Capsizing a 70ft multihull doesn't sound much fun to me. Sailing one, yes, but capsizing... the word scary comes to mind!

The images from the Route des Princes have certainly been spectacular - and that was without Spindrift's capsize on the first leg of the inshore races in Dun Laoghaire.

MOD70 Spindrift

The sight of a multihull on her ear is undoubtedly spectacular

Apparently it was a massive gust that was Spindrift's downfall, Yann Guichard, the skipper of Spindrift explained: "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."

Spindrift capsize: no way back

"I was unable to do anything at the helm," continued Guichard. "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. "

MOD70 spndrift capsize in Dublin

Spindrift being towed back to shore after her capsize

Fortunately, all crew are safe following the incident, 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.

As spectacular as the racing's been, there has to be an element of danger involved in flipping one of these beasts. I hope we don't see any more major injuries, the loss of Bart Simpson is too raw in the memory (see Tragic Loss of British Sailing Legend Andrew Simpson).

And so to Plymouth

The MOD70 fleet is now on its way to Plymouth as they continue on the Route des Princes, but they are now a boat down following the Spindrift capsize and so will be only three-strong. The leaders are expected reach Plymouth early on Wednesday afternoon (June 26). To follow the race see Route des Princes.


Written by: Gael Pawson
Gael Pawson is the editor of Yachts & Yachting Magazine and the founder of Creating Waves. A keen racer, she has sailed all her life, and started writing about the subject whilst studying journalism at university. Dinghies and small keelboats are her first loves, but she has cruised and raced a huge variety of boats in locations across the world.