This is the story about a few very different ways to sail around the world and be a hopeful record breaker. On one hand is a solo sailor trying to become the first female American to solo sail non-stop around the globe, (slowly! on her Southern Cross 28 and the other side of the story finds 2 massive, state of the art maxi trimarans with very different crew set ups (Spindrift with 6 crew, the other – IDEC – with double the bodies on board.)
Today marks Donna Lange’s 20th week at sea. She proclaims with joy that she is “half way ’round” and seems to be doing well – in one piece and making “good time” as she rips along at an average of about 4 knots. Being in the Southern Hemisphere means she is enjoying summer again and is dodging storms and big seas successfully. If she lingers too long near her current position off the Southern Australia coast, she will meet up with the Sydney-Hobart fleet of racers who takes off on Boxing Day (Dec. 26th) on their mad dash race through the notoriously naughty Bass Straight.
While Donna bobs along closer to the Bass Straight, in stark contrast are the 2 maxi trimarans doing consistently more than 4x Donna’s boatspeed (Over 30kts at times) and blasting around the world in a hopeful attempt to win the Jules Verne Trophy. The French, known for their crazy ocean racing antics, dominate this race against the clock, and the current record of 45 days set by French Ocean sailor, Loïck Peyron. The 2 tris (Spindrift and Idec) are racing Peyron’s route, constantly checking their time and distance against that which Peyron set in 2012. Follow these crazies here and note that the thrid track on the course is that of Peyron – making the challenge very real in a very imaginative way.
It’s very interesting to compare these sailors – doing the same thing, very differently. And wouldn’t it have been fun if the trimarans had seen or even gotten close to Donna along their route? But they stayed very far south of Tasmania and the Australian coast – and on their 26th day of racing – they are almost on top of each other – sailing so close to one another and to the record held by Peyron that it seems unimaginable.