Spindrift Racing win the shortened course Tour de Belle-Ile. Image copyright Spindrift Racing
by Virginie Bouchet
First race, first win. Yann Guichard and his crew won the 6th edition of the Tour de Belle Ile this afternoon aboard the MOD70 Spindrift.
It was a first successful test for the Spindrift team that only got back on board their black and white boat a few days ago. The race began this morning at 11:34am (French time) in 4-5 knots of southwest wind and their trimaran made a good start, emerging from the fleet of around 500 vessels with a mixture of professional and amateur crews. Positioning themselves on the right on the water, windward of the fleet, Spindrift immediately took the lead and was able to hold onto it until the end. “We’re really happy, it’s a nice start to the season, especially to win in La Trinité-sur-Mer, because our base is here,” Guichard said after arriving back at the dock. “It was a bit difficult because there was so little wind throughout the race but it was a great battle with Gitana 11. We made a good start and managed to stay ahead. The team sailed well and we are happy to win the Tour de Belle Ile for the first time.”
The trimaran Gitana 11 and the new “Prince de Bretagne” were potentially faster, but failed to anticipate the attack of Guichard and his men, who imposed themselves early and crossed the finish line at the Pointe des Poulains – a 15-mile course* – at 3.25pm. “To win the Tour de Belle Ile, we had to be consistent and we made a really good start without taking too many risks. At Teignouse we found ourselves becalmed and were back in the fleet,” Guichard said. “It was really tight but we kept our composure. In conditions like this, which are a little light, anything can happen. We had between 0 and 4 knots of wind for the whole race. More than the boat, it was the strategic and tactical choices on the water that prevailed.”
This first victory of the season is more than just encouraging for the crew of the MOD70 Spindrift, as they prepare to line up in a month for the Route des Princes, a tour of Europe among a fleet of multihulls, including four MOD70 rivals, who will be ready to do battle.
* note that due to very low wind conditions the course, which was initially 44 miles, was shortened, with a finish line at the Pointe des Poulains.
MOD70 Spindrift crew on the Tour de belle Ile :
Yann Guichard (skipper)
Tour de Belle-Ile