IDEC SPORT: Climbing back due north

Published on December 30th, 2015

(December 30, 2015; Day 39) – As the wind has veered and the trade winds have filled the sails, the IDEC SPORT 31.5m maxi trimaran has been lifted and her speed towards the Equator has increased. Joyon and his troops are making the most of what the wind is throwing at them in their quest for the Jules Verne Trophy.

The situation has clearly improved on IDEC SPORT on this 39th day of sailing after three horrendous days of tacking upwind in light airs. While the trajectory taken by the multihull still is not as straight as in the Indian Ocean for example, it is becoming more so with each passing hour, as the trade wind shifts further and further to the east. They can now head due north and it is only down to squalls that the boat has moved slightly towards the west at times.

“We are taking advantage of each wind shift,” explained Francis. “When it strengthened late in the night, we even removed the foil and lifted the daggerboard, which is something we haven’t done for ages.”

The helmsmen were thus able to get back up to speeds above 25 knots for a few hours, a situation the men on IDEC SPORT hope will stabilise today to become the norm until they reach the Equator. “The charts are looking more positive now,” Joyon said sounding upbeat. “According to our latest analysis, the trade wind should strengthen, allowing us to get to the Equator on the night of the 1st-2nd January.” The Equator and the climb back up towards the Horn of Brazil are the current goals.

It is true that back on dry land, Marcel van Triest, and at sea the six men on IDEC SPORT are also looking ahead to the weather patterns in the North Atlantic. But for the time being, the important thing is finishing this climb back up the coast of Brazil with its paradise resorts, as efficiently as possible. After the recent painful experiences in the Southern Hemisphere, IDEC SPORT hopes to begin 2016 in style with a dash towards the tip of Brittany with the spray flying and very high speeds.

As of 21:00 UTC
Distance to finish: 4303.83 nm
Distance for 24 hours: 397.27 nm
Distance ahead of record: -1330.32 nm

IDEC pos Dec30


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Background: IDEC SPORT has entered to claim the Jules Verne Trophy, a prize for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew, starting and finishing between the Le Créac’h Lighthouse off the tip of Brittany and the Lizard Point in Cornwall.

Francis Joyon (FRA), skippering the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran, crossed the start line on November 22 at 02:02:22 GMT, and his 6-man team must return by 15:44:15 UTC on January 6, 2016 to beat the current record set January 2012 by Loïck Peyron and his crew on Banque Populaire V of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.

MORE: Also starting on November 22 (at 04:01:58 GMT) for an attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy was the 40m VPLP-designed Spindrift 2, led by Yann Guichard. The 14-person team must return before 17:43:51 GMT on January 6, 2016 to beat the record. Here’s a tracker showing both teams:

Francis Joyon (FRA)
Bernard Stamm (SUI)
Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA)
Alex Pella (ESP)
Clément Surtel (FRA)
Boris Herrmann (GER)

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