For The Record: Countdown Has Begun
Published on September 8th, 2015
French record-setter Francis Joyon’s goal this fall is to improve on the Jules Verne Trophy record time set by Loïck Peyron’s crew of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds. To take up the challenge of this crewed non-stop circumnaviagation, Joyon will be setting off aboard Franck Cammas’s former Groupama 3, the 103-foot trimaran that took the Jules Verne Trophy in 2010.
The former Groupama 3, which became Banque Populaire VII, had recently been Lending Club 2 and under charter by Renaud Laplanche (FRA) who teamed up with Ryan Breymaier (USA) on a record breaking program in 2015 for three speed sailing records: Cowes-Dinard, Newport-Bermuda, and the 2,215-nautical mile Transpac (Los Angeles to Honolulu).
Joyon is gradually getting his hands on the trimaran that will be re-branded as IDEC SPORT. The boat has just arrived in Vannes, France and will now be entering the yard at Multiplast (Vannes), and switch to her new colours of IDEC SPORT… while being prepared to go on stand-by for the Jules Verne Trophy.
Explain the transfer process to receive the trimaran.
She will officially be handed over on 15th September. But with Ryan (Breymaier, the skipper of the multihull when she was in the colours of Lending Club), we are spending a few days together for the handover process.
Yesterday (Sept. 7) in very fine weather, we delivered the boat to Vannes. She was lifted out of the water at the Multiplast yard, where she will be decorated in the colours of IDEC SPORT. Meanwhile, we are removing some equipment and the sails, removing the Lending Club labels and between the two of us, Ryan and me, looking at everything that needs to be done on the boat.
For them, there are all the little jobs that need to be done after the charter period, while I’m looking at what improvements can be made as we look forward to the Jules Verne Trophy.
What improvements are you planning to make?
We shall be fitting systems to protect the helmsman and the crewman on the winches taking care of the sheets. I think that these positions are too exposed for the Southern Ocean, as it gets very wet there. They need to be better protected for the watches in that part of the world with fittings to allow them to hold on to avoid getting swept overboard by the waves.
We also need to install a desalinator, as well as a system to dry the waterproofs and boots. In fact, this is very interesting, as it means we can be lighter with less gear and fewer clothes on board than would be required without this equipment. We’re looking at minor points like these. To sum up, we are getting the trimaran into round the world mode to face the hostile Southern Ocean.
How long is this work going to last?
That will rather depend on the weather, as there isn’t enough room in the workshops so we are on the hard at the Multiplast yard, but let’s say that in three weeks or a month, we should have finished. We also have to adapt the smaller mast and fit two new sails. I hope that we will be out there sailing on 7th or 8th of October.
So the countdown has begun, hasn’t it?
You could put it like that. The clock is ticking. We knew before that the boat was fast and Ryan and his crewmen proved that grabbing some new records. They did what they wanted to do and are very pleased. Now, we’re really getting going. This is the time for getting things ready, and we shall be announcing the crew later. We shall set off with six sailors on board and for the moment we have seven on our list, as we need a substitute, just in case. All that requires things to be organised and that’s what we’re doing for the moment.
Note: Joyon currently holds the record as the fastest solo round the world sailor after his achievement on the former IDEC in 2008, when he completed the voyage around the world in 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 06 seconds.
Report by Fabrice Thomazeau. Photos by © Y.Perfornis/Multiplast.