The Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT sailed by Francis Joyon, Clément Surtel, Alex Pella, Bernard Stamm, Gwénolé Gahinet and Sébastien Audigane won the Jules Verne Trophy, the outright round the world sailing record, this morning.
Francis Joyon and his crew sailed the 22,461 theoretical miles in 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds, at an average speed of 22.84 knots.
He’s done it! At 1738hrs UTC (1938hrs CET) on Monday 21st April 2014, the IDEC maxi-trimaran crossed the finishing line in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Francis Joyon has set a new reference time for the Friendship Route between Bordeaux (France) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). His race time: 13 days, 03 hours, 05 minutes and 19 seconds for the theoretical 4812 miles.
Francis Joyon left Bordeaux on Tuesday 8th April beginning in the Gironde Estuary at 1433hrs UTC. This was merely four days after officially going on stand by with the support in particular of the French football team, the Girondins de Bordeaux and Fabien Barthez among others. This new Friendship Route between Bordeaux and Rio de Janeiro was designed to bring together France and Brazil and come to the aid of charities in Brazil, as well as the ICM, the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute in France.
An average speed of 15.2 knots on the Great Circle Route and 18.1 knots out on the water
IDEC’s race time: 13 days, 03 hours, 05 minutes and 19 seconds to sail the 4812 miles of the theoretical route or 15.27 knots. In reality, IDEC sailed 910 miles more out on the water: 5722 nautical miles at an average speed of 18.16 knots. The explanation: Francis Joyon had to go around all the low-pressure areas from Cape Finisterre to the middle of the Atlantic. He had no hesitation in sailing 900 miles away from the direct route. Once again, Francis Joyon has managed to get the most out of his maxi trimaran to play with the various weather systems. He very often got up to around thirty knots…
The final 24 hours of sailing along the coast of Brazil were very demanding for the skipper of IDEC, who had to sail upwind for the final 120 miles to Rio de Janeiro. Exhausted after missing out on his sleep, Francis Joyon had to keep hard at it, carrying out changes of tack and many manoeuvres to reach the finishing line. These thirteen days of sailing were rather unusual as he had to sail a long way north to get to the west and this demanded a lot of effort. A few moments after crossing the line, Francis Joyon gave us his first impressions of this new record.
What Francis Joyon told us at the finish
His first reaction
“I’m really pleased to have finished, as the final 24 hours were very testing. Physically I’m exhausted. I haven’t slept for two days because of the conditions, but also because there is really a lot of shipping along the coast of Brazil. You have to remain alert all the time. This is a particularly exhausting job.”
The final 24 hours at sea
“The final hurdle was very stressful. Around midnight last night, I found myself in a huge storm, which was quite impressive… and the wind suddenly swung around 180 degrees. I went from downwind sailing to upwind sailing with the wind strength all over the place going from 10 to 25 knots in just a few seconds. Aboard a giant multihull like IDEC, these are challenging conditions. You have to keep manoeuvring, taking in reefs and making changes. And at the same time there is the threat of all the shipping between the coast and the offshore oil rigs. A tug came close to the boat, while I was carrying out manoeuvres for example. And with the wind coming straight at me, everyone knows that neither I nor the boat likes that. That’s why I’m particularly pleased to be here now in Brazil.”
The time and the route
“Before setting off from Bordeaux, I thought it would take around fifteen days. So thirteen days isn’t that bad, taking into account my route off to the west that was necessary to get around the lows in the Atlantic, then the width of the Doldrums (300 miles, editor’s note) where I was slowed down, but never came to a complete standstill. This route was excellent training for the Route du Rhum: when I finally got back on a southerly route in the Atlantic, I was only two days away from Guadeloupe! I sailed a lot of miles, a lot more than indicated on the theoretical route… and I learnt a lot. Each mile sailed, each manoeuvre carried out helps me get to know the boat. My time can of course be improved, if the weather cooperates allowing a more direct route.”
“I’m really pleased as IDEC has shown that she is still fast and reliable. I didn’t break anything important. The little problems I had along the way were routine incidents and not that important. I’m going to be able to sort them all out by myself here in Brazil. They are only minor details. So there is nothing to worry about on that score.”
For the ICM
“Sailing to support the ICM and for charities is very motivating for me. It adds something spiritual to the mere sport of sailing.”
This new record between Bordeaux and Rio de Janeiro was aimed at creating a friendly link between France and Brazil. It brought together ambassadors from both countries – personalities from the world of sport, the arts, business and the media to offer support to Brazilian charities and the ICM, the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute.
For this latest 4800-mile long route across the Atlantic, the big red trimaran hoisted the Sail of Hope, signed in France and Brazil by the ambassadors from both countries involved in this project. This sail will be auctioned for charity at the end of the year at a gala event in Paris with all the proceeds going to Brazilian charities and the ICM, the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute.
Joyon, the record hunter
Francis Joyon was the first sailor to win the Ultimate Trophy. He is the only one to have held the four following records at the same time:
-The Round the World Record: 57 days 13 hours 34 minutes and 6 seconds, February 2008 (still the record today)
-The North Atlantic Record: 5 days, 2 hours, 56 minutes and 10 seconds, June 2013 (still the record today)
-24-hour record: 666.2 miles sailed, July 2012
-Columbus Route Record (Cadiz – San Salvador): 8 days 16 hours 7 minutes and 5 seconds, February 2013
“It’s great and I’m really pleased to be sailing on this tack directly towards the finish. It’s something I haven’t been able to do that much with all the low pressure areas I had to get around. The boat is sailing smoothly through the water. I’m in the fairly variable north-easterly trade winds, which are varying between 20 and 28 knots.” Francis Joyon sounded upbeat this Wednesday lunchtime: the IDEC maxi trimaran is sailing at around 25 knots and the solo sailor is clocking up the miles. He is back up to days sailing more than 540 miles. “I’ve got just 300 miles left before the Equator. I shall be crossing into the Southern Hemisphere in around fifteen hours, so during the night for you in Europe,” declared Francis.
The other good news is that “I have managed to repair the link rods between the rudders on the floats. I’ll sort it out completely when I finish, but the repair job is working perfectly well for now. I no longer have to keep switching them over each time I change tack. I haven’t had any other worries apart from what I call my daily routine jobs: a sheet that gives up the ghost, a line that needs replacing, just a few little things like that.”
The Doldrums are active and spread out
So, everything is going well, as IDEC prepares to finish her eighth day of sailing this afternoon after sailing almost 3000 miles and with Rio just 1800 miles ahead. Yes, it’s going well, but there is one notable exception, as the latest forecasts for the passage through the Intertropical Convergence Zone are not that certain and so the skipper of IDEC is unable to come up with an idea of his ETA in Rio de Janeiro.
The reason for that is “On my North-South route, I don’t have any real choice about how to tackle the Doldrums, except some minor adjustments of a few miles along the way. The area has stretched right out. I’m already to get a taste of what lies ahead, as I’m starting to sail under some very dark clouds. Yesterday, the forecast talked about a strip 200 miles wide, but today, they’re forecasting more or less twice that with around 300 or 400 miles. Inside that zone according to the forecasts, there is a bit of everything with light NE’ly winds, but also calms and sometimes even southerlies straight into our bows. I’m not panicking yet, as I know there is very often a difference between what is forecast and what we find out there on the water.”
What about after that? “If we look a little further ahead, it looks like I’m going to have to deal with an area of calms between Salvador da Bahia and Rio around 21st April… but other forecasts show a relatively decent breeze for this final stretch. I’d really like that, as a strong breeze with the boat sailing close to the wind will allow me to hoist the Sail of Hope, that I have kept back for the moment waiting for the right conditions.”
Just to remind you, the Sail of Hope was signed by the Ambassadors for this Friendship Route the new record between Bordeaux and Rio de Janeiro. Among those, who signed it (see our previous articles) there was for example the whole of the French football team as well as the Girondins de Bordeaux. This sail will be auctioned with proceeds going to Brazilian charities fighting against poverty and to the ICM, the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute in Paris, which Francis Joyon and IDEC have always supported.
At noon CET (1000hrs UTC) on Wednesday 16th April 2014, after 7 days and 19 hours of sailing, Francis Joyon was sailing on IDEC at 27.8 knots on a SSE bearing (173°), at 05°04 North and 34°47 West, or in other words, 600 miles from the eastern tip of the Horn of Brazil. Distance covered since the start in Bordeaux: 2968 miles. Distance to the finish in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): 1844 miles.
The fourteen sailors aboard the Maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V just entered history of offshore racing by becoming the fastest men around the globe with crew, after 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds of sailing*. Loïck Peyron and his crew improved the reference time of the Jules Verne Trophy held by Groupama 3 since March 2010 by 2 days 18 hours 1 minute and 59 seconds.
Historical record for Banque Populaire !
Departed on November 22nd at 09:31:42 Paris time (08:31:42 GMT), after having crossed the imaginary line between Ushant (Finistère-France) and Lizard Point (southern tip of England), the Maxi Banque Populaire V crossed the finish line of the Jules Verne Trophy at 23:14:35 Paris time (22:14:35 GMT) this Friday. She undertook this sailing around the world in 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds days at an average speed of 26.51 knots, covering a total distance of 29 002 miles.
Launched in August 2008 in Lorient (Morbihan-France),the giant trimaran holding the colours of Banque Populaire has also established several referenced time on various partials officially listed by the WSSRC for her first world tour:
Equator / Equator record in 32 days, 11 hours, 51 minutes and 30 seconds
Indian Ocean crossing record (Cape Agulhas / South of Tasmania) in 8 days 7 hours 22 minutes and 15 seconds
Under the leadership of the skipper Loïck Peyron, Thierry Chabagny, Florent Chastel, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, Kevin Escoffier, Emmanuel Le Borgne, Frédéric Le Peutrec, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, Ronan Lucas, Pierre-Yves Moreau, Yvan Ravussin, Xavier Revil, Brian Thompson, Juan Vila and onshore router Marcel van Triest, are the new holders of the Jules Verne Trophy*.
Loïck Peyron, skipper of the Maxi Banque Populaire V : The feeling from the guys onboard : Emotion and Happiness ! We have filled a good part of the contract! We will now appreciate our victory between us and will return in Brest tomorrow morning to share this beautiful story with everyone. Our memories are full of wonderful images: the departure, icebergs, albatrosses, the Kerguelen Islands… When you sail around the world in 45 days, you see many things. The only one we did not get is Cape Horn but this frustration is quickly forgotten with the record we now have in hands. We are very proud !
Brian Thompson : “Everyone is really excited on board and we are looking forward to seeing everybody tomorrow morning. This has been an incredible trip around the planet, almost a dream ride. And that is because of the quality of the boat, of the preparation and most of all to the incredible crew on board. I am very fortunate to have sailed with Loïck, the best all round multihull sailor there is, and the rest of the team that are so talented, industrious, dedicated, fun and welcoming to an English guy with schoolboy French! It feels absolutely fantastic. At the same time, to become the first Briton to sail around the world non-stop 4 times, is just amazing and feels very special”
JULES VERNE TROPHY
Start date and time : November 22nd 2011 at 09:31:42 Paris time (08:31:42 GMT)
Arrival date and time at Ushant: January 6th 2012 at 23:14:35 Paris time (22:14:35 GMT)
Distance: 29 002 miles
Average speed : 26.51 knots
New reference time on the Jules Verne Trophy* : 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds
Time difference with Groupama 3’s record in 2010: 2 days 18 hours 1 minute and 59 seconds
* Under the WSSRC approval (World Sailing Speed ??Record Council).
Loïck Peyron and his crew are expected at the Marina du Château, quai Jean-Francois La Perouse in Brest (France) at around 10:30am this Saturday, January 7th.
Since 12 :17 :30 (French time) this Friday, Loïck Peyron and his men are back in the Northern Hemisphere, 38 days 2 hours 45 minutes and 48 seconds * after leaving Ushant. With this outstanding performance, the Maxi Banque Populaire V not only writes a new distinction to his logbook, but also improves the partial Equator to Equator with a lead of 3 days 18 hours 24 minutes over Groupama 3 in 2010 but above all, faster than any other sailing boat on this race. A good sign for the fourteen sailors entering their final week at sea.
With this new partial shattered, the Maxi Banque Populaire V carries on falling records on her attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy. 32 days 11 hours 51 minutes and 30 seconds * after entering the southern hemisphere, the fourteen record’s hunters shattered the time set in 2005 by Bruno Peyron aboard Orange II, improving it by more than one day. Still enjoying mild conditions, the crew of the Maxi Banque Populaire V, by the voice of his skipper, savors the moment of the crossing: “We crossed the equator at high speed. We are sailing at 35 knots, on a sea almost flat, it’s really fun ! The boat does not suffer, and men even less. Everyone is excited, especially the fresh Cape Horners. Hello northern hemisphere, that’s not bad at all this record! It will now be increasingly difficult to beat it but still feasible and that’s the good news …”. A natural enthusiasm shared by Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, helmsman / trimmer on board, who joined today’s radio vacation : “We are in the northern hemisphere for a few minutes and it already seems like being on our usual playground. It’s been thirty-two days since we left the Northern Hemisphere, which roughly accounts for three quarters of the time in the South and one quarter in the North. It brings us closer to home, which is good. The sailing conditions are beautiful, the sea is completely flat and it is almost straight on the road. There are very little squalls, the nights are quiet, starry … we really encounter exceptional conditions and we could not ask for more, including the boat. The weather conditions enable us to break the record but our anxiety is coming from the technique. We have sailed 20,000 miles without making any pit stop, we must keep the equipment in good shape.”
For Brian Thompson, this passage to the North was even more particular: “I was lucky enough to be on the helm doing 35 knots as we counted down 0.02S, 0.01S, 0.01N!! The 3rd small bottle of Champagne we have carried was opened, and some of the bubbly nectar is first given to Neptune, to thank him for a safe passage through the Southern Seas..Then comes the saucisson and the Toblerone, all being shared between the crew and that God of the Sea.”
24,063 miles already in the wake
This return in the North is not the finish line and on board, we specifically know that even after 24 063 miles undergone smoothly, nothing is settled yet. Vigilance is still more than ever a must, as the final conditions for the final stretch ahead appears nicely. With a lead of 1 432 miles and three days advance on Groupama 3 around the same time, a certain serenity sets in, especially as the inter-tropical convergence zone is seen as particularly friendly as recalled Thierry Duprey du Vorsent “The Doldrums are not very active, and thanks to our western position, it should be easy to get through. This will be one of the first times I pass them without a transition zone of dead calm on a single board. Again, we are lucky. We will have to get dressed again in two or three days and get the fleeces and foul weather gears out again. But we will accept it more easily as the finish line won’t be far !”
A fighter named Banque Populaire V
With an average of 26.31 knots since leaving Ushant on November 21st, Loïck Peyron and his men have significantly reduced the time and distance, leaving their fans admiring. Rarely a boat will have scrolled through that amount of miles and still demonstrating such reliability. Qualities that the skipper did not fail to mention this afternoon: “Last night, around 6pm, we were off the coast of Recife in Brazil while we were still off Cape Horn less than a week ago. The Maxi Banque Populaire V is a unique fighter on the planet. We should return to Brest in a week and oddly, it promises to be the most week-long of this round the world course.” But before seeing the end of this last week, the fourteen men still have to compose with the North Atlantic sea before entering the great history of offshore sailing.
* subject to approval and ratification by the WSSRC (World Sailing Speed Record Council)
Yvan Ravussin Chef de quart, responsable composite
Brian Thompson Barreur/ Régleur
Pierre Yves Moreau Régleur, Responsable mécanique et hydraulique
Thierry Chabagny N°1/ Barreur/ Régleur, Responsable accastillage et voiles
Frédéric Le Peutrec Chef de quart
Emmanuel Le Borgne Barreur/ Régleur, Responsable médical
Thierry Duprey Du Vorsent Barreur/ Régleur, Responsable mécanique
Ronan Lucas N°1/ Régleur, Responsable sécurité
Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant Chef de Quart, responsable voile
Kevin Escoffier Barreur/ Régleur, Responsable vidéo et structure
Xavier Revil Barreur/ Régleur, Responsable avitaillement à bord
Florent Chastel N°1/ Régleur, Responsable médical
Marcel Van Triest Routeur à terre
Cliquez ici pour visionner la cartographie (mises à jour toutes les heures)
Reference time of the Jules Verne Trophy
Groupama 3 (Franck Cammas) – 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds
Record to beat
To become the new record holder, the Maxi Banque Populaire V has to be back no later than Monday, January 9th 2012 at 16:15:34 GMT.
Lead / Delay at 4pm
1436.2 miles lead on the reference time
Sailing time since departure :
38 days 07 hours 47 minutes 26 seconds or 3 days 18 hours 24 minutes less than Groupama 3 in 2010.
Distance Ushant-Equator: crossed on the 28/11/2011 at 00:26:52 am, French time.
In 5d 14h 55mn 10s of navigation, Loïck Peyron and his 13 teammates realize the fastest time on the distance from Ushant.
Distance Ouessant-Equateur : le 28/11/2011 à 00h 26mn 52 sec, heure française.
En 5j 14h 55mn 10s de navigation, Loïck Peyron et ses 13 équipiers réalisent le meilleur temps sur la distance depuis Ouessant.
Distance Ushant – Cape of Good Hope: crossed on the 4/12/20 at 07:20 am, French time.
In 11 days 21 hours 48 minutes and 18 seconds, Loïck Peyron and his 13 teammates realize the fastest time over the distance established between Ushant and Cape of Good Hope, until then hold by Groupama 3 in 2008 in 13 days 06 hours 1 minute.
In 2010, Groupama took 14 days 13 hours 31 minutes and 43 seconds to reach the Cape of Good Hope, Banque Populaire V thus improves this time of 2 days 15 hours 43 minutes and 25 seconds.
Ushant – Cape Leeuwin: crossed on the 10/12/2011 at 9:29 am, French time.
In 17 days 23 hours 57 minutes and 18 seconds, Loïck Peyron and his 13 teammates realize the record for the distance established between Ushant and Cape Leeuwin, which was previously of 21 days 14 hours and 43 seconds in 2008 hold by Groupama on her first attempt.
In 2010, Groupama took 21 days 14 hours 21 minutes and 54 seconds to reach the Cape Leeuwin
Ushant – Cape Horn: crossed on the 23/12/2011 at 7:50:30, French time
The Maxi Banque Populaire V took 30 days, 22 hours, 18 minutes, 48 seconds since crossing the start line off Ushant to achieve this transition, a lead of more than one day on the reference time on the Jules Verne Trophy.
Pacific crossing time of the Maxi Banque Populaire V: 10 days 15 hours 7 minutes 15 seconds, or 1 day 20 hours 59 minutes 15 seconds longer than Orange II, who holds the record of this stretch in 8 days 18 hours 8 minutes.
It was 7:50:30am on 23rd December (Paris time), after 30 days 22 hours 18 minutes and 48 seconds at sea, when the Maxi Banque Populaire V crossed the southern tip of the Americas and with it the last of the three capes of the course of the Jules Verne Trophy: the famous Horn. By posting a time of 10 days 15 hours 7 minutes and 15 seconds on the Pacific, Loïck Peyron and his men leave to Bruno, the elder brother of the skipper, the absolute record for the distance. The close proximity of a return in the Atlantic and the prospect of accelerating prevail on any award for the fourteen sailors on board.
That’s it! After hectic days and conditions that did not leave any time for resting, the men of the Maxi trimaran were waiting for this famous and mythical Cape Horn as a reward. After the wind returned and the high pressure ridge yesterday, good news falls on board. However, the rookies won’t get the right to get their souvenir photo, the sea conditions being too rough close to the rock and a very strong wind implied an offshore passage for the giant multihull. The symbol was still there with half of the crew getting into the sought-after circle of Cape Horners. From the beginning, a month ago off Ushant, the interval time between Cape Leeuwin and the way out of the Pacific is the first one not to fall into the hands of Loïck Peyron and his crew, the crew of Orange II Bruno Peyron remain holders with 8 days 18 hours and 8 minutes, it is to say 1 day 20 hours 59 minutes and 15 seconds better. For the wink, we can note that on board, Florent Chastel* remains the fastest man crossing the Pacific. Otherwise, it is a troop leader in good shape that commented on the event of the day: “It was not possible to sail closer to Cape Horn, sea conditions are already not bad here we are, and are even stronger next to the Rock. The fresh applicants are granted Cape Horners and they are thrilled! Conditions now allow us to get going on a little bit more than what was possible a week ago or ten days, because today we have only one day in advance. ”
* Florent was indeed part of the Orange II crew.
A quick ascent towards Equator?
Get going, the word is out and back after being confronted with ice depression at first, followed by a ridge and the absence of wind in a second, having put aside any notion of performance. But on board, we know that there is still an ocean to cross before the Grail and no one would think to put aside the critical management of the machine. Their role is to look at the clock but above all to continue protect the boat as they have done so far. With winds recorded at up to 40 knots last night, the elements reminded them of the facts. Until tomorrow, the sailors will continue flirting with the border of the Pacific pursuing a road heading east, to South Georgia, waiting for the opportune time to jibe. Then will ring the deliverance bell back in the Atlantic and return to a north route to the Equator: “The wind will ease off all day today and reinforce tomorrow, North West of a depression centered on South Georgia. Once we will have gibed, we will be able to get to the North and warmer conditions. I might reach the Equator faster than I have ever done. It should be done in better times than Franck Cammas and his crew, and the all-time record held by Bruno, my brother. ”
Day of major changes
A potentially ideal scenario for the coming days, as Marcel van Triest, onshore router detailed at mid-day: “They will have a sea relatively tough and will have to make this detour by South Georgia. Tomorrow morning, they will jibe an head north. This will be the day of the big changes. For now, they should be very fast until Uruguay. Then there will be a transition off Brazil. They should reach the Equator in seven to eight days, which is a very decent time. In the end, it is not impossible to approach the 45 days … ”
The record in numbers
Record to beat :
To become the new record holder, the Maxi Banque Populaire V has to be back no later than Monday, January 9, 2012 at 5pm 15min and 34s (Paris time).
Reference time :
Groupama 3 (Franck Cammas) – 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds
Cape Horn crossing time:
23rd December 2011 – 7pm 50 minutes 30 seconds
Average seabed speed since the start : 26.7 knots
Lead on the Cape Horn crossing record : 535 milles
Sailing time since the start: 30 days 22 hours 18 minutes 48 seconds or 1 day 6 hours 16 minutes less than Groupama 3 in 2010.
Pacific crossing Time: 10 days 15 hours 7 minutes 15 seconds or 1 day 20 hours 59 minutes 15 seconds longer than Orange II, which holds the record of this stretch in 8 days 18 hours 8 minutes.
Lead/delay at 4pm
552.1 milles on the record’s time
Less than a week after crossing the Cape of Good Hope and their entry into the Indian Ocean, the crew of the Maxi Banque Populaire V have crossed the Cape Leewin at 9:29am on Saturday 10th October, getting once again a new reference time between these two Capes. After 17 days 23 hours 57 minutes and 18 seconds at sea since leaving Ushant, here are Loïck Peyron and his crew off the coast of Australia, sailing on the Pacific, improving the time of Groupama 3 by 3 days 14 hours and 24 minutes and signing the best performance of all time …
With more than 3 days in advance from the referenced time of the Jules Verne Trophy, the fourteen sailors aboard the giant trimaran greeted respectfully Cape Leewin, the second imposed Cape after Good Hope and before Cape Horn. Recognizing the performance and obviously happy to see things going under the best possible conditions, Loïck Peyron appreciated this new act during an exceptional live video conference from the Paris Boat Show. “We are obviously very pleased with this new record and the time itself is significant. It’s like € 9.99 … everything is done under 17 days 23 hours and not quite 18 days or 11 days 21 hours and 48 minutes for Good Hope. These numbers are symbolic. But for now, conditions are not that favorable, the performance of this boat, however, is incredible! Yvan Ravussin was at the helm when crossing Cape Leewin, so it’s a Swiss record! ”
For Brian Thomson, this time to reach Cape Leewin is almost indecent : « I had daydreamed before the trip about getting to Oz in 20 days, and how incredible that would be, but less than 18, just amazing, I never even considered it possible..”
Far from dwelling on the day’s event, the skipper is already turned towards the future.
In this matter, the next few days will be tough. The Pacific Ocean in which the trimaran is now sailing won’t be that ‘pacific’. With a westerly wind gaining in intensity in a choppy sea, the boat is progressing between two different systems. On one side, a storm standing in front of them and on the other, an anticyclone which would impose a slowdown, a decision has to be made: performance and sailing ahead the clock was chosen. “We are done with the Indian Ocean and have crossed the border with a pretty cool storm. We will jibe before the end of the day and get into the storm and a very choppy sea. We have to follow that path, because otherwise we will face a no-wind area in the anticyclone. However it might become a bit busty… By letting it advance a little, we should have the sea in the right direction. For the moment, it is not really swell that we have but little waves which frequency does not allow us to accelerate. By heading south a little, we should encounter an easier sea but the next few days won’t be fun. We will theoretically go down and relatively not far from the Macquarie Island, south of New Zealand. The conditions will be tough enough for the next 48 hours, and appear to be the strongest we will have to face since departure. ”
Offshore Australia, the toughest part of the race since leaving Ushant on 21 November is about to be faced by Loïck Peyron and his men. But as Brian recalls : ‘To finish first, first you have to finish’ and we can be reassured that the crew will take good care of their mount !
It has barely been a week of racing and already good new shows up for Maxi Banque Populaire V. By crossing the equator at 00 hours 26 minutes and 52 seconds (Paris time) last night, after 5 days 14 hours 55 minutes and 10 seconds * at sea, Loïck Peyron and his men are now the fastest of all time on this section of the Jules Verne Trophy. A record that is a good omen for what is next, promising to be just as fluid on the approach of St. Helena.
So no hazing for sailors, for a first small victory that will have let expectantly Marcel van Triest and the weather unit for some time, as evoked by the shore router: “It was a bit tight for beat the record. We indeed do not break it with a lot of advance. It looked very feasible at the time of the Canaries and Cape Verde, but the doldrums we face were very active and long. Thus, if reaching the time of Groupama 3 in 2010 was more or less acquired, it was not the case for the record time.” Improved by half an hour, the new reference time between Ushant and Equator becomes the property of the Maxi Banque Populaire V.
Highway to Sainte-Helena?
On top of the celebration brought by this news, the following also looks enviable for the crew. The famous St. Helena anticyclone, a southern match of the Azores’, appears under the best conditions. Currently at 220 miles off the Brazilian coast in a South-East wind, the Maxi Banque Populaire V sailing conditions are relatively uncomfortable for men – the sea coming upfront the bow – but still allow the machine to display some satisfactory speed. In a few hours, the setting will change, to the delight of all, as explained this afternoon by Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant:
“The wind begins to rotate a bit. We’ll gradually go around the anticyclone. It’s going to become more comfortable and it will be easier to sleep. We are not sailing tailwind yet so we have the sea movements facing the boat which makes us wriggling in all directions. But we all know it won’t last, that it will get better by tomorrow. So we just bear with it. For now, the weather is wonderful. These are the trade winds in Brazil “. Marcel van Triest to add: “At that time, which is relatively early, the St. Helena anticyclone is quite south, although strong and big, but we have good circulation around it. We cannot cut cheese but we will have good conditions to do the trick. The wind will gradually turn around and become East, North / East getting near the anticyclone. We have no particular concerns. “
With the Equator behind them, Loïck Peyron and his crew should thus have an open road in front of them for the descent of the Atlantic. Going around the anticyclone of St. Helena should even appear of almost a formality. And about the transition to Good Hope, Team Banque Populaire’s router wanted to be particularly clear and optimistic: “I see us passing the Cape of Good Hope in the thirteen days for sure, maybe in the twelve and a half days … ”