The MOD70 Spindrift capsized on the first leg of the Route des Princes inshore races in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. Photo: Chris Schmid
All crew are safe and sound, but Jacques Guichard, Yann’s brother and a key member of the crew, was hurt in the accident. Both brothers were airlifted by helicopter to the hospital in Dublin, where Jacques was diagnosed with fractures to the pelvis.
Yann Guichard, the skipper of Spindrift explained the circumstances of the capsize: “We had 22 to 24 knots of wind on the start line with gusts of up to 30 knots at the lower end of the course. We were at the limit of weather conditions for our boats and it was not great for racing. All the MODs had one reef in the main and staysail. We started a bit below and behind the fleet and found ourselves slightly in a wind shadow. When our rivals had moved away we had a sudden gust literally flattened us.
“I was unable to do anything at the helm, the boat was turned over with a single blow. We let out out the staysail immediately, but it was too late as it all happened in a split second. the boat was lifted onto the port float and went over. Jacques was with me in the cockpit and we found ourselves in the net … we managed to get out and then were airlifted. The mast broke in two when Spindrift turned over. The frame of the trimaran was towed away to the port. ”
All the crew, with the help of the whole Spindrift racing team, immediately mobilised to secure the frame and make sure the towing operation went safely. The trimaran will be returned to base in port and the Spindrift racing team will quickly and expertly assess the damage. The team will then seek a solution from the boat’s home base in Saint Philibert.