No announcement yet.

Idec Sport & Spindrift 2 Jules Verne Record Attempt

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    On The Right Side Of The Low

    The happy faces on the sailors during this morning’s video conference live from IDEC SPORT were a pleasure to see. Francis Joyon’s crew is in the process of seeing their gamble pay off and ending up on the right side of the area of low pressure coming down from Madagascar. The big, red trimaran is smoking: 450 miles regained in two and a half days.
    Less than 350 miles behind the record pace in comparison with 800 on Sunday, IDEC SPORT is clocking up the miles at very high speed. Deep in the Southern Ocean, Francis Joyon and his crew of five have put their foot down, clearly stating their goal: to attempt to stay above 30 knots for as long as possible and weave their way around the Great Circle Route low down in the Furious Fifties between 52 and 54 degrees south.

    As fast as possible on the shortest route

    This is not some miracle that has suddenly happened, but the result of a carefully thought out strategy developed with their onshore router, Marcel van Triest. According to him, the risk of encountering icebergs is not as great as 48 hours ago, when a 150m long monster was spotted on the radar. The race track looks clearer now and they can get the speed back up.
    So they are on the attack, sailing as fast as possible on the shortest route, even if this means diving down to where no multihull has gone during such a record attempt. Yesterday evening, IDEC SPORT gybed at 54°31 south, after passing to the south of the volcanic Heard Island. “It’s a snow-capped volcano, which is still active. We hoped to see the smoke, but we didn’t get to see anything,” said Francis Joyon. Marcel Van Triest – with five round the world voyages under his belt – remembers that during the first Whitbread and Vendée Globe races, when there were no Ice Gates, a few monohulls sailed as far down. But no multihulls. So, in short, this is a long way south and it is very cold. Outside, your hands and face freeze, and they have to change over at the helm very often, sometimes every half hour. Inside the boat, in spite of the very basic heater, fitted above all to get rid of some of the dampness, it is between 6 and 8 degrees. However, in spite of the harsh conditions, the sailors on IDEC SPORT have a smile on their face. A beaming smile, as it looks like after their hard efforts, their gamble has paid off.

    On the right side of the Low

    The race against the area of low pressure is being won. That’s today’s good news, as Francis Joyon explained, “The area of low pressure has slowed down, while we managed to go faster than expected, so things are looking up. We are in with a very good chance of making it to the other side of this tropical low.” To be more precise about the movement of the low, it is expected to move behind them on Thursday evening. “Unless they have a major technical problem, they should get ahead, and that is almost certain now,” declared Marcel Van Triest this afternoon.
    Francis Joyon added, laughing, “In any case, we have to pull this one off, as otherwise Bernard (Stamm) has threatened to turn us around and come back!” The Swiss sailor made it clear he was joking and that he won’t need to carry out his threat anyhow, as the boat is sailing at 100% of her potential... and the sailors are feeling very upbeat today. In two and a half days, the troops on the red boat have cut their deficit in comparison to the record pace in half, regaining 450 miles. Around a thousand miles from the longitude of Cape Leeuwin that they are expecting to cross early on Friday morning, they are now only 350 miles behind the record run.

    450 miles regained

    It is true that they are not going to be able to keep on making such gains and at some point in a few days from now, they are going to have to climb back up to fifty degrees south, if we look at the weather charts. But they have already accomplished something. While the end of last week was difficult in terms of the numbers, the start of this week has been very positive and exciting. “When we are at the helm, we remain focused and the goal is to keep up a good VMG, with a compromise between speed and bearing,” the German sailor, Boris Herrmann explained. He went on to talk about the food they were getting on board. In general, they have all they require, but the freeze-dried stuff doesn’t taste that good “while the bits of ham that Bernard prepared are well received.”
    Gwénolé Gahinet, the youngest member of the crew and a rookie as far as the Southern Ocean is concerned, feels positive too. Apart from his obvious talents as a sailor, he has also been using software to identify sea birds to teach the crew about what they can see. “Here, under the protection, it’s a bit like a gathering in the pub,” joked Francis Joyon during the live link-up, encouraging his crewmen to take the microphone. It shows what the master of IDEC SPORT is like. He willingly shares the microphone and his experience of adventures at sea. This adventure is up there with the best. The boat is at 100% of her ability, the weather strategy has worked out (more gybes at 1200 and 1400hrs UTC), high speeds and all clear ahead… all the lights are on green for the big red boat.


    IDEC SPORT’s dash around Antartica paid off in two ways last night. In two days, Francis Joyon’s men have regained more than half of what they had lost over the record pace. They gybed last night 300 miles from the Antarctic. So very close to it indeed.

    54°31 south. Francis Joyon and his men carried out a gybe at this icy latitude yesterday evening at 2030hrs UTC. It is very cold south of Heard Island and an uninhabited snow-covered volcano called Big Ben, where the average annual temperature is below three degrees. Usually round the world voyages go close to the Kerguelens… 300 miles further north. During their winning Jules Verne Record, Banque Populaire V did not go below 51° south during her crossing of the Indian Ocean.

    So it is on this tricky route that IDEC SPORT is weaving her way around the shortest route down at the bottom of the charts. Giving it their all, Francis Joyon, Bernard Stamm, Gwénolé Gahinet, Alex Pella, Clément Surtel and Boris Herrmann are racing hard against a tropical low coming down to them from Madagascar.

    On the attack

    We should find out later today during the video link-up at 1000hrs, if they have any chance of achieving the goal of remaining ahead of this low, so to its east. They could win or lose a day depending on the outcome, so that is why “it is important to stay above thirty knots and shorten the voyage” according to Francis Joyon. If they stay ahead of it, they can continue on their current route, while at this point on her record run, Banque Populaire V had to head back up north to within 500 miles of Australia.

    Meanwhile this tacking around the Great Circle Route has certainly paid off for IDEC SPORT. In two and a half days, they have regained over half of what they had lost winning back 400 miles. On Sunday, they were 800 miles behind, while this morning this deficit is down to 380. If they manage to win their race against the Low, it could give them even more miles. As for the icebergs, the situation seems to be fine for the moment. The router, Marcel Van Triest said this morning that the worst is now behind them and what they need to do now is go on the attack.

    In short

    After 17 days and 4 hours of racing at 0600hrs this morning (Wed 9th December), IDEC SPORT is sailing at 27.1 knots at 53°42 south and 81°44 east, or 500 miles SE of the Kerguelens. Bearing due east (91°). 379 miles behind the record pace.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


    • #32

      The Ice Age

      The highlight of this third week has been the rounding of the Kerguelen archipelago which are in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The crew decided to sail north of the islands in order to avoid the drift ice located to their south. Although Spindrift 2 has lost a few miles over the last couple of days, it is mainly due to a zone of light winds ahead, moving at more than twenty knots.

      The team is all set to reach Cape Leeuwin tomorrow (Thursday) evening, The second mythical cape on this round-the-world challenge will be quite a way north, as it marks the south-western tip of Australia, roughly 800 miles from the track of the great black and gold trimaran. It is more symbolic than a focal point as the Pacific Ocean only officially starts south of Tasmania, which is two days further on. The 200 miles separating Spindrift 2 from the current holder of the Jules Verne Trophy is not likely to change much over the next few days due to a weather system that limits the choice of course.

      Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard and their crew of twelve have had no choice but to remain in a corridor of westerly winds between 49° and 52° South since their northern passage of the Kerguelen archipelago. Ahead of Spindrift 2, a zone with a weak pressure gradient is moving at practically the same speed as the boat. This means that the crew is constantly stuck in the same weather system and cannot expect to accelerate until a low from Madagascar kicks in and sweeps south of Australia on Thursday evening. After last night’s gybe, the big trimaran should be changing course this afternoon to follow a track parallel to her virtual predecessor. Thereafter, she will gradually sail up to the 45° parallel south to latch onto these strong new north-westerly winds in front of this tropical depression.

      Between ice and shallow waters

      The acceleration of the boat will be marked and lasting! Based on current forecasts, Spindrift 2 could make up the time lost to Banque Populaire V before entering the Pacific Ocean and even continue to benefit from the powerful north-west stream south of New Zealand, if not beyond.

      The good news is that the area of drift ice that forced Yann Guichard and his crew to keep north of the southern archipelago is now behind them. The latest satellite images indicate that the icebergs are now concentrated below the Kerguelen islands (Indian Ocean), a long way south of New Zealand (Pacific Ocean) and between the Falklands and South Georgia islands (Atlantic Ocean). So, as it turns out, the detour to the north did not really slow Spindrift 2 down too much given the conditions at the time. Apart from the risk of colliding with a growler (a piece of ice weighing several tonnes), the sea state did not make it possible to sail fast on a southern course.

      The way ahead of the giant trimaran’s bows is clear to Cape Horn at least, and Yann Guichard’s crew has free rein to make the most of favourable conditions from Friday before attacking the “real toughie” of this circumnavigation via the three capes next weekend, the Pacific Ocean!

      Positions of the great icebergs in the Indian Ocean:

      The CLS’s image taken on December 4th shows how the drift ice is concentrated south of the Kerguelen islands. The white path showing Spindrift 2’s course confirms the detour made to avoid any collision south of the archipelago, with the route at 52° South (below the drifting pack ice) not favourable at that time to reeling in the miles. The route ahead is now clear for Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard and their 12-strong crew all the way to the entrance of the Pacific Ocean, off Tasmania.

      The Indian Ocean has never deserved its nickname – “The tunnel” – so much.

      Spindrift 2 continues on its way, stuck between southern depressions and a windless connecting area caused by the low-pressure system coming from Madagascar. They have a 20-25-knot westerly wind oscillating between WSW and WNW, and a 3-metre westerly swell.

      In the medium term, the situation is quite frustrating: the boat is struggling with a ridge of high pressure between the southern depressions that we are coming up to, but are unable to cajole our way around or to force our way through (the two conventional methods for managing these ridges).


      CNN Mainsail

      This is a stupid game: the boat is heading east at 35 knots, catching up the ridge of high pressure, which is moving at 20-25 knots and then slowing in the windless zone.

      The ridge moves ahead and we pick up again. This situation is expected to last until south of Tasmania. In physics we talk about the "relaxation phenomenon”. This is not my state of mind right now...

      With more than half of the Indian Ocean behind us, the scenery has not changed much since Spindrift 2’s upwind passage of the Kerguelen Islands. There is a dominance of grey, with rays of sunshine at times, and always a few birds in the wake of the boat. The water temperature has increased from 2°C to 5°C, which makes the days and especially the nights, much more bearable for those on watch. The watches keep coming like a well-oiled machine, like everything that happens on Spindrift 2: the sailing, general performance, but also the cooking, cleaning, and of course sleeping.

      It is a rhythm that should be barely disturbed by a slowdown forecast this afternoon and into the night. The maxi-trimaran is expected to come up against a ridge of high pressure that is moving towards Australia at around 20 knots. The slowdown should not have a significant impact on the race against the record holder, Spindrift 2’s virtual competitor. Meanwhile, the milometer keeps ticking over on the maxi-trimaran, which is continuing to make some very respectable averages this morning.

      Day 18 à 6h00 GMT Position : 50.37.41’ S and 93.22.69 E 185,7 behind the record holder Banque Populaire V Distance covered from the start: 11 384 nM Distance traveled over 24 hours: 580 nM Speed over 24 hours : 24,2 knts Sails : Mainsail et Gennaker medium Waves : 3 metres -
      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


      • #33
        Leeuwin To The Left

        IDEC Sport has made up her losses, Leeuwin tonight

        December 10th, 2015

        Francis Joyon’s crew is in the process of succeeding in their gamble and achieving the remarkable feat of wiping out a deficit of 800 miles in just four days. This afternoon (Thursday), they only have around fifty miles left to catch up. Tonight, they will be crossing the longitude of Cape Leeuwin.

        The six sailors on board IDEC SPORT are still pushing hard in their challenge of claiming back lost ground, which began on Sunday evening, as they attempt to get back to the pace set by the record-holder, Loïck Peyron’s Banque Populaire V. They have had to fight to keep a tropical low coming down from Madagascar behind them, and they appear to have achieved this goal. As they dash across the Indian Ocean, it has been a bitter struggle too, “dealing with the cold and maintaining high speeds,” as Gwénolé Gahinet, who is discovering the Southern Ocean, explained.

        Banque Populaire Blue
        Spindrift Gold
        Idec Sport Red

        Universal Tracker

        The boat could not be contacted today and we can fully understand why. In the polar cold in the Southern Ocean at between 52 and 54 degrees south, the aim of the six men on IDEC SPORT has been clear: they have to sail as quickly as possible on the straightest course they can find. They have been doing just that, taking it in turns at the helm changing over every hour to remain fully focused. The speeds are high averaging more than thirty knots with peaks of forty, meaning they are covering more than 700 miles in 24 hours… The gains they have made have been exceptional. Four days ago, they had a deficit of 800 miles and that fell to 300 yesterday evening, with IDEC SPORT practically back to the reference time this afternoon (Thursday). The deficit has been cut to just fifty miles, so we can probably look forward to getting equal again tonight. We believe it can be done.

        Leeuwin early tonight

        It is true that the wind charts indicate lighter winds to their south, forcing them to climb back up to a more northerly route. And that is indeed what they are doing. The exceptional gains they have made over the past few days are likely to slow down, as the record-holder started to head down south at this point. But let’s enjoy what we are seeing for now. Tomorrow is another day. We knew before the start of this round the world voyage that if there was any improvement to be made over the reference time, it would be in the Pacific, where Banque Populaire saw time slipping by during their record voyage. So let’s sit back and enjoy the huge success of this third week of racing, with hundreds of miles being clocked up in the deep south on a straight line thanks to the efforts of the crew.

        Tonight, Francis Joyon and his troops will be crossing the longitude of the second of the three major capes in the Jules Verne Trophy: Cape Leeuwin in SW Australia. For those people, who thought the game was up four days ago, the message is now clear: IDEC SPORT is still in with every chance. At 1400hrs this afternoon, they were only fifty miles from getting back on an equal footing with the record-holder. It seems so incredible that we are stressing those figures: they have regained more than 750 miles in under four days…
        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


        • #34
          Equal at Cape Leeuwin

          Thursday, December 10, 2015

          As they pass the longitude of the second symbolic cape of a round-the-world voyage, Spindrift 2 is showing a deficit in time of 11 hours and 25 minutes, but in reality, the more southerly trajectory of the trimaran, led by Yann Guichard, means it is 40 miles ahead. Having struggled with a ridge of high pressure for two days, the crew can see a way out with the arrival of a depression coming from Madagascar.

          It is difficult to explain how a boat can be in front when it is behind. But this is exactly what is happening on the water between Spindrift 2, who passed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin at 115° 08’ East, this Thursday, December 10 at 15:27 GMT and Banque Populaire V’s record time in 2011. The explanation is that the closer a boat is to the South Pole, the shorter its way around Antarctica, because the earth is a sphere. For example, a boat that sails along 40° South covers 459 miles for every 10° of longitude, but the same boat sailing along 50° South travels only 385 miles: a difference of 74 miles. So, for the same speed and the same course, the difference is significant.

          Judgement day(s) in the Pacific
          Spindrift 2 recorded 18 days 11 hours and 25 minutes to reach the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, since leaving Ushant on Sunday, November 22. It has covered 12,295 miles at an average speed of 27.73 knots. The delta with the record time is not prohibitive, even with the weather conditions forecast until tomorrow (Friday) not being favourable for reducing it: the ridge of high pressure blocking the black and gold trimaran is expected to dissipate slowly at the entrance into the Pacific Ocean (south of Tasmania) by Saturday at dawn, and should not substantially change the situation.

          There should be a marked acceleration in the approach to Tasmania as this ridge will be blown away by the depression coming from Madagascar that will slide under Australia. This tropical depression will provide a powerful north-westerly flow and enable Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard and their twelve crewmates to remain at 50° South at least until the southern tip of New Zealand. But it is really the Pacific that will determine the result of this Jules Verne Trophy as Banque Populaire V was very slow with a crossing of 12 days 22 hours from Cape Leeuwin to Cape Horn, when its predecessor, Groupama 3, had managed this part in 10d 14h.


          Yann Guichard speaking on the satphone late on Thursday afternoon:
          “It’s not been an easy Indian Ocean because of the ice, but notably it was a quick Indian at the start and slow for the rest. In particular, the last two days, where we’ve got caught with a ridge of high pressure, that is stopping us from fully expressing the capabilities of the boat. And this may last until we are south of Tasmania. The wind will definitely strengthen from tomorrow (Friday) and we’ll accelerate a little.”

          “As Banque Populaire V was quite slow in the Pacific, we can hope to be ahead at Cape Horn, but it’s still a long way away. For now, the performance of both crews is close and should remain almost identical until Auckland. But all this remains somewhat hypothetical because all the times on the Jules Verne Trophy are established in relation to an ideal route that no one can follow: when the holder is further south than us virtually, it gains ground, and vice versa.”

          “So far, there is no drift ice ahead of us but this will depend on our route. The Pacific looks pretty calm, without large depressions. For now, there is no big weather either ahead of or behind us. In addition, we’re assessing the use of the port foil and don’t know if we can use it again. This will inevitably affect our performance over the long term.”

          “We see a lot of birds following us; some petrels from the Cape, but in terms of the light, it’s rather grey and we haven’t seen the Southern Lights yet. Anyway, we have the right number of crew on board and the watch system is working effectively.”

          Times for Spindrift 2’s Cape Leeuwin passage
          Passage to the longitude of Cape Leeuwin (115° 08' E) on Thursday, 10/12/2015 at 15:27:15 GMT
          Ushant-Cape Leeuwin: 18 days 11 hours 25 minutes 17 seconds;
          11 hours 25 minutes 17 seconds behind the time of Banque Populaire V;
          12,295 miles covered at an average of 27.73 knots.
          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


          • #35
            The coverage on this by both teams is superb!


            • #36

              10:30 GMT

              WEATHER FORECAST

              A change of scene as the team approaches New Zealand.
              We’re almost done with the lacklustre ridge we’ve been with for a number of days, cursing it all the way.
              Deepening of a low pressure system south of New Zealand. The 30-knot westerly wind will be established this afternoon, between the depression and the high land relief of South Island.
              Westerly swell, 4m. Gusting.

              We’ll even have two lows for the price of one. A secondary depression is deepening east of the first one. It’ll keep us busy until Monday evening, perhaps beyond.
              To be frank, the future of that low will determine our course in the South Pacific. We’re keeping a close eye on it.

              Don’t ask me what time it is. I’ve got no idea. I don’t even know whether it’s morning, afternoon or evening.

              On board we use UTC, also known as GMT. Does that help? Not really: it makes it all the more confusing!

              Just to give you an idea, daybreak is at 6.30pm, and nightfall at 1pm. But it gets worse. Lunch is at four o’clock in the morning, and our evening meal is at midday! That should give you an idea of the chaos, but there’s more: all these times shift by an an hour and a half every day.

              So I just eat when I’m told to eat, without asking too many questions, but when I woke up this morning I didn’t really enjoy having paella for breakfast.


              Things will get even more complicated over the next two days, when we’ll go through the same day twice. Just after New Zealand we’ll cross the International Date Line, so one minute it will be midnight on December 15th, and the next it will be midnight on December 14th. It’s crazy, but that’s how Phileas Fogg, thinking he’d lost his bet, discovered that actually he had successfully travelled around the world in 80 days.​ -

              See more at:
              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

     Photo Gallery


              • #37
                Setting Up For A Series Of Gybes

                IDEC SPORT has reached the longitude of New Zealand, the country, which is most passionate about the America’s Cup. An opportunity for Francis Joyon to support another great sailor, Franck Cammas. Recently injured during a training exercise, he will be representing France in the Cup. The crew on IDEC SPORT is preparing a series of gybes to deal with the wind, which is backing westerly as they enter the Pacific.

                At the start of the 22nd day of sailing and the Pacific crossing, IDEC SPORT is sailing this morning close to New Zealand. Here even the taxi drivers know the names of the helmsmen representing their nation in the America’s Cup. A chance for Francis Joyon to support the sailor representing France in the Cup, who is convalescing after a serious accident at sea. We should not forget that Franck Cammas is in fact the person who came up with the idea for the current IDEC SPORT, when she was built as Groupama 3. Franck told us this during the link-up this morning, “We’ve been thinking a lot about Franck… on board we have talked a lot about his accident, as we were shocked by the news. Franck was behind the design of the boat. He fine tuned her and modified her with the small rig with which we are sailing now. The boat hasn’t undergone many changes since. We were really worried about Franck at the start, as people were talking about an even more serious accident. We were relieved to hear that it was a relatively simple fracture. Franck, we’re all thinking about you. We are on the boat you came up with and hope you will soon get better. We’re all with you.” The patient will be pleased to hear this, as great sailors understand each other…

                1000 miles of gybing ahead


                As for the record, IDEC SPORT’s trajectory has now moved towards the NE – meaning they are losing a few miles, as the record-holder sailed 500 miles further south. Now under gennaker (the biggest headsail used downwind), the crew on IDEC SPORT is getting ready for a series of gybes. “The NW’ly wind enabled us to take the direct route. It has backed westerly and so in a couple of hours, we will gybe. It will be night here for us (around lunchtime in France). We have around a thousand miles of gybing ahead of us. We won’t be gybing every three hours though, but we will have the wind from astern.” What lies ahead? “For the time being, it’s a matter of waiting to see what happens. There are lows to our north and we’re examining where to position ourselves in relation to them. The Pacific is looking a bit complicated, as the lows aren’t really moving from west to east and that will only happen in a few days from now, so it’s not going to be easy to go from one system to another.”

                “We are being kept busy”

                For the time being, after her record crossing of the Indian Ocean, IDEC SPORT is certainly still in the game. The deficit in relation to the record-holder is small and they still have 24 days ahead of them to get back home. Meanwhile, another sailor on board, Gwénole Gahinet, is in the process of setting some new personal records. “In the Mini Transat and the Transat AG2R, I spent 21 days at sea in a row, but 22 days or more is a record for me. This is also the first time I have crossed the Pacific. I’m enjoying it.” Gwénolé Gahinet told us too that the crew are in good shape, in spite of the high speeds and the demanding manoeuvres: taking in and shaking out reefs, sail changes, stacking, etc. “Changing the headsail to hoist the gennaker takes around an hour, so we’re sweating a lot under our three layers of fleeces. We’re being kept busy.” The men are indeed very busy. At 1000hrs UTC on Sunday after 21 days and 7 hours at sea, IDEC SPORT was sailing at 30 knots.
                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

       Photo Gallery


                • #38
                  Crazy that they are virtually tied after 22 days


                  • #39
                    Crossing Paths

                    5:50 GMT


                    "We've been in the Pacific for two days and we’ve just crossed the antimeridian* (this Monday, 12.14.15 at 11:45 GMT)

                    The weather situation is quite complicated. Usually, there are a series of depressions that sweep across the Pacific from west to east, but now, instead we’ve got systems that are quite varied and not that windy standing in our way.

                    We have an option that is emerging to the south or a northerly option, there are not too many alternatives, therefore the choices are fairly radical and we'll make a decision on it in the next few hours.

                    If we choose the southern route, there is the ice problem, because you have to go very low, where the water will be around 0 degrees for four to five days. We’re crossing the largest ocean in the world, with no one around us, so, if we have a problem at 60 degrees South, that can become quite complicated. If we go there, we must be sure that there is no danger of ice on our route.

                    I don’t know if the close presence of the Idec Sport crew (F.Joyon) is changing the way we’re sailing, but we have to watch them a little bit, to look at what they are going to do. The southern route is the one that seems the shortest now on the weather files, but there are a lot of risks. But if they go there, it could tip the balance if we are 50-50 on choosing where or where not to go, but from what I see on the map, they’re intending to take the northern route for at the moment instead."

                    * The 180° meridian or the antimeridian is directly opposite that of Greenwich (England). For round-the-worlders, it also marks the dividing line between the east and west longitudes and is the point where we are no longer moving away from Europe, but heading back to it. Lastly, and most importantly it’s the International Date Line, where sailors who venture into this area live through the same time twice in the same day... (with help from Wikipedia).

                    - See more at:

                    Francis Joyon and his crew of five will be passing the Antipodes Islands today. This group belonging to New Zealand is around 400 miles south-east of Stewart Island. They will also be passing leeward of Bounty Island, named after the boat skippered by the famous Captain Bligh.

                    But far from being a picture postcard location, it is to the north of a small area of low pressure that the big, red trimaran is aiming to get this morning. As we approach the end of the year, the systems moving rapidly to Cape Horn are looking rare, and this one will precede some complicated sailing with an area of high pressure a long way south at 65°S, which is blocking the way to the tip of South America. The Jules Verne Trophy holder, Banque Populaire V also experienceddifficulties in this part of the course, having to carry out lots of manoeuvres for very little reward.

                    IDEC SPORT was sailing very quickly this morning at more than 32 knots, but towards the NE, meaning the VMG is down to less than 10 knots. The Pacific unlike the Indian, is not looking very helpful for the record hunter. The route towards the Horn is certainly not looking like the straight line Joyon, Surtel, Gahinet, Pella, Herrmann and Stamm managed to sail between South Africa and New Zealand. Today’s highlight will be crossing the International Date Line later this morning, the line on the opposite side of the world from the Greenwich meridian. In other words, IDEC SPORT will be moving to degrees west.


                    IDEC Sport in Red, Spindrift 2 in Gold and reference to Banque Populaire
                    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

           Photo Gallery


                    • #40
                      25 Days In

                      New Zealand is already 1500 miles astern of IDEC SPORT. Francis Joyon and his men are still heading towards the NE to try to make it to the next weather system. Cape Horn is just over 3000 miles ahead of them.

                      Still no gybe this morning, as the sailors on IDEC SPORT tackle their 25th days of sailing since leaving Ushant. The calculation is simple. They have twenty days left to make it back home to smash the record set by Banque Populaire V. However, the task is much more complicated than the maths. Should they go a long way north or south? So far, the decision has not yet been taken.

                      So in terms of the maths, where are we exactly this morning? With Cape Horn around 3100 miles ahead of them, ideally they need to get there in seven days to be in with a good chance on the way back up the South and North Atlantic, as Banque Populaire reached the infamous cape at the end of their 31st day at sea. To achieve that, IDEC SPORT will have to keep up average days of more than 440 miles in terms of distance towards the finish. In theory, the big, red trimaran is capable of doing that, as she has already sailed days between 700 and 800 miles. However that straight line was in the Southern Indian Ocean and the condition in the Pacific are not offering that sort of weather for the moment.

                      However, the sea is slight and the speeds still high – almost thirty knots on the water and it is likely today that the deficit they have to make up over the record holder (just under 300 miles this morning) will be reduced, as Banque Populaire had a poor day at this point in her race, clocking up just 270 miles on her 25th day at sea. From ashore, we would like to see IDEC SPORT get a better VMG. But to do that, they need to gybe and the weather isn’t allowing that. How will Francis Joyon and his men deal with this transition? That’s today’s big question… and is much more important than the duel out on the water against Spindrift, their rival, which is now in sight. The pictures were seen around the world yesterday. They prove that IDEC SPORT, which is 10 metres shorter and has a much smaller crew, is certainly keeping up.

                      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

             Photo Gallery


                      • #41
                        A Tough Two Days

                        11:30 GMT

                        Message from Dona Bertarelli

                        Here we are in the largest ocean in the world, the Pacific Ocean, as has been eagerly awaited by the novices on board. The 40-metre long Spindrift 2 feels very small at times. The large waves are still restrained because of the moderate weather conditions we are facing right now - but they are still large. The promised wind is (almost) here, because, and we’re not complaining, quite the opposite, this afternoon for a few hours, we thought we were back in the Caribbean trade winds rather than in the middle of the Pacific. The sun shone in all its glory in a steady wind of around 20 knots. With Spindrift 2 effortlessly making over 30 knots, it was a moment of happiness and respite for those on watch, lucky that it happened on their turn.

                        « The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes » Marcel Proust​

                        Without ever being entirely safe from some capricious spray, it was possible to get out of our oilskin jackets, dry our clothes and sodden boots. As if time was standing still, we just enjoyed the warm sun that we had all forgotten about long ago. It is only the nostalgics, our round-the-worlders, who are looking forward to making us discover the power and grandeur of the Pacific. This will remain unknown for now…So, everyone, in their own way, is taking advantage of these moments and exploring a world not quite as they were expecting it to be.

                        11:00 GMT

                        A Peaceful Pacific

                        After four days in the largest ocean in the world, Spindrift 2, now has to cross a pocket of light winds before it can quickly fly towards Cape Horn.

                        The two trimarans, Spindrift 2 and Idec Sport are sailing together in the middle of the Pacific, with the choice of route towards Cape Horn exceptionally limited: on the “back” of a disintegrating depression from the south of New Zealand, the Pacific partners have made successive gybes (four) to stay on the edge of the low-pressure area and benefit from a moderate wind from the west. And, on this 25th day at sea, the three boats (if you include the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy, further south, virtually) are almost on the same longitude (150° West), on parallel routes before a gybe planned for midday.

                        Two tough days

                        400 miles further north than Banque Populaire V was four years ago, Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard and their twelve teammates are not likely to encounter ice as their predecessor did; Banque Populaire V had to deal with tabular icebergs over 20km long with scores of growlers around them. But, like the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy (who only managed 163 miles on December 17, 2011), Spindrift 2 is being blocked by an area of low wind, which is delaying it hooking onto a beautiful depression, flying by to its south. So, it has to cross this ridge of high pressure and it is the timing that is critical, in order to lose as little time as possible.

                        From Wednesday evening, the black and gold trimaran is going to curve its course south-east, slowing down significantly: the great challenge will be to stay in a corridor of wind above six knots because Spindrift 2 can then progress on a favourable trajectory. Under six knots, the configuration becomes much more uncertain and to keep the speed up will require multiple manoeuvres and course changes. There will even be some opposite wind from the east to negotiate to get out of this Pacific pitfall. Only by Friday should Yann Guichard and his crew be back in a west-south-westerly flow of around 20 knots that will propel them quickly towards Cape Horn with what looks like little risk of meeting an iceberg, despite the proximity of the Antarctic ice sheet.

                        The Horn in sight

                        The flight towards 55° South is going to be performed very gradually and the routing suggests that the large trimaran will still retain a few hours lead on the record time as they pass Cape Horn. The rounding of South America is expected to be overnight from Monday 21 to Tuesday, December 22, which will be after just over 30 days at sea, while the Jules Verne Trophy holder took 30 days 22 hours and 18 minutes from Ushant to Cape Horn.

                        The coming hours will determine the gap at this crucial point: the faster Spindrift 2 crosses this transition zone between these two Pacific depressions, the faster it will get into the Atlantic and out of these dreaded South Seas it has been negotiating for the past 12 days.

                        Start of day 25 at 07h00 GMT Position : 45.35.59’ S and 150.45.34 W 252,08 behind the record holder Banque Populaire V Distance covered from the start: 16 260 nM Distance traveled over 24 hours: 682,7 nM Speed over 24 hours : 28,4 knts Sails : Mainsail and medium gennaker -

                        See more at:
                        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

               Photo Gallery


                        • #42
                          1/2 Way Across The Pacific

                          “We are choosing the least bad option. We are dragging our feet a bit tacking downwind. We are still to the north of what remains of the area of low pressure, hoping that something will develop along the way.” Francis Joyon and his merry band are relying on their professionalism and their knowledge of the sea to make the most of the light conditions, which stretch out along their route to the southern tip of Latin America. Focusing on their trimming, by gybing they are hoping to compensate for the lack of power of the IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran in these light airs. Her mast is well suited to the strong conditions in the far south, but means they are lacking that vital horsepower, when the wind drops below ten knots. A frustrating situation for sailors, who are looking for mind-blowing speeds, like Joyon, Stamm, Gahinet, Pella, Herrmann and Surtel. They are carefully planning ahead for their manoeuvres, paying special attention to the slightest movement at the helm, studying any minor changes in the direction of the wind, but their joy is certainly contagious.

                          Feeling their way towards the exit…

                          “The bright sunshine of the Southern Ocean cheered the crew up yesterday,” explained Francis Joyon. “We managed to recharge the batteries – for the boat and the men. We need sunshine for our solar panels, but it was also excellent for us, as we were able to dry our clothes and forget the dull weather of the past few days.” IDEC SPORT’s dash has been interrupted after the incredible pace she managed to maintain from New Zealand. She is now making her way towards the SE, which requires a series of gybes, as they search for the least crippling route through the calm patch ahead of them, which is blocking their route towards Cape Horn. “We shall continue to weave in and out for most of the day,” added Francis, “trying to keep up a bit of speed. IDEC SPORT is a bit like a big 4-wheel drive. She does really well in heavy conditions, but suffers a bit, when the wind drops off and the sea is calm.”

                          The exit from this area isn’t that far off, but the way to get there is constantly changing, meaning that the day ahead of them is rather uncertain. The main weapon the six sailors on IDEC SPORT have is their ability to react quickly, as the boat doesn’t demand too much of them, when changing tack, with the current sail, the big gennaker, in place now for more than forty hours.

                          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

                 Photo Gallery


                          • #43
                            Snakes And Ladders

                            14:30 GMT

                            MESSAGE FROM DONA

                            Snakes and ladders in the middle of the Pacific

                            All night we fought, with a succession of tacks to stay in a light flow of wind that was very unstable, veering in direction from the east to the south, and in strength from 3 at 8 knots.

                            It was nothing to be scared of. But for Yann and Erwan and also Jean-Yves, our onshore router, it was a real headache.

                            After having passed through a 'soft patch' relatively easily, here we are in the middle of a game of snakes and ladders with a ridge of high pressure that is blocking our way to catching some stable and stronger wind towards Cape Horn. It is the continual ‘comings and goings' that is getting on the raw nerves of the whole crew – suddenly we go forward, suddenly we stop, suddenly we tack and so on.

                            Thomas (Rouxel) has the best description for explaining the night we just spent: “It feels like a coastal race where you have to string together tacks to sail as close as close as possible to the coast to avoid having the current on your nose.”

                            But here, in our case, there is neither coast, nor current. We are just missing the wind terribly.


                            11:15 GMT

                            WEATHER FORECAST - JEAN-YVES BERNOT

                            It’s not easy getting through a low-pressure system that’s filling in, followed by a very sticky ridge of high pressure.

                            “A low, variable wind, veering from the east to south-west, via the south, from 5-12 knots.” Please feel free to admire the accuracy of the forecast.

                            There are a few hours left of being annoyed in this light wind, then Spindrift 2 should reach a south-westerly wind of 15-20 knots allowing it to make good speed to the Horn in the coming days.

                            Then it will be necessary to get the polar gear back out: the wind is coming from the south-west, directly from the Antarctic…

                            - See more at:
                            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

                   Photo Gallery


                            • #44
                              Back On Record Pace

                              TROPHEE JULES VERNE
                              Sunday, 20 december 2015

                              In less than 24 hours, Francis Joyon and his crew of five turned things around again in terms of the Jules Verne Trophy record time. They have just achieved another success following the one they had off the coast of South Africa, getting back up to the pace set by the record holder, having cut several hundred miles off their losses, which had reached 580 miles on Saturday morning.

                              The skipper of IDEC SPORT that his supporters are discovering as crew leader, heaped a lot of praise on his troops this morning congratulating them on their commitment and ability to ensure the trimaran was sailing at her full potential. With 1200 miles to go to the southernmost tip of South America, IDEC SPORT is looking calmly ahead to the final weather hurdle before they get out of the South and head back into the Atlantic, with a small area of low pressure to deal with 150 miles before the Horn. IDEC SPORT’s intermediate time will depend on how they get across this calm patch and whether they “equal of do better than Banque Populaire V,” explained Francis.


                              Tuesday lunchtime at the Horn?
                              IDEC SPORT will be continuing her rapid, direct tack towards the Horn until tomorrow morning, clocking up some useful miles over her virtual rival that they should overtake this evening. The ETA at the Horn depending on the difficulties in the light patch associated with the low pressure area under the coast of Chile, is for an arrival within sight of the famous rock in the middle of the day on Tuesday, after exactly the same time as that set by Banque Populaire V in 2011 (30 days, 22 hours and 18 minutes), which was the best time ever achieved by a sailing vessel.

                              Christmas meal
                              Replying to the all important question concerning their Christmas meal, Gwénolé Gahinet revealed what the menu devised by Bernard Stamm, who is in charge of supplies, will be aboard IDEC SPORT. “It’s going to be a bean stew.” Sunday is the day when each crewman aboard the big red trimaran opens his sack of supplies with all the meals and little extras for the week. With a few days to go to Christmas, with the temperature plunging again, it is important to think about the taste and the calories to ensure that the short-handed crew is in the best physical shape. “After 28 days of sailing, I feel in good shape,” admitted Gwénolé, they youngest member of the crew, who explains they have been able to bounce back in spite of a demanding watch system in the cold, the spray and the lack of comfort in an unstable bunk. “Compared to what we experienced to the south of the Kerguelens, the sea temperature here is 5 or 6 degrees and so it seems warm,” smiled Joyon, who is nevertheless paying close attention to the information received from ashore concerning the position of the ice.

                              At a time when IDEC SPORT is starting to head further towards the east, following the Great Circle Route, the visibility remains above 5 miles meaning that the helmsmen can feel more relaxed. “The seas are a bit rougher,” explained Francis, “and the whole of the bow sections are now underwater. It’s impossible to go further than the foot of the mast.” We can imagine it must be very tricky in these conditions taking in a reef with such a small crew. “Fortunately, our mast is perfectly suited to most of the conditions that we are encountering in the Southern Ocean,” added Francis. “This morning was only the third or fourth time that we have taken in a reef since the start.”
                              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

                     Photo Gallery


                              • #45
                                Cape Horn On Tuesday

                                Interview of François Morvan, helmsman-trimmer on Spindrift 2:

                                François, how are you?
                                Fine thanks, although it’s a bit cold this morning.

                                It’s cold at 59° South, but it’s not that dark.
                                No, not really. It was starting to get dark when I took the helm, but I was always able to make the sea out. It was twilight, and at the end of my watch it had got lighter again.

                                What’s the sea like?
                                It’s rough and choppy. We can surf one wave, only to slam into the next one so it slows us down anyway. We can’t accelerate and sail the boat very fast.

                                Right now, you’ve got the strongest wind that you’ll have on this part of the course. In a 30-knot wind, what’s your best boat speed?
                                At a wind speed of between 30 and 35 knots, we can reach a speed of between 35 and 38 knots. At a wind speed of below 30 knots, we manage to get a boat speed of between 30 and 35 knots.

                                You’ll soon have clocked up your third ocean in roughly 48 hours. Have you ever rounded Cape Horn before?
                                No, it’ll be my first time. I think it’s going to be a sort of deliverance as we’ll be back in nicer temperatures for sailing and we’ll start our way up the Atlantic. The conditions will be quite varied. It should be good !

                                Today, Sunday, December 20; a lively well established south-westerly flow of 30 kts between the Pacific High and a complex depression stagnating to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula.
                                A south-westerly swell of 4-5m. Some squalls. Cold weather.

                                Tomorrow, Monday 21; we will start our geometry course around the centre of the depression: to make best use of the curvature of the wind in order to get on to the road to Cape Horn route with a WNW wind of 25 kts.
                                We'll be approaching Cape Horn on Tuesday morning.

                                Position at 09 :00 GMT: 59 02 83’ S and 109 17.82 W
                                88,83 milles behind the record Banque Populaire V
                                Distance covered from the start: 18 302 nM
                                Distance traveled over 24 hours: 705 nM
                                Average speed over the last 24 hours: 29,4 kts
                                Sails: Mainsail 1 reef, string gennaker
                                Waves: 3.5m
                                Water temperature: 4°C
                                Air temperature: 4°C
                                Wind: 28 knts, South West
                                Distance to Cape Horn: 1 300 nM


                                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

                       Photo Gallery