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Thread: IDEC Sport 2016-2017 Jules Verne Record Attempt

  1. #21
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    Switching Hemispheres



    IDEC SPORT IN THE DOLDRUMS THIS EVENING


    Francis Joyon and his crew of five aboard the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran will be facing the Doldrums late this evening. It will only have taken the elite squad four and a half days to reach this area of great instability, which stretches out a few degrees north of the Equator. The width and level of activity of this zone, where forecasts are not very reliable, will have a major effect on the time it takes the red and white maxi-trimaran to complete this first stretch of the Jules Verne Trophy. Averaging over thirty knots out on the water and 25.5 on the great circle route, Francis, Clément, Alex, Seb, Bernard and Gwéno have found just the right mixture of energy, concentration and vigilance to obtain a very good time between Ushant and the Equator. Will the final determining factor, the Doldrums, be kind to them? Joyon wants to believe so, stressing with a smile that "the Doldrums can't have it in for us twice."



    TRACKER

    With a lead of 100 miles at the start of this fifth day of racing, having sailed 3000 miles out on the water on a fairly straight course with just five minor gybes, Joyon's boys have made the most of a weather opportunity that was far from being ideal. Francis Joyon cannot explain that other than by pointing out how hard the lads have been working in a joyful atmosphere, where everyone has played their part in each watch. "It's true that with the short mast and small crew, there have been weight savings and IDEC SPORT is behaving really well in these relatively stable trade winds on fairly calm seas. We are able to get the most out of the boat and she cuts magnificently through the water, which makes it a real pleasure to be at the helm. The combination of sails in this wind angle works remarkably well."




    IDEC SPORT is about to tackle all the uncertainties of the Doldrums. After the deep annoyance of November's voyage in this zone, Joyon believes he will be lucky this time. He also believes in the advice and observations that Marcel van Triest is offering from ashore. He has seen an ideal entry point to get to the Southern Hemisphere at a longitude of 25 degrees west. The SE'ly trade winds can already be felt and should offer a decent crossing into the vagaries of the mighty South Atlantic.

    The tiredness that they are bound to be feeling at this point has not dampened the enthusiasm and determination of the six sailors on IDEC SPORT, who are aiming to get their revenge in the Doldrums after their disappointment in November. Records are won through determination, enthusiasm, inspiration and talent, but luck also plays its part. The hand of fate could offer Joyon and his boys a well deserved reward this evening for their obstinacy.
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    IDEC SPORT: From North to South


    The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) is finding it hard to let go of the maxi-trimaran IDEC SPORT. The Doldrums, which were forecast not to last long and to be kind appear to have had a change of heart by stretching out in front of the big multihull. It was only at the first light of dawn this morning that IDEC SPORT finally made it into the Southern Hemisphere after 5 days, 18 hours and 50 minutes of sailing and extreme concentration.







    Francis Joyon was smiling, when he told us about how much like a gluepot it was in the Doldrums. "We had gained a bit of a lead over the pace, getting over 200 miles ahead of Banque Populaire V," he explained, "thanks to a rapid trajectory in the Portuguese trade winds. The ITCZ decided to stick with us as we moved south and it was only after crossing the Equator that we noticed the first signs of the SE'ly trade winds. We have been moving along quietly ever since on seas that allow us to achieve decent speed." The youngest member of the crew, Gwénolé Gahinet added, "The sun is the only thing that is missing. We haven't seen it since passing the Cape Verde Islands."

    Hard at work and fully focused, Joyon's men almost forgot to celebrate their passage into the other hemisphere. "This crew has built us so much experience of round the world sailing and has crossed the Equator so many times that crossing this morning practically went unnoticed," explained Francis.
    Some way east in comparison to the route taken by the title-holder, Banque Populaire V, IDEC SPORT will be benefiting in the coming days from an angle allowing them to sail with the wind on the beam, which is synonymous with speed and they hope to overcome the perils of the South Atlantic to get as quickly as possible to the Cape of Good Hope.





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    Accelerating off brazil



    23 December 2016


    The IDEC SPORT Maxi-Trimaran has been sailing off Brazil since the middle of the night. The SE’ly trade winds are gradually backing to the east as they dive south, allowing the trimaran to accelerate. Joyon and his men are back up to speeds above 24 knots this morning, which is the ideal way to make up for the ground lost since the Doldrums, which slowed their voyage to the Equator. This morning off Recife they are 150 miles behind the title-holder but more or less equal as the virtual rival, the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V, was at this point in 2012 off Salvador da Bahia, but much further west. The strategy and positioning are key in this stretch of the South Atlantic with all its uncertainties. The St. Helena high appears to be swelling right across to Rio, and getting around it looks complicated. IDEC SPORT has been sailing under dark clouds since the Cape Verde Islands, but this should soon be replaced by sunshine. Time to get out the sun cream, T-shirts and hats on the scorching deck of the maxi trimaran.



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    TRACKER



    ACCELERATING OFF BRAZIL

    23 December 2016


    The IDEC SPORT Maxi-Trimaran has been sailing off Brazil since the middle of the night. The SE’ly trade winds are gradually backing to the east as they dive south, allowing the trimaran to accelerate. Joyon and his men are back up to speeds above 24 knots this morning, which is the ideal way to make up for the ground lost since the Doldrums, which slowed their voyage to the Equator. This morning off Recife they are 150 miles behind the title-holder but more or less equal as the virtual rival, the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V, was at this point in 2012 off Salvador da Bahia, but much further west. The strategy and positioning are key in this stretch of the South Atlantic with all its uncertainties. The St. Helena high appears to be swelling right across to Rio, and getting around it looks complicated. IDEC SPORT has been sailing under dark clouds since the Cape Verde Islands, but this should soon be replaced by sunshine. Time to get out the sun cream, T-shirts and hats on the scorching deck of the maxi trimaran.

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    IDEC Sport Reaches The 40's




    ONE, TWO, THREE, IT’S THE FORTIES
    27 December 2016

    At the start of the eleventh day of racing, IDEC SPORT has entered the Forties. On the way into the Southern Ocean, the big red and white trimaran got a taste during the night of the NW’ly winds generated by the first Southern low. 1500 miles from the Cape of Good Hope, speeds are back up.Francis Joyon and his men are speeding along at more than thirty knots.



    TRACKER

    It took courage and determination to find their way through the traps and calms associated with the St. Helena high, which was blocking their route down the South Atlantic. Francis Joyon and the router Marcel van Triest have kept hard at it during this demanding phase.



    In spite of some complicated weather patterns, they have managed to get away from this zone thanks to a laborious route and enter the Big South. They have kept the distance to their virtual rival, the title-holder down to 730 miles. The winds have gradually been strengthening over the past few hours and the men and boat are ready to race across the Southern Ocean. They are on the attack!



    PAYING THE TOLL IN THE SOUTH
    26 December 2016
    The Christmas truce is over. After a long straight run yesterday, which allowed the crew of IDEC SPORT to perform better than expected in the South Atlantic, they have now entered a transition zone, where they have to pay the toll before entering the more powerful winds further south.

    Early yesterday afternoon after a long straight track due south, Francis Joyon, Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet and Sébastien Audigane carried out a series of gybes in winds which were forecast to ease off. It is not surprising that speeds fell and the gap to Banque Populaire V increased, as in 2012, the latter managed to keep on the fast track although going further via the west of the St. Helena high. This morning the red and grey trimaran is 647 miles behind her virtual rival.

    Soon, the crew of six will be tacking upwind in light airs. However, in spite of all the hard work ahead on Monday between two weather systems there is the promise of an acceleration as the winds come around and strengthen as they head towards te cape of Good Hope. Tomorrow in this attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy, it will be like entering a different season as they approach the Southern Ocean.
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    Pegging The Fun Meter




    SPEEDO GOING WILD ON IDEC SPORT
    28 December 2016

    Approaching the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope, the first of the three major capes in the round the world voyage, the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran has just experienced the most prolific day of the trip, which began 12 days ago. Francis Joyon and his small crew of just five are causing the speedo to go crazy, sailing 855 miles in the past 24 hours, averaging 35.59 knots. This performance is set to continue, “maybe all the way to Australia,” stated a cautious Francis Joyon, with the maxi-trimaran sailing safely with peak speeds of 44 knots recorded during the night. IDEC SPORT has the ability to win back the miles and get back to the record pace of Banque Populaire V, which rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 11 days, 21 hours and 48 minutes on 3rd December 2011. Relegated to 755 miles behind their virtual rival on Boxing Day, Joyon, Surtel, Pella, Stamm, Audigane and Gahinet have already narrowed the gap to 550 miles.



    “We aren’t comparing our performances at the helm, but if anyone asks, you can tell them that I’m the fastest.” With his usual laugh, the Catalan sailor, Alex Pella summed up the atmosphere on board the maxi-trimaran IDEC SPORT going at full pelt in their attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy record. They remain concentrated, relaxed and the atmosphere is friendly at the start of this thirteenth day of racing. “The seas are flat calm, which means we can keep up high speeds,” explained Francis Joyon. “We took in a reef on the mainsail and the boat is well set up for very high speeds.” Alex Pella added, “This boat cuts through the water fantastically well and that is contributing to allowing us to maintain high average speeds. We are really enjoying ourselves at the helm, particularly as the air temperature with this NW’ly wind remains mild and easy to bear. We are really please about this lightning bolt entrance into the Southern Ocean.”



    TRACKER

    IDEC SPORT is speeding along towards the Indian Ocean. The big red and white trimaran is going slightly further south with each mile. “We are aiming to pass south of the Cape of Good Hope at 45° S,” confirmed Francis, while mentioning the worrying matter of the presence of drifting ice. “Marcel van Triest is closely monitoring the presence of any ice in the area. We won’t take any unnecessary risks, but we know too that we will have to get close, preferably during the day to icebergs.” Joyon’s men are giving it their all to stay for as long as possible ahead of this southern low. Continuing with as few manoeuvres as required and at the current speed, IDEC SPORT could get back up to the position of Banque Populaire V by Cape Leeuwin in SW Australia. They are expecting to pass the Cape of Good Hope tomorrow morning after just under thirteen days of sailing.
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    Good Hope At Full Speed

    29 December 2016
    Still at full power, IDEC SPORT crossed the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope, the first of the three major capes in the Jules Verne Trophy at 0347 hrs UTC after 12 days and 19 hours. Pushed along in front of a low-pressure system, Francis Joyon and his crew are keeping up high average speeds having sailed 879 miles in 24 hours at an average of 36.6 knots.



    Since they entered the Southern Ocean 48 hours ago, Francis Joyon, Alex Pella, Bernard Stamm, Gwénolé Gahinet, Clément Surtel and Sébastien Audigane have been clocking up incredible speeds in ideal conditions. On the attack, the six sailors are taking it in turns at the helm as they fight hard to remain ahead of the system. They have therefore been able to regain a lot of the ground they lost in the South Atlantic as they aim for the record time of 45 days and 13 hours, and meanwhile have clocked up the best day in the history of the Jules Verne Trophy.




    Today they are less than one day off the pace (21h and 40mins) set by the title-holder, Banque Populaire V skippered by Loïck Peyron. This deficit is continuing to fall, as conditions remain favourable for IDEC SPORT with a good wind angle allowing them to remain at around 35 knots. It was at 0541 this Thursday morning that the red and white trimaran entered the Indian Ocean passing Cape Agulhas. In this cold and hostile wasteland, they are currently reaching peak speeds of around forty knots.




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    Melting Away The Deficit In The 50's




    COLD WEATHER AHEAD IN THE FIFTIES
    30 December 2016


    1000 miles from the Kerguelens that they should pass via the south, IDEC SPORT is continuing to progress at high speed. Francis Joyon and his crew are keeping up some very high averages and in so doing narrowing the gap to their virtual rival the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy. The speedo is stuck on around 35 knots meaning that the record attempt is definitely still on in the Indian Ocean. They need to keep an eye out for ice in these hostile latitudes…

    Aboard IDEC SPORT, which entered the Southern Ocean yesterday, Francis Joyon and his crewmen are taking it in turns every half hour at the helm to make the most of the favourable conditions. As they enter the Fifties, the big red and white trimaran is narrowing the gap to Banque Populaire V, whose lead is melting away. In the rankings this Friday morning, the deficit of 755 miles recorded on 26th December is now down to less than 300 miles.





    On the deck, warm clothing and gloves are required as the trimaran dives into the Southen Ocean. The radar is on permanent watch and is a vital help in these southern latitudes. “It is very cold with the se temperature down to 2 or 3°” stated Sébastien Audigane, in a video sent back this morning. Famous for his skill at the helm, Big Seb admits he is enjoying seeing the dials indicate such high speeds in the leaden skies of the Indian Ocean. “We’ve just shaken out a reef as we weren’t going fast enough, just 35 knots, so now we’re under full mainsail and making forty knots.”



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    Advancing Into The New Year



    TRACKER

    After 15 day at sea, pursuing the reference of Banque Populaire, Francis Joyon and crew have accelerated
    ahead, just as 2016 comes to a close!
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    IDEC Sport 500 nm In Advance

    AN INCREDIBLE TIME TO LEEUWIN
    2 January 2017



    TRACKER


    IDEC SPORT’s dash across the Southern Ocean should be rewarded this afternoon with the first intermediate record for Joyon and Co. They look like setting an incredible time to Cape Leeuwin in SW Australia, the second major cape in the Jules Verne Trophy.

    It will have taken them just over 17 days since leaving Ushant, some twenty hours ahead of the reference time set by the title-holder, Banque Populaire V. Joyon, Pella, Stamm, Gahinet, Audigane and Surtel should be setting a new record for the stretch between the Cape of Good Hope and Leeuwin, which they covered at an average speed of more than 36 knots.



    The speed has dropped slightly since yesterday evening, as expected by Francis Joyon yesterday. The strong winds are on the left of the boat, shifting to the north. This requires skill at the helm with teh wind on the beam and speeds will not be as high as over the past few days since entering the Indian OCean on 29th December, just four days ago. The lead over Loïck Peyron and his crew of thirteen is now 437 miles, and they are still extending this lead, with IDEC SPORT continuing to go straight on gaining by taking the direct route in the Furious Fifties.


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

    An amazing feat
    By crossing the longitude of Cape Leeuwin in SW Australia this afternoon after entering the Indian Ocean on Thursday 29th December, the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran has just achieved one of the most amazing feats in the history of the Jules Verne Trophy. Joyon, Surtel, Audigane, Pella, Gahinet and Stamm have sailed seven whole days at more than 800 miles a day with peaks from 28th to 31st December respectively of 876, 871 and 869 miles, meaning an average speed of more than 36 knots.

    Ushant - Australia in just 17 days, 6 hours and 59 minutes

    After setting out from Ushant on 16th December taking advantage of what he called an average weather opportunity, Joyon and his incredible gang had to work hard in an Atlantic that was far from cooperative and fell some 755 miles behind the pace set by the title-holder, the maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V skippered by Loïck Peyron with a crew of thirteen. Diving down into the Forties they hopped onto the front of a low on which they are still sailing a long way off Cape Leeuwin. There have been supersonic speeds throughout this crossing and all carried out on a straight line, shattering all the records today. Crossing the longitude of CapeLeeuwin in 17 days, 6 hours and 59 minutes, Joyon and his gang have improved on Peyron's performance by sixteen hours. Groupama 3, which became IDEC SPORT, took 21 days and 14 hours to sail this distance in 2010.

    The Indian in 4 days and 9 hours - averaging more than 35 knots
    The record time between Cape Agulhas marking the entrance into the Indian Ocean and Cape Leeuwin already belonged to Francis Joyon and his men after their performance last year with a time of 5 days 11 hours and 23 minutes. That time is completely annihilated after this historic week, as it has been taken to 4 days, 9 hours and 37 minutes. It is true that Ushant is still a long way ahead and they will only be at the halfway point at the end of the week. But IDEC SPORT has not yet finished sailing on her straight trajectory at speed and hopes to continue to do this until they approach the Pacific...

    A huge effort
    The crew of IDEC SPORT have have had their foot down since they entered the Forties, watch after watch taking it in turns to deal with this high speed sailing. "Conditions were right to allow us to sail quickly and without too much work," explained Francis Joyon, far from any triumphalism after seeing the ocean covered in just a few days. "We are concentrating on our job at the helm, staying there for no longer than half an hour and paying attention to the trimming. Always on the port tack, manoeuvres involved taking in or shaking out a reef and modifying the headsail. That was the case last night, when we ran into an area of squalls that were not forecast. "The talent of the helmsmen is working wonders on these calm seas. "We are entering a transition zone today between the low that has been behind us for several days and a new low forming ahead of us," added Bernard Stamm. "As long as these two systems don't merge, wind conditions should remain unstable." IDEC SPORT is continuing at high speed with wind on the beam from the north, which can be tricky when the giant trimaran lifts up her windward float. "More than ever, as we are beginning to feel tired, we need to be cautious at the helm and at the sheets," insisted Captain Joyon.
    The men on IDEC SPORT, far from celebrating their achievement, are looking ahead to what is coming up and aim to continue on this winning tack. "We thought it would take us longer to catch Banque Populaire V," declared a surprised Francis Joyon, "in the Pacific, where Loïck had a few difficult days. We are pleased. The Pacific is looking good for us, and we are determined to make the most of that."
    Last edited by Photoboy; 01-02-2017 at 03:40 PM.
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