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Thread: Joyon's 2nd Leg Of Asian Record Tour Begins

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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Joyon's 2nd Leg Of Asian Record Tour Begins



    Francis Joyon has set sail:
    IDEC SPORT is heading for Vietnam

    After the Mauritius Route record between Port Louis (Brittany in NW France) and Mauritius that was smashed on 8th November with a time of 18 hours, 14 minutes and 45 seconds, today, Francis Joyon and his crew are tackling the second Act of the IDEC SPORT ASIAN TOUR, which will see them sail from Mauritius to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
    The maxi-trimaran crossed the start line for this new record at 5 hrs, 49mn, 59sc UTC on Thursday 21st November with the aim of setting the first crewed reference time for this route.




    TRACKER

    4000 miles of sailing lie ahead of the bows of the giant IDEC SPORT, as she heads towards Vietnam and its capital Ho Chi Minh City. This will involve crossing the Indian Ocean before passing through the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, passing Indonesia, Malaysia, and entering the China Sea, the Mekong Delta and finishing off Ho Chi Minh City. Francis Joyon: “This is the second part of our programme, but it is very different starting with the race course. We’ll be heading upwind in the trade winds, but after that we are likely to find ourselves in light airs once into the Sunda Strait. We’ll be passing through an area where sailing boats rarely go. I’m pleased that I’ll have a crew with me, as we’re going to have to keep a close watch to get around all the little fishing boats, tree trunks and other dangers that lie in wait. Averaging things out, it should take us sixteen and a half days of sailing to get to Ho Chi Minh City. It’s a great pleasure for me to set off on this adventure towards places our Western racing boats rarely go. It is with a short-handed crew, but they work well together. We are really starting a great adventure through Terra Incognita.”

    A short-handed crew of five

    There will be a crew of just five people including Francis Joyon. He will be joined by Bertrand Delesne (Boat Captain), Antoine Blouet, Corentin Joyon and his faithful friend, Christophe Houdet. This worked out well when they won the Jules Verne Trophy. It will be with a short-handed crew that Francis Joyon will tackle two new records (Mauritius – Ho Chi Minh City and Ho Chi Minh City – Hong Kong). Francis Joyon: “The crew has been chosen because of their complementary skills, the fact that they get on well together and enjoy themselves. There will be five of us aboard for the first two records and then six for the Clipper Route record attempt.”
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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Cyclone Kammuri Bedevils Joyon


    TRACKER

    Tough conditions for IDEC SPORT before the finish in Vietnam

    Rarely during his career as a high-speed ocean racer has Francis Joyon experienced such a long period of light airs and reduced speed. Since they approached the Indonesian coast last Friday, the crew of IDEC SPORT has only managed to cover 160 to 170 miles a day. This situation will drastically change with the arrival of a deep low pressure system generating from today, but especially tomorrow thirty-knot Easterly winds gusting to forty knots with heavy seas and waves in excess of four metres. These conditions following on from Cyclone Kammuri (level 3), which is currently passing over the Philippines, should enable IDEC SPORT to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday morning.





    The absence of wind, strong currents and the need to tack in amongst the multitude of islands in the Karimata Strait help explain why there has been a sudden fall-off in performance levels over the past few days. Leaving the NW coast of Borneo behind this morning, the giant trimaran has finally accelerated in the China Sea in a NE’ly air stream, which is expected to strengthen in the coming hours. 500 miles from Ho Chi Minh City, which is the destination for the second Act of the IDEC SPORT ASIAN TOUR, Francis and his men will be back up to speeds worthy of their incredible boat.

    It will have taken the IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran and her crew three days to get away from the Sunda Strait in the Java Sea. Three days to cover 500 miles, or in other words, a disappointing average speed of just 6.9 knots. After the powerful currents along the coast of Sumatra, they have had to sail upwind in very light conditions, which meant that at times the giant was moving backwards.... It was only early this morning with the sun already up away to the east towards the coast of Borneo that Francis and his men finally saw their sails start to fill with the arrival in the China Sea of NE’ly winds that will continue to strengthen. IDEC SPORT is now moving again. Ten knots, twelve knots, eighteen knots… smiles have returned to the faces of the helmsmen, who are still remaining very vigilant and cautious in these waters.





    A controlled finish

    The closer the boat gets to the coast of Vietnam, the more tiny islands, boats and all sorts of UFOs will be seen. They will need to be extremely vigilant with all the boats present in this area of the South China Sea around the Natuna Regency. The route towards the Mekong Delta, once again far from being a straight line, will once again force IDEC SPORT to tack around the islands on this twelfth day of racing. Due to the weather forecasts announcing strong headwinds and heavy seas, Francis intends to reduce the risk as much as possible to look after his boat, arriving in daylight hours off the coast of Vietnam. The IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran is therefore expected to enter the river leading to Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday morning.


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