The team is made up of a group of enthusiasts that share similar values. Each crew member has a specific role onboard. Alongside skipper Yann Guichard and onboard reporter Dona Bertarelli, there are nine other sailors embarking on the record attempt. Some are experienced ocean sailors, others are talented young sailors, full of energy. “Some have been part of the team for years, others have joined us more recently,” explained Yann. “We have an experienced team of competitors, passionate about the sea, with whom we share an appetite for effort and solidarity,” he added.
Yann Guichard, the skipper, is responsible for the crew and the boat ; he sets the pace and makes decisions.
Dona Bertarelli is the onboard reporter. This will be her second Jules Verne trophy round-the-world record attempt. She will communicate this human adventure to the public and will convey her environmental messages around the world. Through photos, videos and her writing, there will be stories of life onboard, the sporting story, but also anecdotes and insights on the sailors during the many weeks they will spend together at sea. Witnessing the oceans first-hand, Dona will convey the ‘30X30’ messages that the maxi trimaran Sails of Change represents and will exchange with children around the world through the Spindrift for Schools campaign.
Benjamin Schwartz is the navigator. He works at the chart table. He will be in regular communication with Jean-Yves Bernot, the onshore router, who delivers weather reports and strategic analysis several times a day. Along with the skipper, the navigator determines the best route to follow.
Jacques Guichard and Xavier Revil are watch leaders. They manage onboard operations and maintaining the performance of the maxi trimaran. They are in constant contact with skipper, Yann Guichard.
Several helmsmen, Thierry Chabagny, Grégory Gendron, Julien Villion and Christopher Pratt – who is new to the Sails of Change team – take it in turn to steer the trimaran. When the average speed reaches around 35 to 40 knots, and requires the utmost concentration, the helmsmen rotate every 40 minutes. One by one they take their place in the cockpit day and night to trim the trimaran’s huge sails (1,230m2 maximum sail area) based on weather conditions.
Bowmen Pierre Leboucher and Clément Giraud are both on their first round-the-world attempt. They manage sail changes and manoeuvres, and their workspace up on the bow at the very front of the trimaran is the most exposed part of the maxi trimaran Sails of Change. They will also climb the mast if necessary.
Each crewmember also has another responsibility onboard depending on their area of expertise (technical, medical, etc.).