Yann Guichard and Spindrift Racing put forth a titanic effort to hold out offshore yachting gods in the first ever MOD70 event, the KRYS Ocean Race. Guichard and his crew crossed the finish line in Brest, France four days, 21 hours and eight minutes after starting on the opposite side of the Atlantic in New York, USA.
They held off some of the top names in offshore yachting, including Michel Desjoyeaux, Sebastian Josse, Jean-Pierre Dick and Sidney Gavignet to finish more than an hour ahead of closest rivals Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (skippered by Seb Josse).
Spindrift Racing made a brave and decisive move on the second night, opting to keep their gennaker up despite the rough and stormy conditions. This set them off on a lower and faster course, which allowed them to put valuable miles on their rivals. They were also able to position themselves further south, so were able to gain more advantage from a weather system, which in the end took them almost the entire way across the Atlantic.
Just after the finish Guichard said "We have won this first race and are really happy. We enjoyed it and we really made a great routing. These last miles were tough, especially when Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Foncia could catch up. We are surprised at the speed. It was all on a starboard tack and then only a few minutes on port for the finish."
Onboard Spindrift Racing was Pascal Bridegorry, current holder of the transatlantic record. He said, "I think the advantage that was built was on the second night of the race.... We decided to keep our gennaker up, despite the strong wind conditions. We could see that we were gaining an advantage on the others at each position ranking where we had a batter angle and were up to a knot faster."
The KRYS Ocean Race was the curtain-raising event for the Multi One Design European Tour, set to begin on September 20. The boats, all completely identical 22-metre (70 foot) trimarans, will embark on a circuit, visiting five major European cities.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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