Determining the Course for Cape Horn
Published on January 10th, 2017
(January 10, 2016; Day 25) – Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT is eyeballing Cape Horn in their bid to win the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest outright time around the world.
Their latest 24 hour run of 629 nm has increased their lead to 1899.8 nm (+324.4 nm) ahead of the current time 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.
Approaching Cape Horn, the pace has stepped up on the red and grey maxi-trimaran which has, until the end of the day, enjoyed a due east course on the starboard tack. At 600 nm from the Cape, a gybe to port shows the team stepping to the north in their final approach.
There is still some doubt about the best route to take to get to the next ocean at the tip of Tierra del Fuego, which will mark a moment of relief for the crew. Will the six sailors chasing after the Jules Verne Trophy continue at the same pace or will they have to turn north to avoid a zone of calms, which threatens to block their route?
“As far as the weather is concerned, there is a slight improvement, particularly if we look at the European models. The situation has improved, but nothing is certain,” explained Joyon. Famous for being unstable, this area marking the return to the Atlantic remains full of uncertainties and makes it impossible to come up with an ETA for rounding the famous black rock, which they are all looking forward to leaving in their wake to get back into less hostile and more hospitable latitudes.
“Speeding towards the Horn at thirty knots is always going to be a pleasure! Passing the Horn is always a relief. But more than the rock itself, it’s a question of climbing back up the Atlantic very shortly,” confirmed Clément Surtel. “We had a fast crossing of the Pacific, which was a bit tough at the start when we got shaken up. But for the past three or four days, we have been in good sailing conditions, enabling us to take care of the boat. Rounding the Horn with a boat in good condition and a long way ahead will be a huge satisfaction for us all.”
Status as of 22:30 FR
Distance to Finish: 7596.4 nm
24 Hour Distance: 629 nm
24 Hour Speed Average: 26.2 knots
Ahead/Behind: +1899.8 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.
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