Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2020 - Summer Offer - LEADERBOARD

Francis Joyon surfing at 38 knots across the Indian Ocean on the Tea Route

by Agence Mer & Media 24 Jan 09:53 PST
The Tea Route: Francis Joyon surfing at 38 knots across the Indian Ocean © IDEC Sport

The IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran has been showing her real efficiency over the past two days, as she passes through the heart of the Indian Ocean.

Francis Joyon, Christophe Houdet, Bertand Delesne, Antoine Blouet and Corentin Joyon have continued to accelerate since passing through the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra on Wednesday, allowing them to increase their lead over the record time for the Tea Route.

With a lead of 620 miles at the start of the seventh day of racing, Joyon and his lads have not finished roaring across the ocean showing high performance levels. Their efficient tack should last another 24 hours with speeds reaching 38 knots as they surf the waves, which means the lead should grow even bigger.

The first major difficulties are expected this weekend with some small cyclonic areas that they will have to get around in the southern latitudes, where they will encounter icy conditions, strong winds and heavy seas.

Faster than expected

At the start of this seventh day of racing, IDEC SPORT has clocked up a good lead and has been faster than expected when they studied the charts. "We dared not even hope of passing through the Sunda Strait in less than four days," explained Christophe Houdet, who has recovered from the food poisoning, which upset his first few days sailing in amongst the wild islands of the Sea of China.

"It is true that we haven't sailed many more miles than necessary," added Francis. "We had to gybe a lot to get to the Sunda Strait, but we remained more or less on the direct route."

Having sailed more than 3200 miles out on the water averaging 22 knots, IDEC SPORT only sailed around 350 miles more than the Great Circle Route. On the way out as they sailed across the Indian Ocean, we saw that Joyon and his men sailed an extra 1500 miles close to the coast of Australia.

A weekend in the Far South

"We're sailing close to the wind with full mainsail and J1," explained Francis. "Our goal is more speed rather than bearing. In the coming hours, we are going to have to dive further south. Our current high speeds on seas that have varied a lot from smooth to chaotic, means we have to look at some tactical choices to get around the powerful small areas of low pressure which are developing to the East of Madagascar."

The t-shirts and shorts they are wearing today will be replaced by fleeces and wet weather gear.

"We should be able to maintain these speeds and continue to make good headway over the next 700 miles," added Francis. "But the gateway to the Cape of Good Hope is for us down at around 40 degreesS. We need to keep good watch all the time, with our hands on the sheets, as we have to deal with a series of fairly violent squalls. We are not with the decent trade winds we had on the way out. We are surfing along, but it's more up and down."

The crew are still enjoying themselves sailing the maxi trimaran. "It's a huge pleasure. We're really pleased to be sailing in these waters and in this way," said Christophe Houdet.

"The mist during the record-breaking trip to Ho Chi Minh City meant we missed out on the wonders of the China Sea that we have been able to discover this week. Tropical islands with incredible colours with huge unspoilt beaches. A paradise. Discovering these places on a boat that transports you at high speed is a privilege and we are savouring every second. I have just taken the helm. IDEC SPORT has accelerated easily to 38 knots... It's amazing!"

Related Articles

Joyon and crew complete Tea Route in record time
The new reference time is 31 days, 23 hours, 36 minutes and 46 seconds The IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran sailed by Francis Joyon, Bertrand Delesne, Christophe Houdet, Antoine Blouet and Corentin Joyon, set a new record for the Tea Route between Hong Kong and London this morning. Posted on 19 Feb
Joyon and crew shatter Tea Route record
IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran arrives in London The IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran sailed by Francis Joyon, Bertrand Delesne, Christophe Houdet, Antoine Blouet and Corentin Joyon completed the Tea Route voyage between Hong Kong and London this morning (Wednesday 19th February). Posted on 19 Feb
Joyon chasing the Hong Kong - London record
IDEC Sport aiming to better Soldini's 2018 time of 36d 2h 7m. Today is launch day for the Tea Route, or the Clipper Route, if you prefer. Either way, it is Hong Kong (Shek O Rock) to London (Queen Elizabeth II Bridge) via the South China Sea, the Sunda Strait, and the Cape of Good Hope. Posted on 18 Jan
IDEC Sport ahead of forecast
Joyon heading back up north off the coast of Western Australia On a route that they deliberately prolonged by almost 1500 miles in comparison to the Great Circle Route, the IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT has managed to get ahead of what was forecast by taking a long route down towards 37 degrees South. Posted on 25 Nov 2019
IDEC Sport's great adventure
A new experience in waters that are rarely visited by ocean racing boats The IDEC SPORT sailed by Francis Joyon, Antoine Blouet, Bertrand Delesne, Christophe Houdet and Corentin Joyon set off on a new adventure yesterday, a new challenge, a new experience in waters that are rarely visited by modern ocean racing boats. Posted on 22 Nov 2019
IDEC Sport heads for Vietnam
Francis Joyon and crew tackle the second Act of the Asian Tour 4000 miles of sailing lie ahead of the bows of the giant IDEC SPORT, as she heads towards Vietnam and its capital Ho Chi Minh City. Posted on 21 Nov 2019
Joyon to tackle Leg 2 of IDEC Sport Asian Tour
This is another record attempt, Mauritius to Vietnam Twelve days after completing the first act in his IDEC Sport Asian Tour, when he smashed the Mauritius Route record by more than six days, Francis Joyon is about to tackle the second leg of the voyage taking him to Asia. Posted on 19 Nov 2019
Joyon beats his own record set ten years ago
An improvement of over six days on the Mauritius Route record The Mauritius Route started from Port Louis in Brittany with part of the round the world route that Francis knows so well having sailed it many times both alone and with a crew. Posted on 8 Nov 2019
Newsflash: Francis Joyon's win in Mauritius
IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran shatters the Mauritius Route record The skipper of the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran shattered the Mauritius Route record between Port Louis (Brittany) and Port Louis (Mauritius) at 0726hrs local time (0326hrs UTC) on Friday 8th November). Posted on 8 Nov 2019
Mauritius Route record: The final stretch
He is now on a straight line almost due north towards the finish in Port Louis IDEC SPORT has changed weather systems, with very different winds and temperatures. He can put away the fleeces and foulies and forget the violent winds and astonishing speeds. Posted on 6 Nov 2019
Vaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 3Highfield Boats - Sailing - FOOTERRS Sailing 2020 - Summer Offer - FOOTER