The IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran was suddenly slowed last night just before midnight after the high speed voyage down from Ushant. After speeds in excess of thirty knots, the situation suddenly changed at 3°N with the first effects of the Doldrums being felt.
Joyon and his crew of five have been struggling in an area of light winds since then. After coming to a standstill for a while, the big red and white trimaran has been heading south since dawn at slow speed at between eight and ten knots. His lead over the title-holder Banque Populaire V, which reached 210 miles, has gradually been falling and is now 160 miles.
The Equator is still 150 miles ahead of IDEC SPORT, sailing in the area of light winds. On the other hand, the SSE’ly trade winds seem to be well established to the south of the Equator. It looks like the whole of this fifth day is going to be slow and frustrating for the sailors. Joyon’s men are some way east of their virtual rival, who in 2012 had to go a long way west to get around the St. Helena high. Loïck Peyron and Banque Populaire V took five days and 16 hours to get to the Equator.