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Francis Joyon round the World record attempt in IDEC SPORT.

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IDEC SPORT continues to speed along in the Southern Ocean. 5 November 2019





The huge improvement in the reference time between Port Louis (Brittany) and the Cape of Good Hope (2 days and 19 hours) achieved yesterday has not led Francis Joyon to ease off or modify the pace he has set since moving away from the coast of South America.

For the sailor facing the harsh reality of the Southern Ocean, the problem has not really changed. The powerful low he has been speeding along on the edge of for six days still has the fuel required to allow him to improve still further on his performance as he heads towards Mauritius. Francis is having to dig deep within himself to find the energy to maintain an impressive level of concentration and performance hour after hour and wave after wave.

“I am continuing with the same weather pattern in order to advance on the northern edge of this low,” the skipper of IDEC SPORT confirmed. “During the night, I had a bit of a scare, when the wind dropped off suddenly to 14 knots. The skies were completely clear and I thought for a moment that the high had caught me. It was only a short worry, as the wind soon got up again, a bit lighter than during the weekend, at around 25 knots.”

This means he can still speed along at 27-28 knots and maintain his huge lead of almost 1300 miles over the record pace. We can remember that in 2009, when the second IDEC trimaran to bear the name climbed up towards Mauritius, it was particularly testing.

“I had to sail a long way east on the stretch down below South Africa,”remembers Francis. “This year, the weather pattern is much more favourable. I shall be maintaining these high speeds for another 930 miles or for a day and a half, before turning left and climbing up the Indian Ocean towards Mauritius.”

Some brighter weather and a warmer atmosphere lie ahead for Francis. “Christian (Dumard), suggested I carry out some gybes during the night to position myself in relation to the Agulhas Current and avoid the nasty waves coming towards me in this area. The wind turned to the south for a moment and the temperature dropped off. I now only have a 12-foot swell and IDEC SPORT is sailing smoothly.”

After 16 days at sea, Francis Joyon is over the moon and enjoying his sailing. His amazing route across the South Atlantic has filled him with joy. He has made it all look so simple having to deal with the elements thrown at him, but it has taken a lot of hard work and commitment, which from ashore seems absolutely incredible, but the skipper of IDEC SPORT has taken it all in his stride.


INCREDIBLE A NEW RECORD IS IN THE MAKING PERHAPS. There is some pretty big low depressions he is sailing in. Take a look at the weather map.

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3 hours ago.


"The gybe carried out yesterday evening by François Joyon to move away from the extraordinary low-pressure system that is typical of the Southern Ocean and which propelled him across the South Atlantic from west to east, means that he is now on a straight line almost due north towards the finish in Port Louis on the island of Mauritius. 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. It is time to feel the warmth, enjoy moderate winds and calmer sailing. The heavy residual swell will remain for another few hours. The solo skipper, who has spent just over eighteen days and covered more than 10,000 miles out on the water, has not stopped trying to get the highest level of performance out of his boat. He is relieved to have managed to stick with the low which propelled him to the Cape of Good Hope for a week. He can now enjoy the final 700 miles of this Mauritius Route that he has so perfectly sailed.

“I have gradually been peeling off layers of clothing,” explained a calm and relaxed Francis Joyon. “I’m heading north towards the heat and sunshine.”  You can feel the relief. Francis understood early on that once around the St Helena high, which took him to the coast of Brazil, there was a huge challenge ahead. He needed to stick on the northern edge of a typical low-pressure system in the Southern Ocean and speed along at more than thirty knots towards the Indian Ocean. Francis successfully carried out both the physical and strategic feats of keeping up the right pace with this violent system coming from the west in winds that were often above 30 knots and on seas that continued to worsen as he approached the continent of Africa.

It took five days to go from the East coast of South America to the Cape of Good Hope.  Remaining hard at it all the time, the skipper of IDEC SPORT made the most of the downwind conditions, only leaving this powerful system late yesterday to take up another challenge. The latter is more subtle, as he needs to get around a high-pressure system below Madagascar.  He has currently making his way through and will be crossing the transition zone separating him from another low, which should propel him smoothly towards Mauritius.

Finishing on Friday morning?
“I’m pleased to have kept up the right pace throughout this tricky week of sailing,” he admits. “I dealt well with the transitions and am especially pleased to have taken care of the boat, in spite of a nasty swell, which was still around thirty feet this morning. We were continually under the water. This means that there is now a thick layer of salt covering the boat… It’s really amazing! I can’t wait to spot the islands. I can see on the AIS that there is more and more shipping around. I’m expecting to smell the land soon and notice a change in colours, which will mean that land is not far away. I’m a bit tired.”
The final stretch on the starboard tack looks like smooth sailing. Already more than 1500 miles ahead of the record pace that he set back in 2009, Francis does not want to push his boat too hard. He is looking forward to finishing at first light on Friday morning."


Tracker =      http://trimaran-idec.geovoile.com/lamauricienne/2019/tracker/

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"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).



He smashed the reference time he set in November 2009 by more than six days and brings the Mauritius Route record down to less than 20 days or to be more precise to 19 days, 18 hours, 14 mins and 45 seconds.


The Mauritius Route record is the first act in the new campaign of ocean records, the IDEC Sport Asian Tour, which the skipper of the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran is currently tackling."


I wonder if he will come to NZ. It would be great to see the boat meet and hear him speak.


The guy is a incredible athlete. I would like know how he keeps himself awake for such long periods in such stormy conditions with very little sleep. No doze tablets perhaps when our fire fighters fall asleep on the high rise fire fighting  ladders holding directing the hoses during a 72 hour period only.

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