IDEC HEADING TOWARDS ASIA AND CREATING THE IDEC SPORT ASIAN TOUR
After their achievement with a crew sailing around the world (Jules Verne Trophy in 2017) and a magnificent victory in the 2018 Route du Rhum, the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran and her skipper, Francis Joyon are widening their horizons and heading for Asia, a region of the world where there are still so many things to invent and discover.
This latest programme of brand new records, called the IDEC SPORT / ASIAN TOUR, will involve tackling six records in 2019 and 2020, including five brand new race courses between Europe and Asia. For her return to Europe, IDEC Sport will be attempting to smash the legendary Clipper Route record between Hong Kong and London.
The IDEC GROUP has set up this new programme of record attempts as part of its international development and the desire to draw up partnerships with French firms, who have a strategic development planned for the Asian markets, but also with Asian firms looking towards European markets.
A little history
More than six centuries ago, setting out from Lisbon, the Portuguese sailor, Vasco da Gama opened up the sea route to the Indies (1498). After a long voyage down the coast of Africa, the Portuguese sailor rounded the famous Cape of Good Hope that his compatriot, Bartolomeu Dias had passed a few years earlier. Vasco da Gama went on to reach the Indies after 309 days at sea, opening the way to major voyages of discovery of unknown lands that were sought after: the Indies and then Asia. Explorers, scientists, geographers, botanists and cartographers would over the centuries draw up an inventory of a world that had only just come out of the Middle Ages.
Opening up new routes, going beyond the seas to discover people and different cultures, widening the horizons for the world of ocean racing, which is sometimes too restrictive… These are the passions shared by Francis Joyon and Patrice Lafargue, who already in the past came up with new sailing routes.
The new IDEC SPORT ASIAN TOUR programme is something new, which will lead the IDEC team to follow in the footsteps of the great discoverers of the past and find out about the major economic markets on the continent of Asia on which the IDEC GROUP is currently establishing itself.
Attempt at the Mauritius Record between Port Louis (Lorient) and Port Louis (Mauritius). Francis Joyon will try to improve on his own reference time that he set sailing solo ten years ago (2009), 26 days, 4hrs and 13mins.
Creation of 2 new records in the China Sea
Early next winter, Idec Sport will sail between Malaysia, the Sea of Java and the China Sea to tackle two new ocean race courses and set the first crewed reference times. These are the following voyages:
– Port-Louis (Mauritius) to Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam),
– Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam) to Shenzen (China),
January / March 2020
Clipper Route / Hong Kong to London
The Clipper Route is the sea route that the famous clippers sailed in the second half of the nineteenth Century. These majestic ships with their cathedrals of sail raced each other to be the first to return and sell their cargo of tea in London. Their habit of pushing hard across the oceans led to the creation of a real race between the clippers, which took no fewer than 99 days to sail between Hong Kong and London.
The French sailor, Philippe Monnet was the first in 1990 to set a modern reference time with a trimaran with a time of 67 days. Lionel Lemonchois grabbed the record in 2008 aboard his 100-foot maxi-catamaran, Gitana 13, with a time of 42 jours. This reference time was beaten and is currently held by the crew of the Maserati trimaran skippered by Giovanni Soldini with two sailors we know well aboard, Sébastien Audigane and Alex Pella, who were part of the crew of IDEC Sport, when they won the Jules Verne Trophy with a time of 40 days (2017). The Italian trimaran completed the voyage in 36 days, 2 hours and 37 minutes averaging 17.4 knots.
It is therefore this time of 36 days and 2 hours between Hong Kong and London that IDEC Sport will be tackling to complete its 2019-2020 programme.