The IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran crossed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin at 1518hrs UTC 17 days, 6 hours and 59 minutes after leaving Ushant. This means they were almost 16 hours and 57 minutes ahead of the reference time set by Loïck Peyron and his men on Banque Populaire V (17 days, 23 hours and 56 minutes) having sailed at an average speed above 28 knots out on the water.
The Indian Ocean record between the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin: The reference time between Cape Agulhas marking the entrance into the Indian Ocean and Cape Leeuwin has just been smashed with a time of 4 days, 9 hours and 37 minutes, which is one day, 1 hour and 46 minutes ahead of the reference time set by Francis Joyon and his men in 2015 (5 days, 11 hours and 23 minutes) and one day, 12 hours and 31 minutes ahead of the title-holder Banque Populaire V (6 days and 8 minutes). The Indian Ocean was crossed at an incredible average speed of 35.08 knots (3705 miles).
An amazing feat
By crossing the longitude of Cape Leeuwin in SW Australia this afternoon after entering the Indian Ocean on Thursday 29th December, the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran has just achieved one of the most amazing feats in the history of the Jules Verne Trophy. Joyon, Surtel, Audigane, Pella, Gahinet and Stamm have sailed seven whole days at more than 800 miles a day with peaks from 28th to 31st December respectively of 876, 871 and 869 miles, meaning an average speed of more than 36 knots.
Ushant – Australia in just 17 days, 6 hours and 59 minutes
After setting out from Ushant on 16th December taking advantage of what he called an average weather opportunity, Joyon and his incredible gang had to work hard in an Atlantic that was far from cooperative and fell some 755 miles behind the pace set by the title-holder, the maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V skippered by Loïck Peyron with a crew of thirteen. Diving down into the Forties they hopped onto the front of a low on which they are still sailing a long way off Cape Leeuwin. There have been supersonic speeds throughout this crossing and all carried out on a straight line, shattering all the records today. Crossing the longitude of Cape Leeuwin in 17 days, 6 hours and 59 minutes, Joyon and his gang have improved on Peyron’s performance by sixteen hours. Groupama 3, which became IDEC SPORT, took 21 days and 14 hours to sail this distance in 2010.
The Indian in 4 days and 9 hours – averaging more than 35 knots
The record time between Cape Agulhas marking the entrance into the Indian Ocean and Cape Leeuwin already belonged to Francis Joyon and his men after their performance last year with a time of 5 days 11 hours and 23 minutes. That time is completely annihilated after this historic week, as it has been taken to 4 days, 9 hours and 37 minutes. It is true that Ushant is still a long way ahead and they will only be at the halfway point at the end of the week. But IDEC SPORT has not yet finished sailing on her straight trajectory at speed and hopes to continue to do this until they approach the Pacific…
A huge effort
The crew of IDEC SPORT have have had their foot down since they entered the Forties, watch after watch taking it in turns to deal with this high speed sailing. “Conditions were right to allow us to sail quickly and without too much work,” explained Francis Joyon, far from any triumphalism after seeing the ocean covered in just a few days. “We are concentrating on our job at the helm, staying there for no longer than half an hour and paying attention to the trimming. Always on the port tack, manoeuvres involved taking in or shaking out a reef and modifying the headsail. That was the case last night, when we ran into an area of squalls that were not forecast. “The talent of the helmsmen is working wonders on these calm seas. “We are entering a transition zone today between the low that has been behind us for several days and a new low forming ahead of us,” added Bernard Stamm. “As long as these two systems don’t merge, wind conditions should remain unstable.” IDEC SPORT is continuing at high speed with wind on the beam from the north, which can be tricky when the giant trimaran lifts up her windward float. “More than ever, as we are beginning to feel tired, we need to be cautious at the helm and at the sheets,” insisted Captain Joyon.
The men on IDEC SPORT, far from celebrating their achievement, are looking ahead to what is coming up and aim to continue on this winning tack. “We thought it would take us longer to catch Banque Populaire V,” declared a surprised Francis Joyon, “in the Pacific, where Loïck had a few difficult days. We are pleased. The Pacific is looking good for us, and we are determined to make the most of that.”