1000 miles from the Kerguelens that they should pass via the south, IDEC SPORT is continuing to progress at high speed. Francis Joyon and his crew are keeping up some very high averages and in so doing narrowing the gap to their virtual rival the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy. The speedo is stuck on around 35 knots meaning that the record attempt is definitely still onin the Indian Ocean. They need to keep an eye out for ice in these hostile latitudes…

Aboard IDEC SPORT, which entered the Southern Ocean yesterday, Francis Joyon and his crewmen are taking it in turns every half hour at the helm to make the most of the favourable conditions. As they enter the Fifties, the big red and white trimaran is narrowing the gap to Banque Populaire V, whose lead is melting away. In the rankings this Friday morning, the deficit of 755 miles recorded on 26th December is now down to less than 300 miles.

On the deck, warm clothing and gloves are required as the trimaran dives into the Southen Ocean. The radar is on permanent watch and is a vital help in these southern latitudes. “It is very cold with the se temperature down to 2 or 3°” stated Sébastien Audigane, in a video sent back this morning. Famous for his skill at the helm, Big Seb admits he is enjoying seeing the dials indicate such high speeds in the leaden skies of the Indian Ocean. “We’ve just shaken out a reef as we weren’t going fast enough, just 35 knots, so now we’re under full mainsail and making forty knots.”

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