Spindrift racing finished in third place in the Match Racing World Championship, completing their 2017 World Match Racing Tour season on a high in Shenzhen, China earlier today.
A good week for the France-based Spindrift racing saw the team make a promising start finishing third in their group in the fleet racing, followed by a 3-1 win against Sweden's Johnnie Bentsson in the Super 16 competitions, thereby qualifying for the quarter finals.
After spending much of Saturday patiently waiting for the wind to fill in sufficiently for the race organisation to complete the Super 16 and start the Quarter Finals, Spindrift racing eventually took to the water at the end of the afternoon. They faced former World Champion Taylor Canfield taking the score to 1-0 before racing was called off for the day.
This morning’s conditions saw considerably stronger conditions with 8-10 knots of breeze and, after a solid start and good tactical manoeuvres, Yann Guichard and his team won the second match against USOne Sailing and qualified for the semi-finals.
Spindrift racing then faced Torvar Mirsky in their bid to reach the Championship final. Despite four close races, Mirsky eventually prevailed and winning his ticket to the next stage with a score of 3-1.
However, undeterred the black and gold team then faced Chris Steele in the third place play off, winning 3-1 and claiming the World Championship final podium position.
This closing event of the 2017 World Match Racing Tour marks the end of the second season for Spindrift racing on the match racing circuit. The overall level of competition has risen considerably compared to the 2016 season, with each team improving their control of the M32 catamaran and refining their match racing tactics.
The competition has been tough at every event and Yann Guichard, with his crew of Christophe Espagnon, François Morvan and Sam Goodchild, took advantage of each match to become more aggressive and offensive on the race course.
The team took part in five events throughout the year and were the stand-out team at the Alicante Match Cup, winning the event outright, and undefeated.
Once back in France, Spindrift racing will now focus on its next challenge - the Jules Verne Trophy - aboard the maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2. Stand-by for this iconic round the world record will begin on 6 November in anticipation of the best weather window to give the team the chance to break the 40 day 23 hour 30 minute record.
And so the adventure continues!
"We are really happy to finish third on the World Championship podium! We fought well all week and improved our game day-by-day. This is only our second season in the World Tour and last year we went out at the quarterfinal stage. So we have made positive progress and have been working over the course of the events to improve, particularly in the decisive phases such as the starts, where these matches can be won or lost very easily,” commented Yann Guichard.
Now we will put the M32 on hold and focus on our main goal of the 2017 season, which is the around the world Jules Verne Trophy. The stand-by starts in a week so we will now go back and rest. It is not the same kind of physical exertion, but it's 40 days at sea to attempt a difficult to reach record. It was great to have sailed with François, Christophe and Sam all season in M32 [all of whom are on the Jules Verne crew], they did a great job, we progressed together and we also had fun what was important. I think it will serve us well for the world tour,” concludes Yann Guichard.