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Idec Sport & Spindrift 2 Jules Verne Record Attempt

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  • Idec Sport & Spindrift 2 Jules Verne Record Attempt

    Some library pictures are more spectacular than others. Those taken last week for IDEC SPORT are certainly just that. Fast and furious, in the autumn sunshine, Joyon and his troops put the boat through her paces…

    Francis Joyon and his men never stop. A month after coming out of the Multiplast yard and a few days after the announcement of the crew line-up in La Trinité-sur-Mer in Southern Brittany, the new IDEC SPORT fulfilled everything that the media could hope for during a remarkable trip, which enabled them to get some very spectacular footage and exciting library pictures.

    We can see the big red trimaran sailing at full pelt in 25 knots of wind off Belle-île-en-mer. The smoke rises in her wake with some magnificent autumnal shades and there was a moment when she incidentally reached a peak speed of 42 knots. Sailing at almost 50 m.p.h. gives us a clear idea about how confident Francis Joyon and his men feel about their new trimaran.

    They are now getting close to the stand-by period in Brest, where they are due to wait for a weather opportunity to begin their attempt to smash the Jules Verne Trophy record.

    But before that giant race around the planet, sit back and enjoy these pictures, which are bound to please anyone who loves boats and the sea spray.

    all images IDEC Sport hélico
    © JM Liot / DPPI / IDEC SPORT

    Last edited by Photoboy; 11-23-2015, 09:46 AM.
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  • #2
    IDEC Sport And Spindrift To Depart Tonight

    image© JM Liot / DPPI / IDEC SPORT

    This time, it’s certain. IDEC SPORT will be tackling the Jules Verne Trophy from today, Saturday 21st November. Francis Joyon has just given the green light, meaning the start is imminent. The big red trimaran will be leaving the port of Brest this afternoon to cross the start line off Ushant this evening. A few hours before the start, which looks like being very rough, Francis Joyon explained the situation.

    Francis, this time it’s a green light? Will IDEC SPORT be setting off around the world today?
    “Yes! We just decided to set off, as we could see there was the possibility of taking advantage of an area of low pressure in the South Atlantic, so we’ll be setting off today with that in mind. We shall be setting off on a very windy day: 30 to 35 knots of wind in Brest, a lot more over Ushant. The conditions at the start aren’t going to be easy…”

    No time to sit back and look at the situation, you’re diving straight in?
    “Yes, we’ll be setting off with one or two reefs. We are going to have to be cautious in the Bay of Biscay where the seas is very rough with a 4-5m swell forecast and the sea may remain cross, because we had a SW’ly gale the day before yesterday and now we are in a northerly air flow. We will immediately be into the heart of the action.”

    The record to the Equator is possibleDoes that mean you are hoping for a good time to the Equator?
    “Yes indeed. We hope to beat the reference time to the Equator and it could take us fewer then five and a half days, if everything fits into place.”

    How do you feel with just a few hours to go?
    “We’re giving the boat one final check-up. To ensure we haven’t forgotten anything and that all the supplies are in place, that everyone has put their passport in the safety locker, lots of little details like that. The crew is happy. They are all used to such starts and are happy when they are at sea…”

    Can you tell us about the weather situation?
    “The trip to the Equator looks relatively simple. The weather seems settled and we don’t have any questions, apart from what happens tonight with a small area of low pressure, which could cause the wind to drop off in the Bay of Biscay. We mustn’t get caught up in that. But more importantly, we are looking further ahead down to the position of the St Helena High, the pattern of low pressure areas leaving Brazil for the Cape of Good Hope. It’s a mixture of all that that led us to take the decision to set off today.”

    Are the doubts you had over the past few days, in particular concerning the situation in the South Atlantic now behind you?
    “50% of the doubts have gone, and it’s still a bit of a gamble. We can’t be certain of everything, but we are gambling on a very strong likelihood. In the past, some projects had to wait for months and months to find the right weather opportunity. We have said we have to grab this opportunity.

    At what time will you be casting off on IDEC SPORT to head for the start line off Ushant?
    “Mid or late afternoon…”

    The crew of IDEC SPORT
    – Francis Joyon (FRA)- Bernard Stamm (SUI)- Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA)- Alex Pella (ESP)- Clément Surtel (FRA)- Borris Herrmann (GER)

    The Jules Verne Trophy in short: The crewed voyage around the world via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin, Horn). 26,400 miles on the theoretical route. The time to beat (Loïck Peyron’s crew: 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds). Average speed required: 20 knots on the Great Circle Route.

    ************************************************** *****

    NEWSFLASH: The Spindrift 2 sailing team confirm that they will leave in the next 24 hours to start their attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy round-the-world record.

    Yann Guichard: “This is a good window and we can’t let it pass.”
    After analysing the latest weather files this morning, Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard and their team confirmed a start from Ushant in the next 24 hours on their round-the-world record attempt for the Jules Verne Trophy (the time to beat: 45 days, 13 hours 42 minutes and 53 seconds). The wind is currently blowing at over 120 km/hour (75mph) at Pointe Bretagne with 5-metre waves. The skipper and the routing experts are now refining when the team will cast off from Brest (Malbert’s quay), but the likelihood is that the trimaran will cross the startline tonight.

    Yann Guichard: “This is a good window and we can’t let it pass. We’ve decided to leave Brest in the next few hours with a start on the round-the-world imminent sometime in the night from Saturday to Sunday. The North Atlantic descent will be fast – around five days to the equator. The conditions in the Bay of Biscay and during the first 36 hours will be really difficult. It’s going to make it fast downwind and that’s what we were looking for.”

    Dona Bertarelli: “We went to code green after seeing the latest weather file this morning, with a start tonight in tough conditions. We'll have to look after body and boat. There are still some uncertainties in the South Atlantic, where the weather models differ slightly, but we’re seizing our chance because we can’t ignore a window like this.”
    More infos :
    Last edited by Photoboy; 11-21-2015, 11:17 AM.
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    • #3
      November 23 Update:IDEC Sport

      The acceleration that began yesterday has continued during the night. IDEC Sport is speeding along averaging 30 knots under the area of high pressure and after her first day at sea has covered more than 700 miles.

      After setting off to tackle the Jules Verne Trophy record yesterday morning (Sunday), Francis Joyon’s crew is already down off Lisbon. Around 370 miles west of the Portuguese capital, IDEC SPORT moved to a more westerly route during the night with speeds remaining high with moments above 34 knots in heavy seas… A very impressive performance.

      Logically, the gain or loss over the reference time set by Banque Populaire V is up and down like a yoyo, as IDEC shifts from one side of the direct route to another after sailing close to the coast to that taken by Loïck Peyron and his men during their record. The numbers do not reveal much for the moment, as Francis Joyon and his men are following their own route based on the weather conditions and not that taken by the record-holder. That is why the numbers are bouncing around from being 45 miles behind yesterday morning to getting back equal in the evening and being slightly behind this morning (15 miles).It’s all a question of angles and geometry.

      That is not what counts in any case. At this point in her record, Banque Populaire had carried out three gybes, while IDEC Sport has not done any so far. What will count is the time to the Equator – which is predicted to be a record-breaking five days and then what happens afterwards in the South Atlantic. It looks likely that in the North Atlantic only one gybe will be required, as Marcel Van Triest, IDEC Sport’s router explained yesterday afternoon. With her new route heading towards the west, Francis, Bernard, Alex, Clément, Boris and Gwénolé are getting ready for this change of tack. To sum up, they are following their own route and doing very well. At 0600hrs this morning, they had already sailed 740 miles since leaving Ushant.

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      • #4

        They have done it. IDEC SPORT gybed towards the south off Gibraltar. A few minutes later, the trimaran picked up speed under big gennaker and Francis Joyon was able to answer some of our questions for the first time since the start off Ushant. Remaining incredibly calm as ever, he told us about the “spectacular” conditions during the first 24 hours of racing, the aim of the gybe and how united the six crewmen have been aboard the big, red trimaran.

        Francis, you’ve just gybed, can you explain the situation to us?

        “Yes, we have moved to the port tack and hoisted the gennaker. The aim is to follow a route that will take us down to the Equator. The northerly air flow associated with the area of low pressure meant that we were heading further and further west, so the time came when we needed to follow a more direct route. At the moment we have a bearing of 180°, due south, heading straight for the Equator.”

        Does that mean that IDEC SPORT could cross the Equator after just one gybe?

        “One route indicated we will have to come back on the other tack late this afternoon, while another suggests we can continue all the way there. Our bearing has improved, so we’re hoping to continue straight ahead… and even if we have to gybe back to get lined up again, it’s not a serious problem.”

        Are you still hoping to cross the Equator in more or less five days?

        “That is what we are hoping for. Yesterday we found it hard to go as fast as we would have liked, the seas were very rough particularly off Cape Finisterre. The boat was bouncing around on the swell downwind… it was quite spectacular. But now that the sea has calmed somewhat in the past few hours, we should be able to reach our target speeds more easily.”

        “It was a bit hairy, with the boat going crazy…”

        Can you tell us about the first 24 hours of this attempt?

        “It was quite hairy. The boat was going crazy. The seas weren’t in the same direction as the wind, which complicates matters no end. The boat was really slamming at times… We made our way out of it without too much damage. We just have two or three little things to take care of, such as the protection for the helmsman, but there’s nothing serious. We have been quite lucky over the first 24 hours of racing, looking at the way the boat moves and the distance we have covered.”

        We get the impression you are quite pleased about this first part…

        “Yes. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a quick crossing of the Bay of Biscay. In spite of the waves and gusts, we haven’t been held up. We managed to keep up high average speeds and the fact that we’re now on the direct route south is pleasing too. It’s great!”

        What’s the atmosphere like with your crewmen?

        “It’s only natural that we’re a bit tired, as the pace has been hectic since the start. We haven’t had much sleep or had time to rest and haven’t eaten much. So, we’re pleased now to be able to eat without seeing the food go overboard or fall on the floor. We had to remain cautious in the squalls and we were extremely busy with the boat. Apart from that, we’re all helping each other out all the time. We have set up a watch system with frequent changes and that is working well. Everyone’s pulling together to get the boat sailing well.”

        “We’re going to accelerate”

        As you make your way south, you won’t be as cold on board…

        “That’s true. It was very cold on the first night and off Cape Finisterre. But now the temperature has climbed back up. Outside at daybreak, we could see some huge black clouds with squalls, but now the sun is breaking through and the skies are gradually clearing. It’s not impossible that we might get some bright weather later today, so that is going to be nice…”

        Has the sea state improved?

        “The pattern with a cross sea state making the boat’s passage very violent has eased. It’s much smoother now and so is very pleasant. Gwénolé (Gahinet) replaced me at the helm and the wind is picking up as I speak to you. I think we should be accelerating very soon.”

        In short

        Universal Tracker

        Port tack off Gibraltar

        At 1300hrs on Monday 23rd November, IDEC SPORT was heading due south at between 25 and 30 knots on the port tack, 650 miles west of the Straits of Gibraltar. Francis Joyon’s men had already sailed 900 miles since setting off from Ushant, 36 hours earlier. The distance sideways in comparison to the winning route adopted by Loïck Peyron and his men in 2012 (they sailed very close to the coast of Morocco) is now almost 400 miles. It is only when their routes come together again that the distance to the finish will have any real meaning, as Banque Populaire had to carry out a lot of gybes to get to the South Atlantic. That won’t be the case for IDEC SPORT, who is in with a chance of doing it with just one gybe. So we will have to wait and see to draw up any comparisons. In terms of the numbers, they look unfavourable for IDEC (77 miles behind). With the gybe, IDEC SPORT has got back to a good VMG – Velocity Made Good. And that is what counts.

        . The time to beat
        Loïck Peyron and his crew (Banque Populaire) with a time of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.

        . Deadline
        To smash the Jules Verne Trophy record, IDEC SPORT has to be back across the line before 1544hrs on Wednesday 6th January.

        . The crew
        The international crew on IDEC SPORT includes just six men: Francis Joyon (FRA), Bernard Stamm (SUI), Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA), Alex Pella (ESP), Clément Surtel (FRA) and Boris Herrmann (GER)
        Last edited by Photoboy; 11-23-2015, 12:22 PM.
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        • #5

          The picture over the Atlantic from Saturday, November 21 was a dream one for any Jules Verne challenger: an anticyclone in the North Atlantic and a low-pressure area in the Mediterranean. Between these two systems, a strong and consistent north-easterly at least until the Canaries. After that we'll see…

          Everything was perfect, right down to the smallest detail, as is clear in the top right of the images. Before going wild on the north wind motorway, it was necessary to get out of a patch of light wind that appeared overnight from Saturday to Sunday over Brittany.

          In theory, it’s easy. In practice, it’s obviously not so simple: in order to cross the start line north of Ushant, you have to leave Brest across the crop of rocks that protect it from the Iroise Sea. That’s never simple at night with rather large boats designed for large spaces.

          Finally, the start at around 0400 (UTC): heading west in a sluggish north wind, just enough to get 6 degrees west and finally fly south.

          Around 0600, there they were: driving fast in northerly wind of 30-40 knots. Squalls, gusts, 4-metre waves from the north. Sails reduced enough to descend south at 30-35 knots: 2 reefs and the small gennaker called “the string” by the observant and facetious sailors.

          Sunday afternoon: Spindrift 2 is already off Cape Finisterre. If you’d left in a car from Brittany at the same time you would have been left behind!

          Today (Monday): gybing in the morning to the east of the Azores is “The topic of the day”. This is a critical point of the trajectory: you can slip under the Atlantic anticyclone, on a starboard tack and then “cunningly” gybe south. The position you end up in then will decide the trajectory virtually until the doldrums.

          This is the usual dilemma:

          - Gybe too early and you may end up too close to the wind shadow of the island chains that watch over this road: the Canaries and the Cape Verde Islands.

          - Gybing too late and it’s bit like driving “backwards” towards the US coast whilst we’re actually trying to go south. Sailors don’t like that...

          So, we refine, we polish, calm the impatient and engage with the undecided.


          Jules Verne Trophy record attempt
          Day 2 - 0745 GMT
          3.38 miles ahead of the record holder Banque Populaire V
          Distance covered from the start: 848 miles
          Average speed over 24 hours: 31.1 knots
          Location: approaching the Canaries

          We’re consistently downwind in a sea that seems to want to settle down a bit. Below deck, there’s a constant shake. We’ve been under a medium gennaker for about an hour (we previously had the small gennaker up), a sign that the wind is also gradually subsiding.

          But it’s all relative, there’s still 25 knots and we’re still regularly making top speeds of 35 knots, which is not bad for downwind. Also, we can clearly feel the temperature of the water and the air rapidly increasing. The first 24 hours were lively. Getting the small gennaker up was very wet and we had spikes up to 46 knots.

          Down below, you have to cling on to move without being thrown against a partition. To manage to eat, you have to be very hungry and to manage to sleep, you have to be very sleepy.

          The crew is good, everyone seems happy to be here. The boat is working well. We just had a little problem with water coming in by the daggerboard. We had a small pool of seawater, but nothing serious. Antoine (Carraz) dealt with that.

          On the strategic level, we are quite satisfied with the first 24 hours, and with this window. There’s a gybe to come and that is what’s occupying Erwan and Yann, who are taking turns at the chart table.

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          • #6

            Current position of IDEC Sport (Red) and Spindrift 2 (Gold) and the reference to Banque Populaire (Blue)
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            • #7

              14H34 GMT

              Message from Dona Bertarelli

              "Goodbye thermal layers, big oilies and boots. Hello Crocs, sunglasses and sunscreen! It's getting a bit warmer and it’s nice. We’re still flying in a fluctuating wind of around 20 knots – on a straight line to the equator. We could not have asked for a better trajectory.

              This morning we passed two sailboats. One of them, skippered by Gerald Véniard, an old Figaro sailor, joined us by radio. He left the Canaries yesterday and is delivering a boat to the Caribbean. It's good to come across people, as, once we’re in the Indian and especially in the Pacific Ocean, it’ll be more rare, actually, exceptional."

              Weather forecast by Jean-Yves Bernot :

              Tuesday, November 24: A trade wind system, 22-25 knots, direction east-north-east, quite unstable. Spindrift 2 is feeling the wind shadow of the Canaries, which is cast far below the islands.

              Wednesday, November 25: same punishment, same reason. Approaching the Cape Verde Islands in the morning. The trade wind there appears to be very unstable. By late afternoon, approaching the Doldrums (ITCZ), which looks, in theory, obliging.

              Thursday, November 26: Crossing the Doldrums, which as we’ve seen are not too active. An evening exit is predicted, with the crossing of the equator to follow on a south-east trade wind, which should be 15-20 knots.

              It’s drying out on Spindrift 2. The first 24 hours are truly in Spindrift 2's wake, and with them the inconveniences caused by a cross-sea, the cold and high speeds. So, the crew of Spindrift 2 have taken the opportunity to repair two or three minor issues on board, but especially to eat and rest. On the strategy side, yesterday’s gybe occupied everyone’s minds for a while. It may be the only one until the equator. That says a lot about the quality of the window that the team are striving to make the best of. The trimaran is approaching the latitude of the Canaries. The temperature is getting milder, the nights are clear and the speeds are still very high. However, the number of squalls is putting a strain on the crew. Last night, there was a lot of taking in and letting out of reefs. But descending the Atlantic “side-by-side” with Francis Joyon is a motivating force. Erwan (Israël, navigator) and Yann (Guichard, skipper) at the chart table are inevitably keeping an eye on what he does. On the menu today: flying in the still stable trade wind in the direction of Cape Verde, which the boat will reach in the next 24 hours. -

              Current position of IDEC Sport (Red) and Spindrift 2 (Gold) and the reference to Banque Populaire (Blue)

              The Canaries in two days

              Europe is already distant in her wake. After Madeira last night, this Tuesday morning Spindrift 2 passed 200 miles to the west of the Canary Islands. The air is warm, the trade wind strong and the descent rapid. Since gybing late on Monday morning, the crew have flown due south, towards the equator. The trimaran crossed in front of her 'virtual' rival, Banque Populaire V, on a consistent course with a benevolent wind.

              The trajectory was honed to avoid the trap of the wind shadow under the Canaries, which, with this north-north-easterly wind, can reach up to around a hundred miles (185 km) to the south of the highest islands, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, which have peaks of 1,950 metres and 3,700 metres respectively. Four years ago, the record holder gybed further east, near the Moroccan coast and passed very close to the island of La Palma.

              On round-the-world journeys, few days are as sweet as the ones ahead. Before struggling through the Doldrums, enduring the heat in their carbon capsule in the tropics and entering the southern hemisphere with the mischievous St Helena High, the Spindrift 2 team is racking up precious miles in more pleasant living conditions.

              - See more at:
              Last edited by Photoboy; 11-24-2015, 02:57 PM.
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              • #8
                Pretty cool that there are two of the Maxi Tri's on the course at the same time.


                • #9
                  Shark vs Rudder On Idec Sport


                  Idec Sport in Red and Spindrift 2 in Gold with reference to Banque Populaire's 2011 course

                  25 November 2015
                  They are going full speed ahead. Even a shark caught in the rudder held them up for just a few minutes. Skippered by Francis Joyon, who is clearly on form today, the six sailors on IDEC SPORT are in great shape. Another hundred miles gained in 24 hours.

                  “On a 6.50 Mini, it takes me thirteen or fourteen days to get to the Cape Verde islands. We’ve done it in three and a half.” In this one sentence, Gwénolé Gahinet sums up very well the extraordinary performance currently being achieved by the crew of IDEC SPORT. On Wednesday afternoon, Francis Joyon’s gang pocketed another hundred miles. After being 170 miles ahead of the record pace yesterday, it is now up to 270 miles at the same time today. This incredible pace, which has given them a lead of around ten hours over the reference time, was nevertheless disturbed by a rather unusual incident out at sea this morning.

                  A shark caught on the rudder

                  “I was at the helm and suddenly I noticed that it wasn’t responding well,” explained the German, Boris Herrmann. “Bernard went to take a look and we discovered a shark caught in the central rudder.” The incident may lead you to smile, but it nevertheless slowed down IDEC SPORT for several minutes, as they had to stop facing the wind, furl the sails, remove the shark, before hoisting the sails again and getting underway. “We then gave the appendages a check,” said a reassured Francis Joyon, “but everything is fine. I hope we didn’t hurt the shark, but in any case, he hasn’t harmed the boat. We checked everything and there are no problems. It’s all going well.” Any other technical problems? “Well, we did break a gas ring,” added Clément Surtel, who took part in the first live video link-up this morning (they take place every Wednesday at 1000hrs on the website)… He like all the other sailors on board was clearly pleased and was able to share his pleasure with us.

                  Joyon: “Everyone is feeling good”

                  Apart from that? “Well, we are doing 30-32 knots on the direct route and hope that will last for as long as possible,” said Francis Joyon, who was extremely pleased to be able to follow such a straight path, which offered speed and efficiency in terms of clocking up the miles. “During my 2007 round the world voyage, my route was fairly neat too, but this time it’s even faster. We are well within the record time and even have a lead, which is nice, as everyone is feeling good about that. In spite of feeling tired, we’re all happy to be here. Everything is going well with the lads and there is a very good atmosphere. You’ll have to ask them, but so far, they haven’t thrown me overboard….”

                  We couldn’t find anyone who disagreed with Francis. “We’ve come this far in an incredible time, are in tropical temperatures, and all’s well,” stressed Boris Herrmann before telling us about how things are organised on board. Francis is outside of the watch system and the five others take it in turns every 90 minutes, which allows them to get 3 hours rest. “I’m finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that we’re sailing for 45 days. The first two were very impressive. There was a lot of slamming and everything was vibrating. It’s amazing on a boat of this size. It’s great fun steering he boat. We’re also taking advantage of the sights and some magnificent nights,“ Guéno Gahinet told us.

                  They all expressed their pleasure of being there, trying to get the most out of the big red trimaran, while understanding how big the Atlantic is. Laughing, the Catalan sailor, Alex Pella asked for the Barelona football results, but also added, “Everything is going well. We’ve had a great trip down with very fine conditions. It’s really enjoyable.” That says it all, or almost. We almost forgot the first intermediate time to the Equator. The current reference time is 5 days and 15 hours. It is going to be shattered. At 1330hrs, IDEC SPORT was only 800 miles from the Southern Hemisphere. In three and a half days they have clocked up an average speed allowing them to sail 725 miles in 24 hours. You can work the rest out yourself.

                  In short

                  At 1330hrs UTC on Wednesday 25th November, IDEC SPORT was sailing at 31.9 knots at 13°46 North and 27°36 West, 180 miles south west of the Cape Verde Islands. Bearing: south (186°). Lead over the reference time: 272.3 miles.

                  . The crew
                  The international crew on IDEC SPORT includes just six men: Francis Joyon (FRA), Bernard Stamm (SUI), Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA), Alex Pella (ESP), Clément Surtel (FRA) and Boris Herrmann (GER)

                  . Start
                  IDEC SPORT set off at 02:02:22 on Sunday 22nd November.

                  . The time to beat
                  Loïck Peyron and his crew (Banque Populaire) with a time of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.

                  . Deadline
                  To smash the Jules Verne Trophy record, IDEC SPORT has to be back across the line before 1544hrs on Wednesday 6th January

                  Wednesdays forecast

                  Thursday forecast

                  Fridays forecast

                  Saturdays forecast

                  Sundays forecast
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                  • #10
                    Rushing Past The Cape Verde Islands

                    Chatting over a coffee-grinder

                    "Isn't it strange that we still haven't seen any flying fish?" I ask Seb Audigane, who is at his post at the traveller, ready to ease off the sail immediately if the wind picks up. "It won't be long," he replies.

                    The water temperature indicator shows 22 degrees Celsius. Is it too hot or too cold for these small fish, whose wings allow them to leap out of the crest of the waves and fly several hundred metres on the water's surface?

                    We've not seen many animals since we set off.

                    "We've not even seen any dolphins, yet we saw some at every training session on Spindrift 2," I tell Seb.

                    "We're going too fast for the dolphins," he replies. "Only bluefin tuna can swim this fast."

                    But unfortunately there aren't many bluefin tuna, so they are a rare sight indeed. The bluefin tuna are currently listed as endangered species, so protecting them should be everyone's responsibility. We should stop eating them to help stocks recover so that our grandchildren can see them, and perhaps also eat them.

                    At the current rate of consumption, there'll be none left. Not even in aquariums, because these migratory fish travel hundreds of miles, crossing oceans at speeds of 50 mph.

                    - See more at:

                    The word tuna is derived from the Greek thuno, meaning to rush.

                    With torpedo-shaped streamlined bodies, Atlantic bluefin tuna are built for speed and endurance. They can even retract their fins to reduce drag, enabling them to swim through the water at incredibly high speeds. They are top ocean predators and voracious feeders, eating herring, mackerel, hake, squid and crustaceans. Unlike most fish they are warm-blooded and can regulate their temperature to keep core muscles warm during ocean crossings.

                    Their incredibly beautiful metallic blue topside and silver-white bottom help camouflage them from above and below, protecting them from killer whales and sharks, their main predators.

                    At 2-3 metres long, the Atlantic Bluefin is the largest species of tuna. One was reported to be 6 metres long! It’s incredible to think that they can dive deeper than 1 km.

                    When Bluefin is prepared as sushi it is one of the most valuable forms of seafood in the world. The species is listed as ‘near threatened’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list. So let’s all think twice before buying some at our local markets. They might not be as cute as dolphins, but they are worth protecting!​

                    10:22 GMT

                    Message from Spindrift 2: To the west of Cape Verde.

                    Spindrift 2 is heading south at over 30 knots, leaving the islands of the Cape Verde archipelago around a hundred miles to the east.

                    The pace is still fast but we’re expecting to slow down during in the day, before tackling the next weather hurdle: the inter-tropical convergence zone, aka the Doldrums. It’s likely it will be tonight or tomorrow night. The exchanges at the chart table are intense.Yann and Erwan, supported by Jean-Yves, are laying down the strategy to navigate through.

                    The temperature on deck is nice. However, it’s beginning to heat up inside the boat, where there is a certain mugginess. It’s difficult to ventilate by opening portholes without the risk of a wave rushing into the cabin. That’s what happened yesterday in the kitchen; the stove was partially flooded, which required a small cleaning operation. It was a small annoyance, quickly forgotten. The stove is back in action and the porthole closed. Spindrift 2 hurries on to the Doldrums.

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                    • #11
                      Spindrift 2

                      Three days, three nights

                      After leaving on Sunday, November 22 at 0402hrs (UTC) in front of the Créac'h lighthouse (Ushant), the trimaran, Spindrift 2, has already accumulated a lead of over 270 miles in just three days on the pace set by the Jules Verne Trophy record holder. And this lead continues to increase with every passing hour in consistent trade winds off the Cape Verde archipelago.

                      They have covered more than 30 degrees of latitude and have close to 20°C and rising; in three days Spindrift 2’s crew has gone from the autumnal chill of Brittany to pre-equatorial heat. That has been achieved because of the particularly favourable weather window that Yann Guichard, skipper of the trimaran, set out in for his first attempt of the Jules Verne Trophy. After two and a half hours of sluggish northerly breeze, the Azores High, situated on a very high latitude (towards Ireland) generated a strong north-westerly wind that allowed them to lengthen their stride to an average of over 30 knots. It was an aggressive start as the team steamed around Cape Finisterre in little more than 12 hours.

                      On a gull-wing

                      From the cold and wet, strong winds and messy waves, the sailing conditions dramatically improved off the coast of Lisbon when Spindrift 2 left the northerly Portuguese trade winds in its wake. As the high pressure of the anticyclone also descended south, Spindrift 2 was able to continue on the easterly, and slightly more volatile, Canary Island trade winds. The number of manoeuvres multiplied for the crew as they had to changes sails, but the miles flew past until the crucial moment of the gybe. It was the defining feature of this very favourable weather pattern: while the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy had to four gybes to reach the Canary Islands in 2012, Spindrift 2 was able to hold a direct route until the Azores archipelago and then make just one gybe.

                      With the gradual rotation of the northerly wind eastward, Yann Guichard and his crew managed to make a “gull-wing”, an open V-shaped curved route, which meant they were already positioned to approach the equator. That meant less manoeuvres, less time lost, and a direct route, which equals greater time savings. But this truism is not so obvious on a journey around the world, where a succession of weather systems govern the trajectory. The timing of the gybe was so crucial because it opened the way into the Doldrums, the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the most complex area to manage when you are racing around the world.

                      Entering the Doldrums

                      North-easterly winds from the Northern hemisphere, and south-easterly winds from the Southern hemisphere converge off the coast of Sierra Leone to form a barrier towards South America. The winds are weak and there are lots of squalls due to the higher rate of evaporation just above the equator. The Doldrums, which generally extend between the 3° parallel N and the 7° parallel N, are more active at some times than others. You can get light breezes alternating with violent gusts in squalls, extensive areas of calm and a slow transition between the two trade wind systems, from the northern and southern hemispheres. Therefore, the “point of entry” is essential to find the least damaging passage possible, usually it is between the longitudes of 28° W and 30° W.

                      Arriving from the Azores without having had to manoeuvre to enter the ITCZ is a substantial advantage: Spindrift 2 should be approaching it on Wednesday night and the slowdown will be felt from sunset. The Doldrums is about 200 miles wide, so, it could be crossed in less than half a day, which would then allow Yann Guichard and his crew to cross the line separating the hemispheres in roughly five days.

                      Saving some hours on crossing the equator is essential as shown in the graph of the record times set since the creation of the Jules Verne Trophy in 1993: Commodore Explorer managed 8d 19h 26mins to cross the equator; Orange II, 7d 02h 56mins in 2005; Banque Populaire V set 5d 14h 55mins in 2012, the record to beat. The fourth night at sea for Spindrift 2 promises to be a serious one, as they enter this complex Doldrums “tunnel”, which will require many sail changes and for them to be out quickly in order to catch the south-east trade winds from the 4°N. This is especially so, as the South Atlantic is currently undergoing a meteorological shake up: the St Helena anticyclone is in the process of positioning itself under South Africa, and in order to fly quickly towards the Cape of Good Hope, they must not miss out on the storm system coming from Brazil and heading down to the Roaring Forties.

                      The graph of the history of the crossing the equator on Jules Verne Trophy round-the-world voyages (in hours):

                      1-Commodore Explorer (1993)
                      2-Enza (1994)
                      3-Lyonnaise des Eaux (1994)
                      4-Sport Elec (1997)
                      5-Orange (2002)
                      6-Geronimo (2003)
                      7-Cheyenne (2004)
                      8-Geronimo (2004)
                      9-Orange II (2005)
                      10-Groupama 3 (2010)
                      11-Banque Populaire V (2012)

                      This graph shows that a rapid passage to the equator has become essential to improving the round-the-world record. For the early attempts, the record time between Ushant and the equator was between eight and a half days and seven days. On its first attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy in 2008, Groupama 3, went under seven days (6d 6h 24mins), then on its second attempt in 2009 it went below six days (5d 15h 23mins). But the record time now is 5d 14h 55mins set in 2012 by Banque Populaire V.

                      - See more at:

                      Spindrift 2 in gole, Idec Sport in Red, Banque Populaire reference in blue


                      26 November 2015
                      They will be crossing the line separating the two hemisphere late in the night. Francis Joyon and his crew of five have slowed down in the Doldrums, but are already making their way out. The time to get to the Equator will therefore be more or less five days. Or in other words fifteen hours or so better than the current record time for this stretch.

                      “We’re still ahead? About 200 miles? That’s good. The lads will be pleased.” On the phone this lunchtime, Francis Joyon’s first thoughts were for his crew, who have been hard at work since last night, when IDEC SPORT entered the Doldrums. The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone has lived up to its reputation: alternating between calms and very strong squalls with winds varying horribly in direction and strength. This part of the voyage is always feared by sailors. The big, red trimaran wasn’t spared. An extremely violent squall for example forced them to furl the big gennaker quickly and make their way through this dark area without any headsail in a lightning storm and in torrential rain. “The crew were running around in every direction on the deck. It was surrealistic,” Francis Joyon told us.

                      Marcel Van Triest: “They are close to leaving the Doldrums”

                      Marcel_Van_TriestBISAfter extending their lead to 300 miles yesterday at 2000hrs, IDEC SPORT’s advance over the reference time has quite naturally been reduced to 200 miles this afternoon with speeds between 10 and 20 knots, as opposed to the thirty knot average recorded in the previous 48 hours. It’s all part of the game as you really gain miles in this zone. Let’s not forget that the virtual opponent (Banque Populaire V in 2011) is for the moment further north. So her speed will also fall as she gets down towards the Equator. In fact, the lead has started to extend again since 1600hrs this afternoon (Thursday).

                      We can also see an important reference point. This lunchtime, Francis Joyon’s men passed the point marking the fifth day at sea for the record pace with a lead of fifteen hours. In other words, they had been sailing just over 4 and a half days. A lead of half a day. That is what they have so far built up and will wish to work on. One thing is certain: this evening (Thursday), the Equator is a mere 200 miles ahead of their bows.

                      South Atlantic at around 0202hrs tonight?

                      So it looks more than ever likely they will smash the 5 days and 15 hours that it previously took to get to the Equator from Ushant. IDEC SPORT is probably already making her way out of the Doldrums. Contacted at 1540hrs, Marcel Van Triest, the onshore router for IDEC SPORT explains, “There remain what I have referred to as two lumps areas without any wind, but the trade winds are not far off now and they’ll be picking up the wind and accelerating again. I’m not looking at the crossing of the Equator itself, as it is what lies ahead that interests me. But I can give you an ETA of around 2 or 3 tomorrow morning. Remembering they left at 0202hrs, the question is whether they will make it to the Equator in under five days, but it could be exactly five days!”

                      We’ll be watching. What next? “For 600-800 miles, we are going to have to make the most of our angle following on from this passage through the Doldrums, which we’ve done furteh east than usual. Then, there will be a tricky transition zone before we find out whether we manage to hop onto a low pressure area coming out of Uruguay. That is what will decide whether we get a good time to the Cape of Good Hope or just a decent time.” More about that later. For the moment, it’s all about getting out of the Doldrums to make it to the other side of the world. More or less half a day ahead of the record.

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                      • #12
                        4 days, 21 hours, 29 minutes!

                        Spindrift 2 crossed the equator at 0131hrs UTC on Friday 27 November, just under five days after setting off! Yann Guichard and his crew are on world-record pace. Current Jules Verne Trophy holder Banque Populaire V crossed the equator in 5 days, 14 hours, 55 seconds in 2011. The trimaran must now negotiate the trade winds of the Southern Hemisphere as she makes her way to Cape of Good Hope.

                        Spindrift 2 (and the trimaran, IDEC Sport, departing two hours earlier) took advantage of exceptional weather conditions to cover the 3,171 nautical miles (as the crow flies) between Ushant island (Brittany) and the equator in just 4 days, 21 hours, 29 minutes and 2 seconds, averaging a remarkable 26.99 knots. This first milestone on the crew’s circumnavigation is important not only important in terms of timing, but also mentally for the crew, since, even with the benefit of hindsight, they know they chose the right weather window for their departure.

                        Full steam ahead!
                        Spindrift 2 is 17 hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds up on 2011 record, or 13% faster than the previous time, and over 277 miles ahead, thanks in particular to the fairly straight route taken by the trimaran. Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard have sailed only 3,326 miles, having made only one major manoeuvre, a jibe off the Azores, whereas the current record holder sailed 3,582 miles to reach the equator, a difference of 256 miles to reach the same latitude! Spindrift 2 will now sail along the Brazilian coast in 15-knot south-easterlies until they reach the latitude of Rio de Janeiro, where they will need to hook onto the first southern hemisphere depression to catch a fast ride to the Roaring Forties.

                        Yann Guichard spoke by telephone on Thursday evening:
                        “We were still in the doldrums at the end of the afternoon. There were small windless squalls all round and speeds varying from 4 to 25 knots. We’ve been in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ : violent squalls alternate with dead calm) since 2 am on Thursday, when the first squalls kicked in, but we’ve always had a bit of wind, with really strong gusts every now and again. This is all pretty usual for the doldrums, where the wind is unstable, but unfortunately they moved south with us!”

                        “It meant we had to do quite a few manoeuvres and make sail changes, sometimes almost immediately after having just finished one. One reef, two reefs, gennaker, genoa, jib. We’ve had almost the entire wardrobe out! But we’ve never been at a full halt. We can just make out a little sunshine to windward with clouds starting to form, which suggests that the end of the tunnel is nigh. I hope we manage to latch onto the more stable south-east trades by nightfall, in which case we might make it across the Equator in the middle of the night. If we make it by 5:02 (CET), that would mean less than five days, but our friend (Francis Joyon and his crew) is not far behind and is sailing fast!”

                        “The crew has been working hard since the tough start across the Bay of Biscay, and now in the doldrums. But everyone is in the swing of things now. We’ve been able to give the boat a good check-up and everything’s fine on board. We’re ready for the next stage! The guys are just a little disappointed not to have had big rainy squalls today; they’ve not been able to take a shower! But anyway, we’ve had a nice start and now we’re going to concentrate on the southern hemisphere and follow on as fast as we can to the Cape of Good Hope.”

                        - Exclusive drone HD images of the boat in the Atlantic are available on the Spindrift TV server. The latest HD footage of the Equator crossing and an interview with the skipper Yann Guichard in English will be also made available on the Spindrift TV server soon.
                        The footage is rights free and available for news usage.
                        - The latest news and photos from on board is available in the press area.
                        - Click here to download the Spindrift 2 press pack

                        OUESSANT-EQUATEUR :

                        Banque Populaire V times, Loïck Peyron:
                        Ushant departure, Tuesday 22 November 2011 at 08:31:42 UTC
                        Equator crossing, Saturday 27 November 2011 at 23:26:00 UTC
                        Ushant-equator in 5d, 14h, 54m, 18s

                        Spindrift 2 time, Yann Guichard:
                        Ushant departure, Sunday 22 November 2015 at 04:01:58 UTC
                        Equator crossing, Friday 27 November 27 at 01:31hrs UTC
                        Ushant-equator in 4d, 21h, 29m, 2s
                        Lead over Banque Populaire V: 17h 25m 16s

                        Spindrift 2 pace schedule for Jules Verne Trophy record attempt:
                        Day, date (, 24h distance covered, 24h av. speed, gap on record pace at 4 am UTC
                        Day 0, 22.11.15, departure at 4:01:58
                        Day 1, 23.11.15, 727.9 n. miles, 29.4 kn, +26.96 miles
                        Day 2, 24.11.15, 639.5 n. miles, 26.6 kn, +15.17 miles
                        Day 3, 25.11.15, 736.5 n. miles, 30.7 kn, +273.59 miles
                        Day 4, 26.11.15, 726.0 n. miles, 30.2 kn, +346.13 miles
                        Jour 5, 27.11.15,

                        THE JULES VERNE TROPHY:

                        Time to the Equator: 4 days, 21 hours and 29 minutes
                        Start and finish: a line between Créac’h lighthouse (Ushant island) and Lizard Point (England)
                        Course: non-stop around-the-world tour travelling without outside assistance via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn)
                        Minimum distance: 21,600 nautical miles (40,000 kilometres)
                        Ratification: World Sailing Speed Record Council,
                        Time to beat: 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds
                        Average speed: 19.75 knots
                        Date of current record: January 2012
                        Holder: Banque Populaire V, Loïck Peyron and a 13-man crew
                        Stand-by start date for Spindrift 2: October 19th, 2015

                        SPINDRIFT 2 CREW:

                        Yann Guichard, skipper
                        Dona Bertarelli, helmsman-trimmer
                        Sébastien Audigane, helmsman-trimmer
                        Antoine Carraz, helmsman-trimmer
                        Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, helmsman-trimmer
                        Christophe Espagnon, helmsman-bowman
                        Jacques Guichard, helmsman-trimmer
                        Erwan Israël, navigator
                        Loïc Le Mignon, helmsman-trimmer
                        Sébastien Marsset, bowman
                        François Morvan, helmsman-trimmer
                        Xavier Revil, helmsman-trimmer
                        Yann Riou, onboard reporter
                        Thomas Rouxel, helmsman-bowman
                        Jean-Yves Bernot, onshore router

                        Photos © Eloi Stichelbaut - Spindrift racing and Yann Riou - Spindrift racinng
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                        • #13
                          TROPHEE JULES VERNE
                          November 27th 2015

                          The six sailors on IDEC SPORT have been sailing in the Southern Hemisphere since 0300hrs this morning. They crossed the Equator after 5 days and 1 hour, almost 14 hours ahead of the time they had to beat. Sailing some way off the coast of Brazil, they are now once again clocking up the miles and accelerating… while they prepare for the next transition. Next up, the Cape of Good Hope.

                          It was predicted and they managed to do it. They crossed the Equator just five days after leaving Ushant. The crew of six on IDEC SPORT skippered by Francis Joyon celebrated this passage into the Southern Hemisphere almost 14hours ahead of the time they were aiming to beat. No excesses but making the most of what they had on board, “we had a drink together and raised our glasses,” explained Francis Joyon, quite pleased with his express first stretch of the Jules Verne Trophy, which involved diving down the North Atlantic. “It’s fantastic. We’ve had a great race so far. The crew and the boat have both done very well. Due to a lack of time, we didn’t have much time to train in rough conditions and we discovered a lot. I’m really pleased.”
                          All of the sailors on board had already crossed the line separating the two hemispheres at least once before. But at a very different speed. Gwénolé Gahinet: “It’s a great pleasure, of course. This is the second time I have crossed the Equator. The first was back in 2011, in a series boat in the Mini Transat. That was a fine moment too, as I was the first one out of the Doldrums and I was over the moon. This feels like that all over again but much faster… five times as fast!”

                          More stable conditions

                          So, that’s one thing out of the way. With a lead of almost 14 hours and with the gap widening over the record pace (266 miles at 1400hrs), everything is going well. Particularly as the conditions are much more stable (trade winds blowing between 13 and 20 knots this lunchtime) and more pleasant conditions than in the Doldrums. Gwénolé Gahinet, again: “The conditions are quite pleasant, brilliant sunshine, fairly calm seas and a SE’ly wind that isn’t that strong, but it’s nice out here.” To be honest, the crew wouldn’t mind a little more wind… “Or maybe we should ask our technical director to bring us the big mast(IDEC SPORT has two and deliberately set off with the smaller one, which is lighter – editor’s note) “ joked Francis Joyon. “But I had a look in the rule book and you’re not allowed to change the mast during the race (laughs). Having said that, we were quite happy with our small mast in the northern part, It was the rig we needed and we got through it well. We know too that it will be a great help in the Southern Ocean, so before that we have to adapt to the situation.”

                          In joking mood and sounding upbeat, as you would expect from someone, who has escaped from the clutches of the Doldrums… all lights are green. What they have to do now I find the best route to get to the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of South Africa. In order to achieve that goal, they are trying to time it right to hop onto a series of low-pressure areas moving away from South America. Today, they don’t have much else to think about other than speeding south as quickly as possible. However, Marcel (Van Triest, the router) has warned us that there is an area of uncertainty between 10 and 20 degrees South. “On the charts, it is looking good, but in reality out on the water, it risks being more complicated. We may get into calms with lots of manoeuvres to carry out to make our way south.”

                          Time for a breather before the transition

                          As for life on board, there are no worries either and the crew is doing well. “Of course, there was a little bit of tiredness as we made our way through the Doldrums, where the watch schedule fell to bits. I spent the night awake and the lads missed out on some of their rest periods too. But last night, we were able to recuperate. We charged up our batteries and we’re all in good shape and feeling good. We made a nice little video as we crossed the Equator (broadcast on Breakfast TV in France), where we raised out glasses to Neptune. I haven’t seen the finished version, but I raised my glass.”

                          They are the latest developments for the sailors aboard IDEC SPORT, sailing a long way off the coast of Brazil. Another hurdle lies ahead with the transition zone to get through. The next big moment will be crossing the line to the south of the Cape of Good Hope, marking their entry into the Indian Ocean and the huge open expanse of the Southern Ocean, which is part of the legend of round the world racing. We don’t need to panic, if IDEC SPORT is a bit behind the record pace at that point, because of the uncertainty in the South Atlantic. “We’re not forgetting our main goal,” Francis Joyon reassured us, “what counts is the time at the finish, not the intermediate ones.” So that is clear.

                          In short
                          Ushant-Equator in 5 days and 1 hour: IDEC SPORT crossed the Equator at 03:03:52 this morning (Friday 27th November). Francis Joyon’s crew took 5 jours, one hour and 52 seconds to get to the South Atlantic. That is almost 14 hours less – 13 hours 55 minutes and 18 seconds to be precise - than the previous record time set by Loïck Peyron and his crew on Banque Populaire V on 27th November 2011 (5 days, 14 h 55 mins and 10 secs).
                          After 5 days and 12 hours of sailing, at 1400hrs on Friday 27th November, IDEC SPORT has accelerated again. They are sailing at 27.1knots at 04°14 south and 30°31 west, 300 miles east of the Horn of Brazil. Bearing: south (208°). Lead over the record time: 266.5 miles.
                          The international crew on IDEC SPORT includes just six men: Francis Joyon (FRA), Bernard Stamm (SUI), Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA), Alex Pella (ESP), Clément Surtel (FRA) and Boris Herrmann (GER)
                          Start: IDEC SPORT set off at 02:02:22 on Sunday 22nd November.
                          The time to beat: Loïck Peyron and his crew (Banque Populaire) with a time of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.
                          Deadline: To smash the Jules Verne Trophy record, IDEC SPORT has to be back across the line before 1544hrs on Wednesday 6th January.


                          Universal Tracker

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                          • #14
                            Gybing Away From Brazil

                            14:30 GMT

                            Weather forecast :

                            Evening weather forecast

                            28th: approaching the cold front, which has been breaking the trade winds for several days. Slight NE wind...

                            Overnight: Crossing the cold front, damage limitation.

                            29: the South Atlantic trade winds return to normal below the cold front: E.NE winds of 15-20 knots. Fine weather.

                            Head south towards depression developing off Argentina. It is heading eastwards, so we hope to hook on.

                            30: in the Argentinian low: N.NW winds of 20-25 knots...

                            10:30 GMT

                            Onboard message:

                            Tropical sailing
                            Easy going in the mild tropical conditions for Spindrift 2 and its crew. A flat sea and around a dozen knots of wind are still allowing the maxi trimaran to make 22 knots. This period is expected to last at least until tonight, when the arrival of a storm front will create more instability. So, the crew are taking the opportunity to perform the routine checks. The programme for the day: Loic and Antoine will disassemble the helm, Sébastien Marsset will climb the mast and Thierry and François will check the structure of the floats.

                            Performance-wise, these mild conditions are obviously not ideal. Part of the lead banked in the Northern hemisphere is expected to be lost. But the crew are biding their time and doing all they can to meet a depression off Argentina within the next 48 hours.

                            07:30 GMT

                            Day 7 - Speed board

                            Race time : 6 days, 3 hours
                            327 milles ahead of the record holder, Banque Populaire V
                            Distance covered from the start: 4 067 miles
                            Distance traveled over 24 hours: 569.5 miles
                            Speed over 24 hours: 23.7 knots
                            Sail : Mainsail, gennaker
                            Area: Tradewinds of the Southern Hemisphere

                            - See more at:
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                            • #15

                              IDEC SPORT passed the latitude of Salvador de Bahia this lunchtime (Saturday), a place that the sailors know very well. They have all sailed in these waters either during round the world trips or famous fleet races like the Jacques Vabre or the Mini Transat. Knowing these waters, they are trying to get the most out of IDEC SPORT, while preparing to face some possibile calm patches.

                              “We’ve still got a bit of wind… In general, we’re still advancing at around 20 knots. Occasionally, it drops off, we slow down, but then we get moving again.” Francis Joyon was not particularly worried on the phone this afternoon, as IDEC SPORT passed Salvador de Bahia in Brazil. “We’ve all been down here many times for the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Mini Transat. With Bernard, Gwéno and Alex, I have at least three former Mini racers on board.” The situation is not that bad either. Francis Joyon, again: “We have clear skies and the boat is perfect. We took advantage of a moment of calm to look around her and check everything and we are very pleased.”

                              Getting ready for a fight

                              DSC_8936Joyon remains as calm as ever. A little uncertainty with the weather between 10 and 20 degrees south is not going to worry the skipper of the big red trimaran (They are currently at 13 degrees, so in the middle of it) currently attempting to win the Jules Verne Trophy with his five crewmen: Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella, Clément Surtel, Boris Herrmann and Gwénolé Gahinet. For the moment, they are still moving even if the lead over the record has fallen, as Banque Populaire V was very fast in this stretch, it is still around 200 miles.

                              The area of uncertainty is around 400 miles wide. “On the charts, it doesn’t look that nasty and it doesn’t look like there are any real calms, but Marcel (Van Triest, the router for IDEC SPORT) warned us that we might encounter particularly light airs,” explained Francis. “So we’re planning ahead. We’ve put all the weight in the bow and we have stacked the sails and all the weight inside. The aim of the stacking is to lift the boat’s stern out of the water, in order to pick up speed in the light conditions. We’re really planning ahead for this fight, as we need to get out of this zone quickly. The quicker we get out, the faster we get to the next lot of wind, of course.”

                              So when will they be coming out? “I hope we’ll start to get a clearer picture in around 30 hours (Sunday evening, editor’s note), and that we’ll be away from the major difficulties with the boat picking up speed again. It’s true that there is some uncertainty with the weather in this area.” We’ll have to wait and see…

                              In short

                              . After 6 and a half days at sea, at 1430hrs UTC on Saturday 27th November, IDEC SPORT is sailing at 19.3 knots at 13°19 south and 32°23 West, 300 miles off Salvador da Bahia (Brazil). Bearing: south (169°). Lead over the record time: + 210 miles.

                              Spindrift 2 in gold and Idec Sport in red with reference to the 2011 Banque Populaire course

                              Wind forecast via

                              IDEC Sport
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