The maxi-trimaran Sails of Change left the water for the first time in a year as she’s going into refit this summer to undergo a total overhaul and a thorough service. Her relaunch is scheduled for this coming August. In the meantime, the TF35 season is in full swing and the Spindrift team, 3rd in the first Grand Prix, is actively preparing for Mies’s Grand Prix (3 and 5 June) and the Genève-Rolle-Genève (4 June).
It’s always a tricky mission, which requires everyone’s full attention. This Wednesday morning, the 37 meters long and 23 meters wide giant, Sails of Change, left the sea to be hauled out in Vannes, south-west Brittany. “To pull off this operation, it was essential to have light wind, stresses Sébastien Duclos, Executive Director at Spindrift. We also needed to keep an eye on the depth of the water as it’s the tide which determines the right timing”.
“To feel confident before relaunching her”
Objective? “To carry out a full service and a total overhaul of the whole boat”, explains Yann Guichard. The shore team will notably focus their attention on renovating the hull below the waterline and on resolving various “issues with the rams dedicated to canting the mast,” says the skipper. Sébastien Duclos explains: “we have to carry out a thorough overhaul, dismantle anything that can be taken apart, ensure the boat is fully serviced and make all the systems reliable.”
In short, a major project, which will likely involve serious expertise at times. Indeed, everything will be examined in detail: the deck fittings, the mechanical and hydraulic elements, the electronics and the rig… The platform will undergo a meticulous inspection too. “Naturally, the aim is to ensure that there are no issues so we feel confident before relaunching her”. In all, about twenty people will be rallied together for this mission (Spindrift’s employees and several subcontractors).
This summer refit should take two months, the relaunch being scheduled for this coming August. Here too the tides and light breeze will be key in deciding on an exact time slot. At that point, a new phase will begin: a series of sessions out on the water with “a fortnight to 3 weeks of training,” explains Yann Guichard, prior to the main focus of the season, the Jules Verne Trophy attempt.
TF35, Spindrift in full working order
Over 900 km from the yard, another part of the Spindrift team is getting into action around Lake Geneva. Indeed, the TF35 season is already under way. Some two weeks after securing 3rd place in the first race of the year, the Realstone Cup for Léman Hope, the second race is imminent with two days of inshore racing (Mies’s Grand Prix) and one extended sprint, the Genève-Rolle-Genève from 3 to 5 June. “With some ten days or so to go until the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, we’re reaching the season’s high point,” says Yann Guichard eagerly.
The 3rd place secured during the 1st race of the season, the Realstone Cup for Léman Hope, enabled the team to kick off the season in style and “pinpoint the potential areas for improvement” says Sébastien Duclos. “We have a young crew, which is still cutting its teeth and we’re continuing to put the finishing touches to our group work,” continues Yann. Throughout this week, there have been multiple training sessions alongside the other crews, which is the perfect way to keep working on the mark roundings, the start phases and close contact racing with the other boats.
“Our current target is to go all out to win the Bol d’Or, admits the skipper. There are a lot of factors that come into play to snatch victory and you also need an element of luck to ensure you’re in the right place at the right time.” In fact, in the Genève-Rolle-Genève, weather conditions could make the game more open. Yann knows it won’t be easy: “there might well be some storms, which would add another layer of difficulty, but that will make it all the more thrilling!”