Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

Francis Joyon shatters Columbus Route record on IDEC

by Fabrice Thomazeau on 16 Feb 2013
Francis Joyon, IDEC Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC http://www.trimaran-idec.com/
Sailor Francis Joyon, onboard the maxi trimaran IDEC, sailed across the Columbus Route finishing line off San Salvador in the Bahamas at 04 hours 57 minutes 30 seconds GMT today Friday 15th February 2013 (0557hrs CET).

With a race time of 8 days, 16 hours, 07 minutes, 05 seconds, Francis Joyon shaved more than 1 day and 4 hours off his own record set back in 2008 (9 days 20 hrs 35 mins). Over the 3884 miles of the Great Circle route, the theoretical route, he sailed at an average speed of 18.66 knots (distance actually sailed 4379.5 miles at an average speed of 21.04 miles).

Francis Joyon left Cadiz (Spain) at 12 hours, 50 minutes 25 seconds GMT on Wednesday 6th February. He in fact improved on his previous record by 1 day, 4 hours, 27 minutes and 58 seconds. Indeed he becomes the first sailor ever to take the bar for the Columbus Route to less than 9 days.

An exceptional performance, when we see that Francis Joyon looked after his own strategy out at sea without any routing assistance or outside help. The Columbus Route is always very challenging, as it requires dealing with many different weather systems.

The next challenge for Francis Joyon on IDEC will be an attempt at the North Atlantic record between New York and the Lizard. He is due to go on stand-by in the spring.

Update:

It was in the middle of the night in the Caribbean, in the warmth and total darkness of Columbus Island in the Bahamas where Christopher Columbus also went ashore back in 1492 that the red trimaran IDEC arrived after an incredible dash across the Atlantic ending with a new record time for a solo sailor on a multihull. Francis Joyon has once again left his mark on solo sailing with his unique approach and his own particular way of sailing on the high seas.

Setting out from la Trinité sur Mer in Brittany on 4th February, Francis hardly had time to drop off his companion for the delivery trip in the Bay of Cadiz, before getting underway on the Columbus Route early on the afternoon of Wednesday 6th February. No stand-by, no router on dry land… The Joyon of 2013 was about to tackle the Joyon of 2008 without any protection or back-up. What he achieved was another amazing feat knocking an astonishing one day and four hours off his previous time. There were no champagne celebrations or prize ceremonies in San Salvador; once he had validated his race time with the official representative of the World Speed Sailing Record Council, Francis hoisted his sail, trimmed his gennaker and set off again, all alone to make his way to the French West Indies, where he will moor up.

With a race time of 8 days, 16 hours, 07 minutes, 05 seconds, Francis Joyon knocked more than 1 day and 4 hours off his own record time from 2008 (9 d 20 h 35 min). Over the 3884 miles of the Great Circle route, the theoretical route between Cadiz and San Salvador, via Gran Canaria, he took the average speed up to 18.66 knots, having actually sailed 4379.5 miles at an average speed of 21.04 knots. Francis Joyon set off from Cadiz (Spain) at 12 hrs, 50 minutes 25 seconds GMT on Wednesday 6th February, with an idea of his route already on his mind, and a solid belief that he would be able to smash his own record. 'I was interested by the weather opportunity I could see when I left La Trinité sur Mer,' he explained, 'remembering that Thomas (Coville) would be the first to make the most of it. Since the autumn, I have been following the weather patterns in the Atlantic, and this opportunity was clearly the finest that we have had for months.' So this was not improvised at all. The extraordinary Mr. Joyon was off on another adventure, but was well aware of what lay ahead and with his usual physical strength and exceptional determination.

The absence of the person, who usually accompanies him on dry land during his records, Jean-Yves Bernot, who had gone off to the other side of the world, did nothing to affect the confidence of the skipper of IDEC, who tackled the tricky voyage down to the Canaries without any outside help; 'It would have been during that initial phase that Jean-Yves’s help would have been the most useful.' With heavy seas and a north-easterly wind tending too much to come directly from astern, there was an effect on the boat’s performance and it was 170 miles off the record pace that IDEC finally made her escape from the wind shadow of Gran Canaria. 'I didn’t have any doubts at that point,' stated Francis, 'as I knew I would be able to take advantage of a favourable trade wind after that.' Indeed, after that, there were four fantastic days covering more than 500 miles a day. Four days of pleasure that even the modest and discreet Joyon could not avoid sounding happy about, telling us how he enjoyed getting the most out of his giant trimaran, in spite of the swell, at times very heavy and in the wrong direction. 'I really love these moments, when the boat sails along quickly and effortlessly, in some brilliant light, and I have experienced many great moments like that.'

Francis has thus managed to set an incredible time on a route, which it cannot be stressed enough, is made extremely complicated due to the many different weather systems you encounter along the way. 'A record pace from New York / the Lizard is achieved on the edge of just one system that is clear and going in the right direction, so needs to be followed all the way to Ireland,' explained Francis; the Columbus Route on the other hand is very complicated; you cannot only rely on one system. You have to change systems three times, which automatically involves tricky transitional phases.' Francis knows that his record will be targeted by many others, and that is something that he is happy about; 'I think I have placed the bar quite high up,' he admitted, 'I hope the record will stand for a while and that my future challengers will enjoy themselves…'

Holder of three of the four most significant solo sailing records, the round the world voyage, the 24-hour record and the Columbus Route, Francis Joyon is quite naturally aiming to try his hand again at the reference time between New York and the Lizard. IDEC is due to head for the Big Apple in the spring to go on stand-by, which this time will likely be longer…

What he said:

'My immediate reaction is one of huge satisfaction… and tiredness. I haven’t yet come to terms with it, as I’m still sailing, but the pleasure of completing the voyage in less than nine days is obvious. I set off hoping to set a decent time. I got off to a quick start back in 2008, but the end was much harder. This year, it was the other way around. My biggest fear is always getting stuck in an area of calm, but that didn’t happen. The boat sailed very quickly for some time. In the first part, the heavy seas slowed us down. Then, there were some great moments honing along. I flirted with peak speeds of 30 knots, but as we face the oncoming prevailing weather systems, we often experience difficult seas, which are not favourable for very high speeds…'

'I finished in the dark of night off the island of San Salvador, where not many people live, so there were very few lights. We have to round some major headlands, which are not lit and on the GPS we were close to a coral reef. I called up Mr. Clifford Fernandez from the WSSRC, who found a little boat to take him out to see me cross the line. I furled the gennaker and he came on board. After 5-10 minutes, I hoisted the sail again to avoid drifting towards the coast. They got off and I set off again without even seeing a single tree… I’m currently on my way down towards the French West Indies.'

'There are still a few minor improvements that can be made, but in general this is a good boat, which is well designed, well built and had been tried and tested. We can still work on a few details and on the sails…'

'Personally, you can’t fine-tune me as much as the boat. The years are slipping by and recently I became a grandfather. You have to avoid time taking its toll by doing lots of sporting activities between these sailing trips, in order to be able to cope with the demands of the trimaran…'

www.trimaran-idec.com/
PredictWind.comNorth Technology - Southern SparsPredictWind.com 2014

Related Articles

New faces in town with RC44 Sotogrande Cup set to begin
This event follows from last season's RC44 World Championship also held off this magnificent development Of the eight teams competing off Sotogrande, favourite is Igor Lah's Team CEEREF. Not only is the cockpit on the Slovenian RC44 adorned with the overall championship leader's 'golden wheels', but Lah's team also won the World Championship here in 2016.
Posted on 26 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyères –Day 2– Zegers and van Veen show how its done
Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen were unstoppable on day two, winning both Women's 470 races in convincing style Out of the 534 competitors from 52 nations racing across ten Olympic events, Open Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, the Dutch team were the standout performers.
Posted on 26 Apr
GC32 Racing Tour Owner-Driver Championship heats up
Unique aspect of GC32 is that compared to other foiling catamarans, it is simpler to sail and logistically easier to run Team Argo is sailing with the same crew as it had for February’s GC32 Championship in Oman, including leading American Moth and big boat sailor Anthony Kotoun and British former Olympic and America’s Cup sailor Alister Richardson.
Posted on 26 Apr
RORC Season's Points Championship and Cervantes Trophy Race preview
Over 5000 sailors from all over the world will race in the biggest offshore sailing competition in the world. Over 5000 sailors from all over the world will race in the biggest offshore sailing competition in the world. While this year the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race is the showcase event, there are fourteen testing races that make up the championship, and every race has its own coveted prize for the overall winner and for class honours.
Posted on 26 Apr
Biggest Round the World Ocean Race returns to Liverpool
The biggest round-the-world ocean race is to return to Liverpool with start and finish of this unique global challenge The biggest round-the-world ocean race is to return to Liverpool with the start and finish of this unique global challenge moving from the capital back to the River Mersey on the tenth anniversary of its last partnership with the region.
Posted on 26 Apr
2018 BVI Spring Regatta adds new race to Sailing Festival
On the heels of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, preparations have already begun for 2018. On the heels of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, preparations have already begun for 2018. The week of March 27 - April 1 will offer the unique opportunity to race under a full moon. With that illumination, we will run the inaugural 'Full Moon Race, 64 Islands ~One Brilliant Night'.
Posted on 26 Apr
Giant international gathering for Rolex Fastnet Race
August's Rolex Fastnet Race remains on track for a record-sized fleet. Currently 390 boats are entered August's Rolex Fastnet Race remains on track for a record-sized fleet. Currently 390 boats are entered: 338 competing for the main IRC handicap prize; the remainder racing for their own trophies in the Class40, IMOCA 60, Volvo Ocean 65 and Multihull grand prix classes.
Posted on 26 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyères – Laying down a marker
Over 500 sailors from 52 nations opened their quest for World Cup honours, personal best performances and bragging right In the 38 strong Women's Windsurfer fleet, Israel's Noga Geller came out flying with superb starts and speed. Feeling comfortable in the conditions, she snapped up the first two race wins.
Posted on 25 Apr
A Few Rays - When you think of sunscreen as a filter....
If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? Where the skin is exposed and a sunscreen is working for you, it is filtering UV rays. Some of those rays always get through. The percentage of the high energy UVB rays (said to cause sunburn) that get through to cells in the skin can be determined by the claimed SPF of the product you are using.
Posted on 25 Apr
Charleston Race Week - Overall report
Charleston Race Week 2017 took place in April 20-23 2017. ORC rule was implemented as the principal handicap rule Charleston Race Week 2017 took place in April 20-23 2017. ORC rule was implemented as the principal handicap rule for the Charleston Race Week 2017, it was the first time this system was used in a major North American regatta. Thirty boats raced in four separate ORC Classes at this event.
Posted on 25 Apr