Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

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
Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82Protector - 660 x 82Giacomo Yacht Sale

Related Articles

Oman Air moves top of overall Extreme Sailing Series™ leaderboard
Oman Air took its second Act victory in a row in a finale, despite last minute pressure from SAP Extreme Sailing Team. Oman Air took its second Act victory in a row in a thrilling Hamburg finale, despite last minute pressure from SAP Extreme Sailing Team. The triumph sees the Omani syndicate move into pole position in the overall rankings.
Posted on 14 Aug
Oman Air goes top of Extreme Sailing Series after a dramatic victory
Oman Air team have taken the overall lead after clinching victory at the latest Hamburg event on a dramatic final day. Having led from the start of the German regatta, the crew of the high-speed GC32 catamaran saw their lead whittled away on the last day to a single point before a race win – only their third of the Act – gave them a narrow lead going into the double-points finale.
Posted on 13 Aug
Aarhus offers taste of Championships to come
It is a truth universally acknowledged in the boat park, that while some classes are talking tech or weather It is a truth universally acknowledged in the boat park, that while some classes are talking tech or weather, the windsurfers are finding out where to eat and chill out. But when it is competition time they are as fierce as anyone and the men’s RS:X at The Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus Denmark 2018 Test Event whetted the appetite for the battles to come here in a year’s time.
Posted on 13 Aug
Extreme Sailing Series – Oman Air stays ahead while the rest reshuffle
Oman Air maintained its lead while Red Bull Sailing Team climbed from bottom of the table to second after seven races Four second places and three fifths were enough to keep Oman Air ahead by a comfortable margin while the rest of the fleet took part in a game of snakes and ladders, resulting in a leaderboard reshuffle.
Posted on 13 Aug
Oman Air extend the lead over Extreme Sailing Series rivals in Hamburg
The Oman Air team of Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, Nasser Al Mashari, James Wierzbowski and Ed Smyth have 92 points With five different winners from the seven races run on the tight River Elbe courses in the heart of the German port city, consistent sailing saw Oman Air take an eight point advantage into Sunday’s finale of the four-day regatta.
Posted on 12 Aug
Extreme Sailing Series - Double win for Oman Air on testing day
Oman Air out-sailed its rivals to gain a six-point lead, with rest of the fleet separated by a narrow two-point margin In tough conditions on the River Elbe, Oman Air out-sailed its rivals to gain a six-point lead, with the rest of the fleet separated by a narrow two-point margin, after the first day of scoring racing at the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5, Hamburg, presented by Land Rover.
Posted on 12 Aug
Two races, two victories for Oman Air at Extreme Sailing Series
Oman Air continued as they had left off in the season with victory in both of the two races so far sailed at Hamburg Act Fresh from an overall win at the previous event in Barcelona two weeks ago, the Oman Air crew indicated they were going for a repeat performance, dominating proceedings when racing finally got going on day two of the four-day event.
Posted on 11 Aug
UBS Jersey Regatta - Preview
UBS Jersey Regatta will, once again, turn beautiful arena of St Aubin’s Bay into a hive of activity and blaze of colour Jersey’s combined sailing clubs’ UBS Jersey Regatta will, once again, turn the beautiful arena of St Aubin’s Bay into a hive of activity and blaze of colour when an anticipated one hundred boats come to the line for the 19th edition of this star feature in the Island’s sailing calendar, programmed for Friday 15th to Sunday 17th September.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rolex Fastnet Race - To the wire in IRC Three
IRC Three went to wire this afternoon in the Rolex Fastnet Race between two French JPK 10.80s. IRC Three went to wire this afternoon in the Rolex Fastnet Race between two French JPK 10.80s. Coming into the finish, Timeline of past class winner Marc Alperovitch seem to be the victor, but when Arnaud Delamare and Eric Mordret's lower rated Dream Pearls arrived 33 minutes later, her time corrected to 1 minute 11 seconds ahead of her compatriots.
Posted on 10 Aug
Light winds and strong tide thwart Hamburg opener
Mother Nature refused to play ball on the opening day of Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5, Hamburg Mother Nature refused to play ball on the opening day of Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5, Hamburg, presented by Land Rover, resulting in no scoring races being completed. Conditions in the German venue are predicted to improve from tomorrow.
Posted on 10 Aug