The sailor Francis Joyon will cast off tomorrow, Saturday 4pm in Nantes, from the maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT, en route for an original tour of Europe in favour of the ecological transition as part of The Arch project. Accompanied by his usual crew, he will symbolically collect 100 prize-winning innovations that respond concretely to the ecological and social issues of the moment, throughout the nine stages of his journey. A sailor of conviction, who has long been aware of environmental issues, Francis, who is always supported by the IDEC GROUP, itself very involved in the development of low-carbon solutions, has found in The Arch a very concrete way of putting his reputation and that of his maxi-trimaran of all exploits at the service of the causes that are dear to him.
Two and a half months around Europe to collect 100 innovative projects for the planet
“Damien Grimont told me about his idea, The Arch, back in 2017 during The Bridge, a transatlantic race celebrating 100 years of friendship between France and the United States,” explains Francis. “He easily convinced me and I am very happy to be able to contribute my little stone to this immense edifice that is the acceleration of the ecological transition.
For two and a half months, Francis and his usual crew of Bernard Stamm, Antoine Blouet, Christophe Houdet, his son Corentin, Bertrand Delesne and Valentin Kapps, will sail from Nantes to nine cities along the European coastline, via Copenhagen, Concarneau, Malaga, Marseille, Ajaccio, Naples, Athens, Lisbon and Saint-Nazaire. At each stage, the local winners will present innovative solutions for the planet. The call is aimed at companies, start-ups, NGOs and associations that provide a concrete response to ecological and social issues. “These 100 solutions for the planet will address five different themes: food, cities, mobility, energy and industry,” explains Yves Gilet, vice-president of The Arch. After the call for projects, a European jury will select the winning projects. These winners will then receive support in their development.”
The maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT is thus becoming a real “arch of solutions” to mobilise Europe around the ecological transition.
A seafarer’s conviction
“We seafarers are naturally very committed to protecting the environment,” says Francis. “We have a front row seat to global warming. We see the coral bleaching when we go diving at the finish of the Route du Rhum in Guadeloupe. We see cetaceans washing up on the beaches… It all makes our hearts ache.
The aim is to move the lines by collecting these solutions in nine cities. The projects are numerous and eclectic, such as an air conditioner that consumes ten times less energy or luminescent plants to light up cities. We are leaving this weekend and will finish our journey at the beginning of June. Then these ideas will be presented to the European Parliament in Brussels.”
“We have opted for a trip with minimal carbon impact. So we should leave with about 20 litres of diesel. And a small engine of only 40 horsepower. The aim is to sail as much as possible and be as self-sufficient as possible.”