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Spindrift 2 - Ideal conditions for first sailing sessions    
Fri, 19 Jul 2013

The largest racing multihull on the planet, the maxi trimaran Spindrift 2, has benefited all week from ideal weather conditions allowing the two skippers; Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard, to perform the first sailing tests.

Supported by all the sailing team and technical team, Guichard and Bertarelli have not rushed through any stage, taking advantage of the ten knots of wind sweeping the waters of Morbihan, to work meticulously through all the items on their list for developing this giant and sophisticated machine. The first impressions are that sailing the boat has been an absolute joy. Spindrift 2, despite its size, is a well-conceived trimaran, well-developed, incredibly reactive, and reveals itself quietly to those who seek intelligently and professionally. This is the whole purpose of this first week of learning set by the duo Bertarelli-Guichard, before a steady increase in intensity, which will culminate on August 11 with the first official outing in the maxi trimaran competition of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

'Nothing compares to competition,' Guichard says.

The first steps into unknown for Spindrift 2 off the island of Groix revealed two things clearly; 'The boat is' ‘big’, but on board is remarkably well researched and everything is in place. The pleasure of the first accelerations has been absolute.' Guichard says.

Guichard and Bertarelli have worked together on the initial analysis. The first sailing in the company of an expanded crew of a dozen people was all about the joy of discovery, and concentrated on programming and tuning an increase in power. All the positions, sails rigging, and cockpit area have been addressed methodically, with patience and precision. 'Everything must be anticipated,' Guichard says.

'We have been sailing since Tuesday and we have already begun to build our own methods and settings, including the giant sails. We have taken our time and analysed each manoeuvre.'

The Spindrift racing team is carefully handling the most extraordinary prototype in the history of offshore racing. Competitors to their core, Bertarelli and Guichard have alternated at the helm with obvious satisfaction under the hot sun and the moderate wind off the Atlantic coast of Britanny. 'What is surprising is the acceleration of Spindrift 2' Bertarelli says.

'We quickly forget its weight as it reacts to the slightest breeze. It was surprisingly reactive to helm in the medium to weak conditions this week. With 30, 32 knots speedometer, Spindrift 2 has also reassured us its reliability.'

The pleasure was shared by the entire team gathered for the occasion. 'The heart of the boat’s final crew is already on board,' Guichard says. 'There will be adjustments, but we have worked all week with those who will participate in the program this year.' It is a program that Bertarelli and Guichard will soon address. 'It's only when you race that you really discover what the boat has in its belly, and the user manual for the control under pressure. We look forward to getting into the thick of things, but this week in Lorient we had was essential.' Bertarelli added: 'The boat is in line with our expectations,' She said. 'It is a unanimous opinion that Spindrift 2 is not only visually stunning but also technically. The power seems to tame easily and we quickly got used to the gigantism.' Bertarelli discovered with pleasure this new dimension of its oceanic sailing. 'I took my time, I tested myself and I was a little bolder every day, all the time enjoying the excellent atmosphere on board.'

Spindrift Racing website

by Virginie Bouchet, Spindrift Racing

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