Jules Verne Trophy record attempt by Spindrift racing: a shared adventure
  • Maxi Spindrift 2
January 15, 2016

Almost 5 million page views on the special site devoted to the record attempt, more than 2 million cumulative videos viewed and 100,000 interactions (likes, comments, retweets, mentions, etc.). This young, highly entrepreneurial team have always set themselves high standards, but this is the first time they have undertaken such an immense challenge. Although the record was not beaten this year, this first circumnavigation of Spindrift 2 skippered by Yann Guichard fulfilled human and technical objectives, as well as communication goals for the team and their partners Mirabaud, Genes-x and Zenith, which have now been supporting the team for almost three years. The immense challenges achieved thanks to the efforts of the entire team led by Dona Bertarelli include broadening the audience beyond traditional sailing aficionados, combining stunning imagery with educational content, and using technology to stimulate dreams. 

Those preparing and leading a round-the-world record have a great deal of freedom. They can choose the boat, the crew and the course. They also have a great deal of freedom in how they organise their media communications. With no event organiser, nothing is compulsory, but the challenge is formidable if you want to share the adventure with as many people as possible.

Dona Bertarelli has a Diploma in Communication from the famous Boston University School of Communication, co-founded Spindrift racing and was helmsman-trimmer during the circumnavigation. She achieved the goals set in terms of sharing information with the team’s partners and the general public. Thanks to her experience and the expertise of her onshore support team and onboard media reporter Yann Riou, Dona enabled the public to be a part of the adventure through the photos, articles and video footage published.

“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved since Spindrift racing was born, the pinnacle of which has been the Jules Verne Trophy,” explained Dona. “For me, in addition to the sporting challenge, my goal has always been to produce innovative, high-quality communication. Yann and I had a desire to share the adventure with children, and we achieved this with greater success than we’d ever imagined through an educational project that we will continue to develop in future. I would like to thank my communication team for their high-quality work from start to finish, both onshore and offshore. Without them, I could not have achieved what I did,” said Dona Bertarelli.


Key info:

-  A new compression format enabled high definition video and photo images to be sent every day, significantly reducing satellite broadcasting satelite transmission costs and time.

- 42 videos (from 47 days at sea) sent unedited from on board, edited ashore, and broadcast.

- Several live broadcasts on Spindrift racing’s YouTube channel, with guests chatting with those on board, including Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Alain Prost, Bertrand Piccard and Quatre Moulins school in Brest.

- The on-board video link-up system was also used regularly for television coverage.



Key info:

- 4.7 million page views in 3 months, 1.8 million visits, 345,000 unique visits.

- Audience: 67% in France, 33% the rest of the world.

- Recognised ‘Website of the day’ by the CCS Design Awards and the Awwwards 

- Nominated for the Webby Awards, to be announced in April 2016.


Key info:

- 2.2 million video views on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter

- 41,000 likes and 9,000 shares on Facebook

- 23,900 followers on Twitter

- 16,000 likes on Instagram

- 17,500 players on Virtual Regatta


Key info:

- More than 250 online media in more than 30 countries around the world covering the record attempt.

- Most followers based in: France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany.

- Coverage from the following daily newspapers: La Tribune de Genève, Le Temps, Le Télégramme, Ouest France, Le Figaro and L’Equipe.

- Regular link-ups with news channel I-Télé, as well with CNN/World Sport, Swiss channel RTS and BFM TV.

- Drone footage broadcast on many TV programmes on different channels: TJ and Sport Dimanche (RTS), TF1 news, Télématin (France 2), Tout le Sport (France 3), 12/14 and 19/20 regional news (France 3 Bretagne), breakfast TV and news on BFM TV, Infosport, l’Equipe 21, 100% Foot (I-Télé), Rai 1 (Italy), etc.


This programme was set up by the team to share and broadcast the tour in a fun, innovative way with children, schools, teachers and pupils. It provided a fresh approach to school subjects, enriching the pupils’ knowledge and allowing them to dream a little. The interactive pack with educational texts sent directly from on board and the video link-ups with the boat gave the schoolchildren a close-up experience of the adventure.

Key info:

- 57 partner classes in France and Switzerland

- 15 countries in the SFS programme (France, Switzerland, Belgium, the United States, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Denmark, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Canada, Portugal, Ireland, Bulgaria and Vietnam)

- 378 schools packs downloaded from the Spindrift racing website

- Around 8,000 pupils following the project

- Various subjects dealt with by teachers: geography, literature (Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days), citizenship education (respect, group life) and plastic arts.