Discovery Route record and TJV—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

The maxi trimaran Spindrift 2 in action.
Chris Schmid/Spindrift Racing
The big news in offshore sailing circles is that co-skippers Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard, along with 12 other crewmembers, were successful in their bid to establish a new passage record for the so-called 'Discovery Route', which runs from Cadiz, Spain to San Salvador in the Bahamas. The team sailed some 3,885 miles in six days, 14 hours, 29 minutes and 21 seconds aboard Bertarelli’s 'Spindrift 2', which is the world’s biggest and fastest offshore trimaran.

This new record shaves more than 20 hours off of the existing record, which was set by Franck Cammas in 2007 aboard the maxi trimaran, 'Groupama 3', and represents an average pace of 28.41 knots.

Spindrift 2.
Chris Schmid/Spindrift Racing

'This is huge,' said Bertarelli. 'The emotion was waiting for us the moment we crossed the line. I enjoyed this race a lot-my first crossing of the Atlantic, in a race, for a record, with a good result at the end. Any doubts I might have had about this boat have gone. ['Spindrift 2'] is an extraordinary machine, and was combined with a great crew, following superb preparation made by the team on the ground and a sound choice of route.'

Get the full story, inside this issue.

Start of the 11th Transat Jacques Vabre

Back on the European side of the Pond, the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre Race kicked off on Thursday at 1300 hours, local time, off of Le Havre, France and will take racers some 4,335 miles to Itajai, Brazil. At the time of this writing, Jeremie Beyou and Christopher Pratt aboard 'Maitre CoQ' were leading the IMOCA 60 fleet, followed by Francois Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux aboard 'Macif' and Marc Guillemot and Pascal Bidegorry aboard 'Safran'.

'We will be upwind for the whole channel all the way to Finisterre,' said Gabart just before the start. 'There are a lot of things to do upwind and the weather models don’t say the same things. It will be interesting. Biscay looks pretty tough for us on the IMOCA’s but after Finisterre we will be going downwind in the sunshine.'

Cowes(UK) Ile De Wight, Départ du Fasnet 2011, Gitana11, Groupe Edmond De Rothschild, Skipper, Sebastien Josse
Artemis Challenge

Meanwhile, in the two-strong MOD70 fleet, Sebastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier aboard 'Edmond de Rothschild' are leading Sidney Gavignet and Damian Foxall aboard 'Oman Air-Musandum'.

'For us it is a race to get south to Finisterre before the next strong system coming in. We should be at Ushant tomorrow morning and Finisterre the following midnight,' said Foxall prior to the start. 'I think we might not get there before the new wind comes in from the SW so we might have to tack to get around there in a building breeze, probably 35 knots, but that should be quite short-lived and we should get down the Portuguese coast.' The boats immediately behind us will get a lot more. For us it does not look like anything extreme.'

Inside, get the full TJV report and be sure to stay up-to-date with the website for the latest news, as it unfurls.
Also offshore related, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race is reporting that they have 97 boats registered for the 2013 edition of this grueling offshore event. According to reports, the fleet includes five super maxis, 22 international entries, 15 new boats, 36 first timers, as well as plenty of other solid and excited teams.

Get the full scoop on these stories inside this issue, and be sure to stay current with the website for the full sailing news, as it unfurls.

May the four winds blow you safely home,