In becoming official timekeeper of the Spindrift Racing team for three years, Zenith is setting its course towards a new and authentic human adventure brimming with challenges. The watchmaker is now onboard a project launched last year but which has already achieved an impressive track record. Experienced businesswoman and sailor Dona Bertarelli, together with her companion Yann Guichard, has set up a team that owns three multihulls, including the world’s largest trimaran (40 meters). Aboard Spindrift 2, the two skippers have already won the Rolex Fastnet Race and beaten the transatlantic Discovery Route record (from Spain to the Bahamas) by a full 20 hours. “Spindrift Racing is a young team that brings together a team of professionals whose work has quickly borne fruit”, says owner and co-skipper Dona Bertarelli. Passionate about sailing and performance, the couple has identified nine records it aims to tackle, backed by around 30 experts working to optimize these machines and undertake the sporting challenges that Zenith will be measuring. In 2014, the maxi trimaran will attempt to set a new North Atlantic crew sailing record as well as the 24-hour record. In November, Yann Guichard will be competing solo in the Route du Rhum (from Saint-Malo to Pointe-A-Pitre). Meanwhile, the couple will also be sailing with small crew under the Zenith banner in the Décision 35 category, the Lake Léman “Formula 1” boats of which the championship (Vulcain Trophy) takes place from May to September. Dona Bertarelli will try to secure another win in the stellar Bol d’Or Mirabaud race, Europe’s largest regatta on a closed stretch of water – which attracts around 500 boats. The Mirabaud & Cie bank is indeed the main sponsor of Spindrift Racing. The synergies with Zenith will doubtless prove an attractive bonus. Zenith CEO Jean-Frédéric Dufour enjoys sailing for pleasure, he already ‘won’ the Bol d’Or last year via sponsorship of another multihull, Zenith Fresh. Meanwhile, Mirabaud & Cie CEO Antonio Palma also scored a win in last summer’s Bol d’Or in the most fiercely contended class. This ‘Lemanic’ community of Bol d’Or winners is now joining forces to make its mark on the history of offshore racing. In parallel, Zenith is also committing to another regatta circuit, the TP52, raced on the Mediterranean in carbon monohulls. When can we expect to see an El Primero with a regatta
Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.