As promised, ’40 metres solo’ returns to the story of the sails. After last Thursday’s episode on their design, today we are walking the floor of the North Sails France sail loft in Vannes with Jacques Guichard, who tells us about the making of Spindrift 2’s giant wardrobe.
Jacques Guichard, the little brother of Spindrift’s skipper, Yann, also has a passion for the sea and racing. He chose sails as his stomping ground. He works on design, production and the on-board testing but he also fine-tunes sails for races and records. He knows his trade inside out and so was an obvious choice to be in charge of the sail programme for Spindrift racing.
“This year for Spindrift 2, we wanted to design sails light enough to be carried by Yann on his own during the Route du Rhum but strong enough to hold up to the intensity of a crewed speed record like the North Atlantic,” Guichard says. “We had the opportunity to play around with the internal structure of the sail with a view to this season’s plans. We started with calculations for the solo, then we increased the power for load testing with a crew. On the New York-Lizard Point record, it’s about sailing at 100-130 degrees to the wind and so we are not at the maximum load for a sail compared to upwind angles (50-70° to the wind). Thus, a good ‘crew-solo’ compromise was easier to find.”
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