Please select your home edition
Edition
Musto AUS 2017 728x90 1

Uncertainty remains in Francis Joyon's North Atlantic record chase

by Mer et Media on 15 Jun 2013
Francis Joyon (FRA), IDEC Chris Cameron/ETNZ© http://www.chriscameron.co.nz
It was once more with a remarkably calm voice for a sailor at the helm of a 30-metre machine speeding along at between 25 and 30 knots that Francis Joyon confirmed his ETA at the finish, in other words that he is due to cross the legendary line marking the finish of the North Atlantic crossing off The Lizard at the southern tip of Cornwall on Sunday evening.

To beat the record set in July 2008 by Thomas Coville on the giant trimaran Sodebo, IDEC has to finish before 0400hrs UTC (0600hrs CET) on Monday morning. Without wishing to celebrate too soon, as with 1200 miles to go to the finish, there remains some uncertainty, Joyon seems more motivated than ever given the way the low-pressure area that he has been with since leaving New York, is moving, as it should enable him to succeed in this mammoth task.

If he succeeds, he will become the record-holder of the only one of the four major solo sailing records missing from his current list of achievements. 'If I manage to remain ahead of the low-pressure area, I should finish off The Lizard on Sunday evening.' The problem is clear but Joyon is not paying attention to the current figures, which show him 130 miles off the record pace of his virtual rival, as he is focusing on what lies ahead with his router, Jean-Yves Bernot.

The low is still moving as forecast in the right direction and with the right strength of wind, so it is up to Joyon to make the most of it. The sailing on a knife edge that began just over three days ago in New York will continue right up to the finish with all its dangers, uncertainties and risk-taking. Dangers, as Francis himself explains, 'It’s sometimes a bit scary when IDEC takes off on a wave at more than 30 knots. I have to apply the brakes by easing the sheets, then get her going again so as not to lose the inertia…' Francis carries out these manoeuvres over and over again and each time, that means he is doing without any rest. 'That’s what makes things tricky on IDEC,' he laughed. 'I managed to grab an hour’s rest during the night, but that was all… '

After three days and three nights, Francis Joyon is still managing to keep up this infernal pace and is showing perfect lucidity when choosing his route. On two occasions yesterday, he had to carry out the long (30 minutes) and tricky task of gybing, in order to ensure he remained ahead of the low. He is investing for the long term, which shows just how forward looking you need to be and that means not giving way to the temptation to make short term gains by keeping up the speed. 'I have sailed further than you would expect from New York, but now I should be able to maintain high speeds ahead of the system, while at the same time easing northwards,' he explained.

This is a strategy that the low-pressure area is not making easy, as it will probably require yet another move to stay on track. 'I shall probably have to sail for a while at 90° to the route,' added Francis. 'That way, I should get a much better angle to the wind to sail quickly in the right direction.'

Risk-taking, ongoing danger… Francis Joyon is taking it to the edge. 'This record is a tough one, where you have to avoid making mistakes and stay at 100% of the boat’s polars…'

A competitor at heart, while remaining a wise sailor paying attention to the elements and his boat, Francis Joyon is also finding the time to look at what is going on around him and enjoy himself; 'I've just seen a bit of sunshine. I’m still wearing my foulies, but it feels good to see the sun coming out.' Trimaran IDEC website
Beneteau SAIL Oceanis 35.1 37.1 41.1 660x82 1BIA 2017 Sydney 660x82 SailingPittwater to Paradise 2018 660x82

Related Articles

Hobie 14 and Hobie Dragoon World Championships wrap up
57 boats entered the classic Hobie 14 Championships sailing the original design of the much loved Hobie Alter. 57 boats entered the classic Hobie 14 Championships sailing the original design of the much loved Hobie Alter.
Posted today at 2:35 pm
Champions decided at 2017 Tornado Europeans
The youth team of Yoann Trecul and Thomas Ferrand from France had an amazing performance. The youth team of Yoann Trecul and Thomas Ferrand from France had an amazing performance despite some bad times in three of the races.
Posted on 24 Jul
Hobie Multiwords and Europeans - Day 4 - New World Champions announced
Today, the last race day for Hobie classes 14 and Dragon World Championships, and European 16 Youth Spi, EHCA Spi Cup Today, the last race day for Hobie classes 14 and Dragon World Championships, and European 16 Youth Spi, EHCA Spi Cup, Masters, Grand Masters and Great Grand Masters was sailed in exciting and later turbulent conditions.
Posted on 24 Jul
Barcelona glory for Oman Air but SAP Extreme Sailing Team go top
The crowds lining the shore could hear the cheers coming from Oman Air's GC32 as the team. The crowds lining the shore could hear the cheers coming from Oman Air's GC32 as the team, last year's runners up, celebrated topping the podium for the first time this season following a trio of thirds in the previous Acts.
Posted on 23 Jul
Team Oman Air win Extreme Sailing Series Barcelona Act 4 in style
An emphatic victory in the final race, which counted for double points, sealed glory for Phil Robertson and his team. An emphatic victory in the final race, which counted for double points, sealed glory for Phil Robertson and his team after three days of tense, high octane racing.
Posted on 23 Jul
Trophies and awards at 2017 Transpac
The tables full of gleaming silver and sculptures made of polished Koa wood are unlike any other seen in the sport. Transpac YC Commodore Bo Wheeler kicked off the 49th biennial Transpac Awards Ceremony held last night at the Modern Hotel Honolulu. The atmosphere was jubilant and celebratory, with a stage full of the most impressive display of perpetual trophies seen in any yachting event, accumulated by TPYC since the first race ran in 1906.
Posted on 23 Jul
Hobie Multiwords and Europeans – A nice day on the North Sea for Day 3
Today was proof that Hobie sailing in the Netherlands is so interesting and fun. Today was proof that Hobie sailing in the Netherlands is so interesting and fun. The first two races on Saturday were brilliant, due to nice moderate winds from the West, fortunately nothing like what was forecasted the day before. At the starts of race three the wind calmed down a bit, leaving a nice chop on the North Sea.
Posted on 23 Jul
2017 Tornado Europeans – Day 3
It was even better for Hellenic Police team! Mavros and Tagaropoulos dominated again, finishing first in both races. It was even better for the Hellenic Police team! Mavros and Tagaropoulos dominated again today, finishing first in both races.
Posted on 23 Jul
Extreme Sailing Series Act 4 – Day 3 sees leaderboard reshuffle
Ten spectacular races held in glorious conditions on Barcelona’s azure waters saw plenty of thrills and spills. Ten spectacular races held in glorious conditions on Barcelona’s azure waters saw plenty of thrills and spills as the eight international teams fought for vital points ahead of tomorrow’s finale.
Posted on 22 Jul
Spectacular Team Oman Air comeback at Extreme Sailing Series Barcelona
A world-class display of racing saw Team Oman Air rocket to the top of the Barcelona scoreboard on the penultimate day. A world-class display of racing saw Team Oman Air rocket to the top of the Barcelona scoreboard on the penultimate day.
Posted on 22 Jul