IDEC SPORT Stuck in Doldrums

Published on December 22nd, 2016

(December 22, 2016; Day 7) – Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT have crossed Equator, but not as swiftly as hoped. Their latest 24 hour run of 304 nm has cost them 158 nm, and the team is now 97 nm behind 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.

The crew on IDEC SPORT moved into the Southern Hemisphere at 0318 hrs UTC, taking them 5 days, 18 hours and 59 minutes to sail from Ushant to the Equator. This pace was two hours and 59 minutes more than the title-holder, Banque Populaire V. While missing the record, Joyon refers to this as a decent time and says they are on track.

The Doldrums seem to have become too attracted to the big red and white multihull and does not want to let her go, as the crew has been stuck in there now for more than 24 hours. After four excellent days in the trade winds with peak speeds of 40 knots off the Cape Verde Islands, IDEC SPORT has since the evening on December 20 been at speeds unworthy of even monohulls, and they have only sailed just over 200 miles in the past 24 hours.

At this point in the record attempt, Banque Populaire V, a long way west of IDEC SPORT’s position was back up to 25 knots. The advantage that IDEC SPORT had on the record pace is now in the negative and this is likely to grow until Joyon and his men go on the port tack in the trade winds.


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 17:00 FR
Distance to Finish: 19251 nm
24 Hour Distance: 304 nm
24 Hour Speed Average: 13 knots
Ahead/Behind: -97 nm


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.

Francis Joyon, Gwenole Gahinet, Clement Surtel, Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella, Sebastien Audigane during the press conference of IDEC Sport prior to their 2nd attempt for the Jules Verne Trophy, crew circumnavigation non stop, on December 13th, 2016 in Paris - Photo Jean-Louis Carli / DPPI / IDEC

Francis Joyon (fourth from left) and his crew comprising Clément Surtel, Alex Pella, Bernard Stamm, Gwénolé Gahinet and Sébastien Audigane.

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
Designers: VPLP
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
Structure: carbon-nomex


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