Spindrift capsizes during in port racing off Dun Laoghaire

Having won the second offshore leg of the Route des Princes from Lisbon to Dun Laoghaire, just outside Dublin Ireland the MOD70 Spindrift capsized during the in port racing.

The 72ft cat had just started the race in the fleet of four MOD70s when she capsized during the first reaching leg before the bear away downwind. The trimaran was skippered by Yann Guichard.

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. “

Pictures of the capsize were caught by photographer Mark Lloyd.



Weather conditions were said to be around 20knots in flat water but with gusts. An eye witnesses at the event who was afloat at the time in the area said that Spindrift appeared to be overpowered on the reach as she was hit by a gust and capsized to leeward.

The Route des Princes consists of a fleet of nine multihulls, four MOD70s, four Multi 50s and an 80ft trimaran. The race is a tour of Europe that focuses on the regional and the local, taking a dozen crews from Valencia, in Spain, to the Bay of Morlaix, in Brittany, via Lisbon (Portugal), Dublin-Dún Laoghaire (Ireland) and Plymouth (Great Britain). It covers a total of 3,045 nautical miles.