IDEC SPORT in Phase off Argentina

Published on January 13th, 2017

(January 13, 2016; Day 28; 22:37 FR) – Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT are in the final leg of their bid to win the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest outright time around the world.

While they had to wait a short while for the low-pressure system to leave Argentina, Joyon and his men are now making good progress towards the north on a good point of sail. With strong winds and a good angle, plus decent seas ahead of the low and a crew that managed to get some rest in the calm conditions off the Falklands… everything is falling into place off Argentina to get back up to the incredible speeds we have seen from the IDEC maxi-trimaran over the past four weeks.

“We’re going along at 27-30 knots on a very easterly bearing, which will gradually swing around to the north,” Clément Surtel, one of the five men in Joyon’s band of warriors, is calmly looking ahead to the next few days aboard IDEC SPORT, as they deal with the various hurdles in the South Atlantic.

“With the big gennaker at 140° to the wind, on manageable seas, it’s smooth sailing time again. Yesterday was a day of extremely light airs, allowing the weary foot soldiers to get some rest and carry out an inspection of the boat,” explained the sailor in charge of the technical aspects. “I saw that there was some wear I hadn’t seen before.”

This goes to show how hard they have in fact been pushing the boat since 17th December. “We dealt with all these little problems and the boat is back to 100%. We’re pleased to get back up to speed this morning. We’re on our way home now. We are focusing on the boat and looking forward to a positive outcome. We need to remain focused until we get to Ushant.” Incidentally, Clément Surtel is a cousin to Servane Escoffier, Louis Burton’s wife. The skipper taking part in the Vendée Globe is just ahead of them and they were able to exchange a few e-mails.

Clear skies, flat calm seas, favourable winds… the helmsmen have however not yet finished with their gloves and protection. “We’re still down at 50°S and at night, it’s chilly, so we sleep with our wooly hats on,” said the youngest member of the crew, Gwénolé Gahinet, still in awe of the sights around the Falklands yesterday. “We enjoyed rounding the Horn and passing the Falklands. Since this morning we have got back up to high speed. We’re expecting 30-35-40 knot winds in the coming hours. That’s quite windy, but we don’t have that nasty swell that goes with it sometimes. We will turn off to avoid the worst of the low this evening between 1600hrs UTC and 2300hrs UTC.”

Their latest 24 hour run of 429 nm has slightly increased their lead to 1994.3 nm (+122.5 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.

Status as of 22:37 FR
Distance to Finish: 6228.4 nm
24 Hour Distance: 429 nm
24 Hour Speed Average: 17.9 knots
Ahead/Behind: +1994.3 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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