Francis Joyon’s crew crossed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin at 2240hrs UTC after 18 days, 20 hours and 41 minutes of sailing from Ushant. IDEC SPORT has become the first sailing boat in history to sail from Cape Agulhas to Cape Leeuwin in less than six days.
Five days eleven hours and 23 minutes was the time it took IDEC SPORT to go from South Africa to the south of Australia. Thanks to their straight, southerly crossing, Francis Joyon and his crew of five have become the fastest sailors in history on this Indian Ocean crossing. The only ones to have done this in less than six days.
Almost three days less than Groupama
Between the start off Ushant and Cape Leeuwin, IDEC SPORT has been sailing for 18 days, 20 hours and 37 minutes. That is 20 hours and 41 minutes more than Banque Pop V in 2012. So less than a day longer. But it is almost three days less than the time taken by Groupama. During their winning Jules Verne Trophy record in 2010, Franck Cammas’s crew reached this longitude after 21 days, 14 hours and 22 minutes. And let’s not forget that IDEC SPORT is none other than the former Groupama 3.
In other words, with the same boat and a crew that is half the size – six men instead of ten – Francis Joyon’s crew has improved on this performance by 2 days and 18 hours. A huge boost for the men rewarding their dash across the ocean over the past five days (they are still maintaining speeds in excess of thirty knots) and it also confirms that IDEC SPORT is back in the game. Let’s not forget that it is in the Pacific after Tasmania, that they are looking forward to making real gains on the record pace.
On this twentieth day of sailing, IDEC SPORT is speeding along under full sail south of Australia. The entrance into the Pacific to the south of Tasmania is only 900 miles away. It is the Pacific that may well determine the outcome of this attempt to win the Jules Verne Trophy. That will be happening this weekend and for the moment all lights are on green. The atmosphere on board? We have just received a short e-mail from Francis, which tells us: “Cape Leeuwin is behind us. Boris opened his second flask of whisky at dawn for us. It’s a running gag with us…”
In the history of the Jules Verne Trophy only four crews have taken less than seven days to sail between Cape Agulhas and Cape Leeuwin: the two winners in 2012 and 2010 and the two currently at sea. Among them, only IDEC SPORT is the only one to have taken less than six days to cover this stretch.
After 19 days and 4h of sailing, at 0600hrs this morning (Friday 11th December), IDEC SPORT is sailing at 35.2 knots at 51°18 south and 121°17 east, 1000 miles south of Australia and 600 miles north of the Antarctic ice. Heading east (88°). 65 miles behind the record.