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Fastest to the Equator in the Jules Verne Race
French skipper Yann Guichard and his team have had an excellent start in their attempt to win the Jules Verne Trophy. Guichard and his team of 11 dedicated crew members broke their 2015 record as they crossed the Equator from Ushant in four days 19 hours and 57 minutes in Spindrift 2, a 40-meter trimaran.
The Jules Verne Trophy is a prize for the crew who circumnavigated the world in the fastest time with any type of yacht, as long as it’s registered. The current record holder is skipper Francis Joyon and his crew who sailed the IDEC Sport around the globe in 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds.
Tackling Challenges and Enjoying the View
The team reported that their journey has thus far been far from easy and that it was a challenge to stay in the trade winds as they were descending the North Atlantic. They experienced lumpy seas as they were approaching islands and had to gybe frequently passing through the Cape Verde and Canaries archipelagos. Thankfully the Doldrums were not very active as they entered and they could get through without much wind – perfect for enjoying the full moon for a good hour as they crossed the Equator. Guichard and the 11 intrepid sailors even got to see the eclipse of the moon.
Although this gave Guichard’s team a fantastic advantage of more than 23 hours/180 miles over the current Jules Verne Trophy holders, they are not yet out of the Doldrums. The team still has around 120 miles of potentially treacherous ocean to traverse before they can hook into the trade winds blowing off Brazil. They hope to be ahead of current title-holders Francis Joyon and his crew by the time they reach Cape Agulhas in South Africa. With an excellent head start, the crew of the Spindrift 2 and their supporters are positive that this may be the year they take the trophy.