Saturday, 4 May 2013

Tour de Belle-Ile : Guichard Expects Hot Competition in Home Warm-Up

Spindrift Racing MOD70 and crew. Image copyright Chris Schmid/eyemage/Spindrift Racing

by Spindrift Racing media

Yann Guichard and his crew of five men will make their comeback on the MOD70 Spindrift this Saturday at the sixth edition of the Tour de Belle île. “The Bay of Quiberon and around the Belle île is like our back garden,” Guichard said of the team based in La Trinité-sur-Mer.

The 44 miles of the “bigger” Belle île course – ‘Le Grand Tour’ – will serve as the first and last test for the Spindrift racing team, who won the MOD70 championship last year. The crew have only been back together for a few days on board their big black and white trimaran, which has been modified this winter. “The pleasure of sailing on this amazing machine has resurfaced in the first runs this week” Guichard said. “In a few seconds we slipped up to 35 knots.” With the experience of last year and the triumphs in the Krys Ocean Race and the European Tour, Guichard has again assembled a crew according to the strict criteria of complementary skills, ability to work in a team and expertise in a multihull. “We are entering the season with some confidence, as the crew seems to me motivated and able,” Guichard said.

The Tour de Belle île starts at 10am on Saturday and with light airs forecast will immediately put to the test the expertise of Jacques Guichard, Erwan Tabarly, Xavier Revil, Christophe Espagnon Pascal Bidégorry and Sébastien Marsset in the regatta fleet. “With 500 boats on the water, the currents and light winds - not more than 10 knots of north-west – skippers will have to find the right balance between caution and risk-taking,” Guichard said.

The competition with the fast multihulls looks formidable. The maxi trimaran, Gitana XI, the “new” Prince de Bretagne, Lionel Lemonchois and Thomas Coville’s Irens-designed maxi, Sodebo, are potentially faster than the MOD70. Guichard’s plan is clear: “We have to race smart, get out of the traffic jams…and above all have the most fun.”

MOD70 Spindrift crew for the “Tour de Belle Ile” :
Yann Guichard (skipper)
Erwan Tabarly
Christophe Espagnon
Seb Marsset (absent from the photo)
Xavier Revil
Jacques Guichard

Spindrift Racing