Eleven days after the finish of the Jules Verne Triophy, the IDEC SPORT sailors and their boat are now safely home. The crew has now gone their separate ways while awaiting further adventures. Francis Joyon and his shore team are back with the boat and are beginning to tackle the repairs after the little bits of damage suffered during the round the world voyage. Time for us to catch up with Francis…
Francis, it’s been eleven days since you finished. How did the delivery trip go last Wednesday between Brest and her home port of La Trinité-sur-mer?
“Yes, it went well. I took advantage of the opportunity to get the shore team sailing, firstly to thank them and secondly, because that meant we could look at the repairs that need to be done. We looked at the sails and saw that we will need to change the big gennaker, which was used a lot, maybe 25% of the time it took to sail around the world. The delivery trip itself was rather tricky, as we had to sail against the current in the Sein tidal race and then were becalmed for two hours off Penmarc’h. But we arrived back in la Trinité without any real problems as night fell. There was a welcome committee to greet us, which was set up by the lifeboat team. A big squall arrived during the celebrations, but we enjoyed it in any case! (laughs)”
A week and a half after the end of the Jules Verne Trophy, have you got back into a normal sleep pattern?
“During the first few nights, the body found it hard to forget the watch routine and being on watch, but for the last three days, I think I’ve practically recovered and returned to a normal sleep pattern. It’s true that when I sailed solo, it takes me longer than that. After the solo round the world voyage, it took me several weeks, at least three to recover and get back to a sleep pattern that was more or less normal. This time after just a week… sailing with a crew is less demanding for the body I think. I feel in great shape.”
Have you heard from any other members of the IDEC SPORT crew?
“Yes, of course, we regularly chat on the phone or by e-mail and others I see in La Trinité. From what I’ve seen, they have all got winter bugs, colds and things like that. That’s quite common. After 47 days being isolated from any microbes and viruses ashore, our defences are down and we easily get these little illnesses. But fortunately, there’s nothing serious.”
After the men, let’s look at the boat: how is she?
“After a round the world voyage, which is bound to be demanding, there is of course some work to do. We started with an inspection looking at everything above the waterline and there aren’t any structural problems. We didn’t find any cracks or leaks. We started our job list. There are some things to deal with without fail such as the mainsail mast track, the mainsail cars, the J1 furler (headsail – editor’s note) which is broken. There are a few things like that.”
“We took the rudders apart to see which need to be worked on. Today, we’ll be doing the same with the port foil, the shape of which is marked by the blocks. The floater rudder stock, the bottom of which broke off, hasn’t been seriously damaged, but we are going to have to work on its shape. We shall be taking out the central daggerboard to see whether it got hit. In short, there are lots of little things to do. For the moment, we’re leaving the boat in the water. We haven’t yet looked under the waterline, but a lot of work can be done with the boat in the water, so we may well not take her out for a while. The idea is to be able to get out there sailing again, maybe in the spring,”