The IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran carried out an important manœuvre yesterday afternoon, as planned by her skipper Francis Joyon, when they gybed as the strongest part of the low began to overtake them. The big, red trimaran managed to stay in a strong, westerly air stream, while pointing her bows towards the south of the continent of Africa. Her high speed meant a gain on the direct route and the dials on the boat indicate the sort of performance you would expect over 24 hours from this type of Ultime multihull. Judge for yourself. IDEC SPORT’s average speed is above 29 knots this morning.
Yesterday, Francis Joyon showed how much he admired the work being done by the artist Bernard Stamm at the helm of the big boat, reading the speeds off the dials: “41.3… 43 knots….”. Joyon and his crew of five are getting the most out of a boat originally designed to be sailed by a crew of 12-14. In 24 hours, IDEC SPORT has sailed no fewer than 710 nautical miles, fighting to make up for the time lost over the record pace set 4 years ago by the 41m long Banque Populaire V (IDEC SPORT’s length is 31.50m), which was extraordinarily fast between the Equator and the Cape of Good Hope, which Loïck Peyron and his crew of 13 reached in 6 days, 6 hours and 53 minutes. Francis Joyon certainly didn’t have his eyes on this intermediate time, when he set out from Ushant on 22nd November, and was aware that St. Helena stretching out to the west would stop him from sailing such a fine route as that followed by Loïck Peyron in December 2011. The magic of these multihull records is in the ability of these boats to accelerate and pick up speed, lapping up the miles. The deficit of 390 miles for IDEC SPORT would be the equivalent at her current speed of half a day’s sailing as she passes the Cape of Good Hope.