Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

IDEC Sport getting back on track

by Agence Mer & Media 12 Feb 16:16 PST
IDEC Sport © François Van Malleghem / Aléa / IDEC Sport

"With the South Atlantic like that, we would never have smashed the Jules Verne Trophy record." That was how Francis Joyon described the situation, still somewhat taken back by the vagaries of the South Atlantic at the start of this 26thday of racing. Yesterday, for the first time, he found himself behind the record pace for the Tea Route.

Working hard with his crew, Francis has been busy since picking up the NE'ly trade winds trying to improve on the record pace. Sailing at more than 25 knots out on the water and at almost 16 knots on the direct route, he is now once again steadily increasing his lead and is now keeping a close watch on the vital transition phase to reach the North Atlantic low-pressure systems.

The Doldrums were baffling

"We weren't messing around," said Francis Joyon almost apologetically. "The Atlantic has not been very cooperative since we rounded the Cape of Good Hope. The systems were moving around unpredictably and very quickly and were quite the reverse of what we had on our weather charts. The Doldrums lived up to their reputation and were baffling. The boat slammed a lot in very choppy conditions, while we had very little pressure on our sails. The charts forecast the arrival of a NE'ly wind yesterday, a foretaste of the trade winds, but we found ourselves in a very light SW'ly air stream. We didn't look at our position very often, but we suspected that Soldini and the crew of Maserati were doing well at that point back in 2018."

A traditional route back to Europe

Today, conditions have evolved favourably for IDEC SPORT, well positioned in an 18-knot "very classical" NE'ly trade wind, according to Francis, with the boat sailing on a long regular swell. The gap is widening again as the maxi trimaran is following a highly traditional route for this type of voyage to get back to Europe. "We are sailing on the usual route towards the west of the Azores, where it appears that the weather systems are getting in position to allow us to deal with a transition phase that is not too complicated." Once bitten, twice shy after the recent unusual stretch, Francis refuses to give us any indication of his arrival time. "We're pleased to be back in cooler conditions. With the spray, the wet weather gear is out again and it is now much easier to get some sleep at night. The crew is making the most of that and enjoying themselves after feeling rather down in the oppressive heat and with the low speeds."

With 2700 miles to go to the finish, all of the indicators are looking increasingly positive. IDEC SPORT is on a long starboard tack at a very tight angle, which should enable her to clock up almost 600 miles in 24 hours all the way to the Azores, which means they can look ahead serenely to entering the English Channel and then sailing up the Thames Estuary.

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
SOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 BottomHenri-Lloyd 2020 FOOTERMarine Resources 2019 - Footer