Jules Verne Trophy: Sails of Change maxi trimaran on the move

Yann Guichard, Dona Bertarelli and nine other sailors will make up the
crew of ‘Sails of Change’ for their next attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy,
an award for the fastest non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation of the
world. Several years of hard work will culminate in this ultimate sporting
challenge. The crew also aims to raise awareness of the need to preserve
ocean and land ecosystems. From 24 October, the team will be on
standby, ready to set sail on a new adventure.
From Monday 24 October, the crew of Sails of Change will be on standby,
studying the weather conditions and gearing up for an immense challenge.
The objective since 2017 has been to win the Jules Verne Trophy: 40 days, 23
hours and 30 minutes. “It’s the ultimate sporting goal, an extraordinary time to
beat, that has been halved in the space of 30 years,” said skipper Yann Guichard.

sails of change

The Spindrift team has been hard at work throughout 2022. The team
participated in all six events of the TF35 Trophy, an annual championship
which combines sea and lake races across Europe. Spindrift ended the
season in 3rd place overall.
The maxi trimaran has also sailed on multiple occasions. “There are still a few
adjustments to be made, but the boat is ready,” said Yann Guichard. “I can feel
the team is eager to go.”
Once standby begins, the maxi trimaran, based at La Trinité-sur-Mer, will be
ready to set off for Brest at the first favourable weather window.

Joining Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli, the on-board reporter, will be
nine crew members. “Some have been part of the project for years and others
have joined us this year,” said the skipper. “We have an experienced team who
enjoy competing and who are ocean enthusiasts. We share the same appreciation
of effort and solidarity”.
Dona Bertarelli (54 years old)
: “I’m delighted to share this new adventure with
Dona, who participated in our first round-the-world trip in 2015-2016. Her
presence will bring added purpose to a great sporting challenge.”
Thierry Chabagny (50): “An experienced sailor who has already sailed twice
around the world. His experience will be invaluable.”
Greg Gendron (39): “Joined our team in 2019. Greg is always smiling, friendly,
and ready to help. He is very comfortable sailing at sea, I have total confidence in
Clément Giraud (41): “He just finished the Vendée Globe and is one of our
Southerners. He is full of the joys of life.”
Jacques Guichard (42): “As a watch leader, I’ve been able to count on his multiple
talents since the birth of the Spindrift project. Sharing this adventure with my
brother is such a blessing and will bring us even closer together.”
Pierre Leboucher (41): “A newcomer to the crew but with solid experience, having
sailed in the Olympics and Le Figaro. Pierre is a true sailor who likes to push
himself to the limits.”
Christopher Pratt (41): “He also joined us this year. He is a Cartesian spirit:
structured and focused on performance. If he does something, he does it 100%.”
Xavier Revil (51): “A great sailor and former holder of the Jules Verne Trophy. I’ve
known Xavier since my Optimist years; he’s been with us since the start of the
Spindrift adventure. As a watch leader, I know I can rely on his know-how at all
Benjamin Schwartz (36): “He has sailed in Le Figaro and has sailed round the
world in the Volvo Ocean Race. Responsible for the navigation unit, I can count on
his detailed analysis of weather strategy.”
Julien Villion (30 years old): “With solid experience from Le Figaro, he is always
seeking the right settings and constantly questioning himself, raising our overall
performance. “
Jean-Yves Bernot (router): “A recognised specialist, he has been by our side since
our first round-the-world attempt in 2015. As both a former navigator and a land
router, he knows the course like no one else. He’ll be our guardian angel during
this new attempt.”

A multihull built to perform
Thirty seven metres long, 23 metres wide and weighing 21 tons, Sails of
Change is the largest ocean racing trimaran ever built, and has a track
record to match. Launched in 2008, the boat held the Jules Verne Trophy
from 2012 to 2017 (45 days, 13 hours). Sails of Change was acquired by the
Spindrift team in 2013 and went on to win the Route de la Découverte
(between Cadiz and San Salvador), and to perform well in the Rolex Fastnet
Race (twice) and in the 2016 Transat Québec – Saint-Malo.
In 2014, sailing this giant boat solo, Yann Guichard achieved second place in
the Route du Rhum, a remarkable sporting and human feat.

“Sails of Change is more than a human and sporting adventure,” said Yann
Guichard. “We wanted our philanthropic activity and our deep, personal goals of
protecting the planet to inform the Spindrift programme. Dona was already
raising awareness of this theme during our first attempt in 2015.”
“For 20 years, I’ve been working to create large marine protected areas, and to
safeguard biodiversity,” added Dona Bertarelli. “The connection between ocean
preservation, the climate, and human health is no longer in doubt.”
Since 2021, Spindrift teams have been preparing a round-the-world attempt
without using fossil fuels, a ‘challenge within the challenge’ according to
Yann. There will be no combustion engine onboard to power the boat’s
electronics, communications, desalination, and water heating. “To
compensate, we have solar panels, two wind turbines and a methanol fuel cell,”
said Yann.

The Spindrift team’s commitment to protecting the environment does not
stop with the boat. The crew, as well as the boats, promote the ’30×30′
message, relaying the call from scientists to protect at least 30% of ocean
and land by 2030, in order to prevent biodiversity loss and to build resilience
to climate change. “The degradation of our oceans, lands and freshwater systems
is destroying the planet’s ability to support life,” said Dona Bertarelli. “The fight
to protect nature, which we’ve been engaged in for a long time, gives extra impetus
to the team and to our round-the-world challenge.”
Dona and Yann are Patrons of the International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN), the largest and most diverse environmental network in the
world, and a global authority on the state of the natural world and the
measures needed to save it.
A new partnership between IUCN and Sails of Change called “Sports for
Nature” was launched at the Sport Positive Summit at Wembley on 5
October, to help sports organisations mitigate the negative impacts on the
climate, and to take concrete steps to protect biodiversity. “As a sportsperson,
the link between sports and nature is very clear. Athletes need clean water and
fresh air to perform. As such, they have a natural interest in protecting the
environment,” said Yann Guichard.


The ‘Spindrift for Schools’ fund was created in 2014 to raise awareness of
environmental issues among young people. Through this fund, educational
resources, approved by the French Ministry of Education and supported by
UNESCO, are made available to teachers. Additional subjects will be offered
to schools as part of the curriculum throughout the world tour in order to
bring onboard the youngest in this global ocean adventure.
For students as well as for sportsmen and women or even the curious, this
will help them to grasp the intensity of this round the world trip from a
perspective that shares the ‘Sails of Change’ values. Dona Bertarelli insists
on “learning from nature in order to act”, “uniting to inspire change” and
“keeping a sense of wonder because it is easier to protect what you know, what
you understand and what you love”.
Yann Guichard makes the link with life onboard and evokes “the need to
surpass oneself, to show resilience and support each other at all times”.

Sails of Change is a community of sport and nature lovers who want to create
a sustainable future for our planet. It was created in 2020 by Dona Bertarelli,
her husband Yann Guichard, and her children, and founded on the family’s
belief that sport has great power to raise environmental awareness and to
promote change. Dona Bertarelli is a sportswoman, investor, and
philanthropist, who has dedicated nearly two decades to protecting
ecosystems through the creation of large-scale marine protected areas. Yann
Guichard is an investor and skipper of the professional multihull sailing
team, Spindrift. An Olympic sailor, he has won races and set records
throughout his sailing career.



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