Yann Guichard, Dona Bertarelli and nine other sailors will make up the crew of ‘Sails of Change’ for their next attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy, an award for the fastest non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation of the world. Several years of hard work will culminate in this ultimate sporting challenge. The crew also aims to raise awareness of the need to preserve ocean and land ecosystems. From October 24th, the team will be on standby, ready to set sail on a new adventure.
From Monday, October 24th, the crew of Sails of Change will be on standby, studying the weather conditions and gearing themselves for an immense challenge. The objective is to win the Jules Verne Trophy by beating the round-the-world record held since 2017: 40 days, 23 hours, and 30 minutes. “It’s the ultimate sporting goal, an extraordinary time to beat, that has been halved in the space of 30 years“, said skipper Yann Guichard.
The Spindrift team has been hard at work throughout 2022. The team participated in all six events of the TF35 Trophy, an annual championship which combines sea and lake races across Europe. Spindrift ended the season in 3rd place overall.
The maxi trimaran has also sailed on multiple occasions. “There are still a few adjustments to be made, but the boat is ready,” said Yann Guichard. “I can feel the team is eager to go.”
Once standby begins, the maxi trimaran, based at La Trinité-sur-Mer, will be ready to set off for Brest at the first favourable weather window.
A TEAM OF LIKE-MINDED ENTHUSIASTS
Joining Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli, the onboard reporter, will be nine crew members. “Some have been part of the project for years and others have joined us this year,” said the skipper. “We have an experienced team who enjoy competing and who are ocean enthusiasts. We share the same appreciation of effort and solidarity”.
THE CREW PRESENTED BY YANN GUICHARD :
A multihull built to perform. 37 metres long, 23 metres wide and weighing 21 tons, Sails of Change is the largest ocean racing trimaran ever built, and has a track record to match. Launched in 2008, the boat held the Jules Verne Trophy from 2012 to 2017 (45 days, 13 hours). Sails of Change was acquired by the Spindrift team in 2013, winning the Route de la Découverte (between Cadiz and San Salvador), and performing well in the Rolex Fastnet Race (twice), and in the 2016 Transat Québec – Saint-Malo.
In 2014, sailing this giant boat solo, Yann Guichard achieved second place in the Route du Rhum, a remarkable sporting and human feat.
SEEKING THE RECORD WITHOUT USING FOSSIL FUEL
“Sails of Change is more than a human and sporting adventure,” said Yann Guichard. “We wanted our philanthropic activity and our deep, personal goals of protecting the planet to inform the Spindrift programme. Dona was already raising awareness of this theme during our first attempt in 2015.”
“For 20 years, I’ve been working to create large marine protected areas, and to safeguard biodiversity,” added Dona Bertarelli. “The connection between ocean preservation, the climate, and human health is no longer in doubt.”
“Since 2021, Spindrift teams have been preparing a round-the-world attempt without using fossil fuels, a ‘challenge within the challenge’ according to Yann. There will be no combustion engine onboard, which traditionally powers a boats’ electronics, communications, desalination, and water heating. “To compensate, we have solar panels, two wind turbines and a methanol fuel cell,” said Yann.
The Spindrift team’s commitment to protecting the environment does not stop with the boat. The crew, as well as the boat, promote the ’30×30′ message, relaying the call from scientists to protect at least 30% of ocean and land by 2030, in order to prevent biodiversity loss and to build resilience to climate change. “The degradation of our oceans, land and freshwater systems is destroying the planet’s ability to support life,” said Dona Bertarelli. “The fight to protect nature, which we’ve been engaged in for a long time, gives extra impetus to the team and to our round-the-world challenge.”
Dona and Yann are Patrons of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the largest and most diverse environmental network in the world, and a global authority on the state of the natural world and the measures needed to save it.
A new partnership between IUCN and Sails of Change called “Sports for Nature” was launched at the Sport Positive Summit at Wembley on 5 October, to help sports organisations mitigate the negative impacts on the climate, and to take concrete steps to protect biodiversity. “As a sportsperson, the link between sports and nature is very clear. Athletes need clean water and fresh air to perform. As such, they have a natural interest in protecting the environment,” said Yann Guichard.
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