Race team prepares for North Atlantic record attempt


Spindrift 2 arrived last week in Newport, R.I., after eight days at sea.

Now the maxi-trimaran is awaiting its attempt to break the crewed North Atlantic record and Zenith 24-hour record despite having no suitable weather window for the coming week. Icebergs have been identified along the 4,248-mile route.

"This start of the standby is incredibly important for the team. We’ve been anticipating and preparing for this for a long time," Dona Bertarelli said in a statement. "The North Atlantic record has reached such a level that we are pushing the boundaries of technical and sporting excellence while still dealing with the unpredictability of the weather, which can be stressful and frustrating. The crew will return home before the start to remain as relaxed as possible. Yann, Erwan Israël, the navigator, and Richard Silvani, the meteorologist, must face the responsibility of choosing the best time to set off. The intensity of these challenges reflects the mindset of the team, our dynamism and expertise."

By the numbers:

• Crewed record to beat: 3 days, 15 hours and 25 minutes; 32.94 knots

• Zenith by Spindrift racing 24-hour record: 908 miles; 37.84 knots

• Holder since August 2009: maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V (now Spindrift 2); held by Pascal Bidégorry and his crew

• Route: 2,880 miles between Ambrose Light in New York and Lizard Point on the southwest tip of Cornwall, England

• Spindrift 2: the largest racing trimaran in the world (40 meters), architects VPLP

• Skippers: Yann Guichard (FRA) and Dona Bertarelli (SUI)

• Crew: from 12 to 14 people on board for this record, plus routing onshore (final crew to be confirmed)

• Standby dates: now through mid-August.


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