with the unique nature of match racing, going head-to-head against identical boats in hotly contested duels, a form of racing that Yann previously encountered in the America’s Cup World Series in 2011 and 2012. Fresh from winter training, first in Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands, then from the base in La Trinité-sur-Mer, in Brittany, the crew are excited about the first event of season, as well as being humble about the challenge that lies ahead.
 
“The circuit is famous around the world for the strong level of competition,” explains Yann Guichard. “Part of Spindrift racing’s philosophy is to take on new challenges and strive for perfection. The lightweight, accessible M32 is a new boat for us. The simple design is geared towards pure racing, which means you can focus very quickly on the regatta and on match-racing tactics. We have three events to get used to the new boat and become competitive before the big event, the World Match Race Championship Finals in Sweden in early July. The famous world title is contested over this single event, which is a system I like.”
 
 

A solid team unit

The skipper decided to select crew members he knows well, who have been competing for Spindrift racing for many years, both in regattas and offshore events. All of them were part of the Spindrift 2 crew that sailed around the world in 47 days, the second fastest time ever set on the Jules Verne Trophy course. Joining Yann on the M32 will be Christophe Espagnon, operating the mainsail, and François Morvan, trimming the sails, both of whom are highly skilled specialists in small monohulls. Sébastien Marsset will complete the four-man crew, adding his superb technique and physical power on the foredeck. The event will begin with two days of fleet racing before the knock-out stage begins. The action will come in thick and fast: matches will take 12-15 minutes and will use reaching starts (across the wind). Located on the west coast of Australia, Fremantle is a tough place to race, and is renowned for having windy conditions.
 
“Match racing is like a chess game lasting only fifteen minutes,” says the skipper. “To win, you have to know the rules like the back of your hand and you need to always be several steps ahead of your rivals. It’s exciting, and the Fremantle event will help us identify where we can make improvements.”  

Spindrift racing’s 2016 season in one-design catamarans

This year, the team will compete on three one-design catamaran circuits: the World Match Racing Tour, aboard the M32 (Australia, Denmark, USA and Sweden), the GC32 Racing Tour on a foiling boat (Italy, Spain, France and a place to be confirmed), and the D35 Trophy on Lake Geneva (Switzerland), including the Bol d’Or Mirabaud. 

World Match Racing Tour events:

2-7 March – Fremantle, Perth (Australia)
9-14 May – Copenhagen (Denmark)
30 May - 4 June – Newport, Rhode Island (USA)
4-9 July – Marstrand (Sweden) World Match Race Championship Finals
 

Spindrift M32 crew:

Yann Guichard, skipper-helmsman
Christophe Espagnon, mainsail
François Morvan, trimmer
Sébastien Marsset, bowman
 

M32 catamaran:

Architect: Aston Harald composite AB 
(Göran Marström & Kåre Ljung – Sweden)
Length: 9.68 m
Beam: 5.54 m (or 8.35 m2 with the racks)
Mainsail: 53.6 m2
Gennaker: 59.5 m2
Target weight: 510 kg (including sails and equipment)
Mast height: 16.8 m