The situation is getting clearer for Francis Joyon’s crew, who are about to tackle the Jules Verne Trophy, the outright round the world record. For the moment, the weather hasn’t offered them any opportunities, but it is likely that one will appear… That is why the IDEC SPORT trimaran left La Trinité-sur-Mer on Monday morning to head for Brest.
IDEC SPORT has cast off. The multihull set off for Brest this morning (Monday). That doesn’t mean that Francis Joyon and his international crew (*) will be setting off immediately to tackle the Jules Verne Trophy, but can be explained simply by the fact that taking the big red trimaran from Southern Brittany to the tip of Brittany means they will be closer to the start line, which stretches from Ushant (Le Créac’h lighthouse) and The Lizard (Cornwall). It is when they cross this line that they will officially have started… and it is here to they have to return after sailing around the world in practically half the time it took Philéas Fogg.
Francis Joyon, assisted by his Dutch router, Marcel Van Triest, has always said he didn’t want to hang around before setting sail around the world, “because if you expect too much of the weather opportunity, you find yourself waiting a long time…” Moreover, Francis Joyon has also explained that he prefers to focus on the weather patterns ten days or so ahead, rather than worry about the time it takes to get to the Equator.
Averaging 20 knots over 26,000 miles …
This does not mean to say that IDEC SPORT will necessarily be setting off in the coming days. Simply that Francis Joyon and his crew want to ensure everything is going for them to enable them to take off as soon as possible.
The record time they need to beat, currently held by Loïck Peyron and his crew on Banque Populaire V, is 45 and a half days. To be precise, 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds. We must remember too that the WSSRC (World Speed Sailing Record Council, the body that ratifies sailing records) requires them to do at least one minute better to establish a new record. So the six men on IDEC will have to sail around the world in less than 45 days, 13 hours, 41 minutes and 53 seconds.
That is an impressive number representing an average of 20 knots. The commandos led by Joyon – six men as opposed to between ten and fourteen on the most recent successful attempts – have their work cut out. Ahead of them, 26,000 miles (on the theoretical route, meaning much more in reality). But we need to remain patient,a s for the moment, this is just a matter of positioning themselves on the starting blocks.
(*) The crew of IDEC SPORT:
Francis Joyon (FRA)
Bernard Stamm (SUI)
Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA)
Alex Pella (ESP)
Clément Surtel (FRA)
Borris Herrmann (GER)