It is the magic of these giant multihulls when sailed by expert sailors with nerves of steel. Idec Sport, slowed down for two days in the middle of the South Pacific with a horribly complicated combination of area of low pressure and ridges of high pressure leading to huge patches of calm weather, is back up to speed today and has once again found the right pace in her attempt to smash the Jules Verne Trophy record.
With less than 1500 miles to go to Cape Horn, Joyon and his men are back on schedule, as they predicted with their usual humility. Back up with the pace of the record times set in 2011 by Loïck Peyron and the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V. In 24 hours, propelled by a strong SW’ly air stream, the big red trimaran has cut her deficit by 300 miles, reducing her losses from 579 miles yesterday morning to 270 on Sunday 20th December, as she begins her 29th day at sea. Banque Populaire V holds the intermediate record between Ushant and the Horn with a time of 32 days, 11 hours and 51 minutes, a record that is under increasing threat from the IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran, now sailing at more than 30 knots in VMG on a straight line. This is due to the efficiency of the route sailed by this crew, which remarkably only includes six men, while usually these records are achieved by twelve, thirteen or fourteen men. They have been achieving peak speeds of 35 or 36 knots during the night, confirming the determination and motivation of Joyon and his troops, Clément Surtel, Alex Pella, Boris Herrmann, Bernard Stamm and Gwénolé Gahinet, who take it in turns every half hour at the helm, doing their utmost and yet without any rivalry between them, as Bernard stressed yesterday, even if they all attempt to do better than the previous watch.