Better Days Ahead for IDEC SPORT
Published on January 17th, 2017
(January 17, 2016; Day 32; 23:15 FR) – Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT have been bleeding miles in their bid to win the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest outright time around the world.
However, after picking up the trade winds last night, IDEC SPORT is now heading due north at speeds varying between 25-30 knots as they make their way towards the Equator, which they are expecting to cross in 3 or 4 days. Furthermore, the outlook ahead is promising with a low pressure system in the North Atlantic expected to offer a fast and furious final sprint home.
“We have picked up some wind and are back at nice speeds again around 26-27 knots without making the boat suffer,” explained Clément Surtel. “The seas are fairly calm, so the boat isn’t slamming and the trimming isn’t changing that much. It’s fairly quiet, which makes a change for us and from what we have been through over the past few weeks. We let the autopilot take over occasionally, as that works well with the J1-full mainsail with occasional trimming to deal with the very small wind shifts.”
While in the calm waters of the South Atlantic, the crew was able to look after the boat and catch up on their rest. “Everyone wakes up tired and clocking up hours of sleep: that’s when you realise how exhausted you really are,” declared Clément. This sentiment was shared by Sébastien Audigane, who added, “After all, we have been clocking up crazy speeds. That’s bound to add to the stress, even if you don’t realise it immediately. Then, there’s the cold too. That doesn’t help you rest. At the moment in the fairly light conditions, everyone is taking a nap and that is really appreciated.”
As they extend north of the latitude of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, their latest 24 hour run of 391 nm has decreased their lead to 1686.3 nm (-21.8 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 23:15 FR
Distance to Finish: 4365.1 nm
24 Hour Distance: 391 nm
24 Hour Speed Average: 27.4 knots
Ahead/Behind: +1686.3 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.
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