IDEC SPORT Approaching the Equator
Published on December 21st, 2016
(December 21, 2016; Day 6) – Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT are nearly across the Equator, with their latest 24 hour run of 447 nm has their lead margin decreasing to 61 nm (-136 nm) ahead of the current record pace set in January 2012 by Loïck Peyron and his crew on the 40 VPLP-designed trimaran Banque Populaire V of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.
Joyon’s crew have been dealing with the Doldrums since last night. Forecast not to be very active and to be fairly narrow at 25 degrees W, the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran has not encountered the horrible wind variations and sudden thunderstorms that led them to abort their attempt last month. The team is hoping to cross in less time than the Jules Verne Trophy record-holder (Banque Populaire V), which crossed this imaginary line in 2012 after 5 days and 16 hours of racing.
“We can’t wait to get to the other side,” shared Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm “It is hard getting to grips with this zone, as it changes so quickly and even the most precise weather analyses are not sufficient.”
“We weren’t shaken up as much as in November,” confirmed Joyon, “but we did have a few heavy showers. Since then we have been moving at slow speed, reaching towards the south in a NW’ly wind. The SE’ly trade winds are not only well established, but appear to moving up towards us, which is in itself excellent news.”
The crew is focusing on what is up on the horizon where they hope to be able to pick up a good SE’ly breeze announcing the trade winds in the Southern Hemisphere. The team is 150 miles east of the route taken at this point by Banque Populaire V on her record-breaking voyage, IDEC SPORT can feel upbeat about what lies ahead in the mid-term.
“It’s true the further east we are, the shorter the route,” explained Joyon, “with an interesting angle to the wind to come around slowly as we dive south.”
The point of sail close to sailing upwind that lies ahead for the maxi-trimaran once out of the Doldrums does not worry the sailors on IDEC SPORT. “The boat sails well in every point of sail. Upwind sailing just means more uncomfortable slamming against the seas,” stressed Bernard Stamm.
Status as of 22:00 FR
Distance to Finish: 19455 nm
24 Hour Distance: 447 nm
24 Hour Speed Average: 19 knots
Ahead/Behind: +61 nm
IDEC SPORT RACING – Tracker – Facebook
Note: The 24 hour speed record of 908.2 nm (37.84 knot average) was set in 2009 by Banque Populaire 5, a 131-foot trimaran skippered by Pascal Bidegorry (FRA).
The Jules Verne Trophy is 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.
After starting on November 16, Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT need to finish by 22:00:53 UTC on Monday January 30 to beat the current record set January 2012 by Loïck Peyron and his crew on the 40 VPLP-designed trimaran Banque Populaire V of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.
Jules Verne Trophy
Record to beat: 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds set by Loïck Peyron and his crew of 13 in January 2012 on the trimaran Banque Populaire V (40 m)
Average speed to beat: 19.75 knots
Course: around the world via the three capes, Good Hope, Leeuwin, Horn.
Great circle distance: 21,600 miles
Start and finish line between Ushant (Créac’h Lighthouse and The Lizard (Cornwall).
IDEC SPORT trimaran
Trimaran with foils
Previous names: Groupama 3, Banque Populaire VII
Initial launch: June 2006
Length: 31.50 m
Beam: 22.50 m
Displacement: 15 t
Draught: 5.70 m
Mast height: 33.50 m
Source: IDEC SPORT