Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT, Skipper Francis Joyon and his crew, prior to their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt, crew circumnavigation, in Brest on November 20, 2016 - Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT, Skipper Francis Joyon and his crew, prior to their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt, crew circumnavigation, in Brest on November 20, 2016 – Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

Francis Joyon and his crew of five took the decision yesterday morning to turn back after six days of sailing in their attempt at the round the world record. Aboard IDEC SPORT, they are heading for Brest to await a better opportunity to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy.

After what was a more than satisfying start until the Cape Verde Islands, the maxi-trimaran IDEC SPORT found herself taken prisoner in the Doldrums, which were very active and expanding in front of them. Even experienced sailors like Francis Joyon, Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella and Boris Herrmann were surprised by the situation.

Francis Joyon looks back at this episode for us. “Aboard the red and grey bird, we are approaching the Doldrums feeling upbeat after these first few days at sea. We’re on schedule and our virtual rival is alongside us on the tracker. The weather models and satellite photos indicate a fairly rapid crossing of the 200 miles separating the winds in the North and South Atlantic. We’re entering a zone of leaden skies and heavy rain, but feeling quietly confident.”

“If you total up the experience of the six of us, you’re looking at several dozen crossings of this zone. But it is hell out here with rain that is getting heavier and heavier leaving several centimetres of water on the deck, while the skies are so black that it’s like night. Sudden violent gusts hit us, and we have to sail downwind for a few minutes before finding the sails flapping with no wind at all.”

Under full sail in the dark just to get out of there
“That was just the introduction to the thirty hours that would follow. I can remember one particular moment at night with Alex at the helm under full mainsail and big gennaker, when we were forced to run downwind in 40 knots of wind. This wasn’t one big gust, but wind that lasted a fairly long time, to the extent that we wondered how long it would be before the boat capsized if it got any worse. Under full sail in the dark with sails wide open, we sped along in the dark without paying attention to the route, just to get away from the worst. Last time Alex found himself in such a situation, aboard a MOD70 a few months ago, (Musandam Oman Sail – Transat Quebec/Saint-Malo, editor’s note), the wind proved too strong for the boat to keep her balance and she suddenly went over with Alex trapped under the net. It was a very lucky escape for him and this experience has strengthened his courage. Then, there were the calms with the trimaran drifting at 1 knot, a snail’s pace.”

Heading north to Brittany for another start
“The skipper’s mood sank as did that of the crew that are usually so upbeat. We saw the hours slipping by. Hours when we should have been hopping onto a low a long way south, which was heading for the Cape of Good Hope without us. The following morning we should have been in the SE’ly trade winds, but it was too late. The stopwatch, usually on our side, was against us, so all we could do was head north to go back across the Doldrums and towards Brittany to give it another go later. There’s no getting away from the Doldrums…”

Training for the maxi tri IDEC Sport, skipper Francis Joyon, and his crew, prior to their circumnavigation crew record attempt for Trophy Jules Verne, off Belle Ile, on october 12, 2016 - Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Training for the maxi tri IDEC Sport, skipper Francis Joyon, and his crew, prior to their circumnavigation crew record attempt for Trophy Jules Verne, off Belle Ile, on october 12, 2016 – Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

It was at 21:14:45 UTC on Sunday 20th November that Francis Joyon and his crew crossed the start line for the Jules Verne Trophy, the outright round the world sailing record, on IDEC SPORT.  “All we can see is the Créac’h Lighthouse. It’s pitch black. But we have the impression that this is the start of something big,” commented Francis Joyon, the skipper of IDEC SPORT, who was in a hurry not to avoid the weather opportunity ahead of the bows of the 31m long trimaran.

24 knots crossing the line

Francis Joyon, Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella, Gwénolé Gahinet, Clément Surtel and Boris Herrmann left the harbour in Brest shortly before 1845 UTC. They had intended to wait a while in the light airs at the centre of the low before making the most of some powerful and favourable winds generated to the west of this system. The weather however meant they did not have to remain patient for long, as they ended up crossing the line much earlier than scheduled. This commando force of exceptional sailors set off on Sunday to break the record, propelled along at 24 knots after a change of headsail over the line between the Le Créac’h lighthouse on Ushant and The Lizard at the SW tip of Britain.

The situation is very unusual for a record attempt and this is a first for Francis Joyon. The voyage is beginning with light airs, but northerly gales are on their way to the tip of Brittany. This is the system that Francis and his router, Marcel van Triest have been looking at. The skipper hopes to pick up these winds later this Monday morning to speed across the Bay of Biscay and get to the trade winds off Portugal and the Canaries without hitch.

The first few hours were more of a slow trot as they make their way across a ridge, where there are light winds and calms. So the maxi trimaran is practically stopped waiting for the big blow to head towards the SW. As usual, the sea state will determine how fast they can go. The storms which swept across Western France this weekend led to a heavy swell, but this has eased and is in the same direction as the wind, so it should not be too much of a problem for the multihull.

Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT, Skipper Francis Joyon and his crew, prior to their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt, crew circumnavigation, in Brest on November 20, 2016 - Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT, Skipper Francis Joyon and his crew, prior to their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt, crew circumnavigation, in Brest on November 20, 2016 – Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

Same people to try again

After making an initial attempt last year and getting ever so close to the record, the crew of IDEC SPORT has set off in the same configuration as last time. There is no point in changing such a fantastic combination. To smash the record set by Loïck Peyron and his crew of thirteen dating back to January 2012 and see his name in the record books for the eighth time, Francis Joyon along with his crew of five must return to cross this same line between Brittany and Cornwall by 10:56:38 UTC on 5th January 2017.

Gwenole Gahinet portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Gwenole Gahinet portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Clement Surtel portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Clement Surtel portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

xxxx portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

xxxx portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Bernard Stamm portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Bernard Stamm portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

xxxx portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

xxxx portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Alex Pella portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Alex Pella portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

 

Francis Joyon portrait, skipper of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Francis Joyon portrait, skipper of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran crew members, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran crew members, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

September 28th, 2016
IDEC SPORT will once again be tackling the Jules Verne Trophy, less than a year after their last attempt, when Francis Joyon’s crew only missed out on the record by two days. For the first time in the history of the Trophy, the crew will remain the same. For this wild bunch of just six, there is the feeling that the job needs to be completed.
At the finish in Brest last February, the six sailors on IDEC SPORT, without exception, stated that they wanted to get back together and sail around the world. A lot of people thought it was just a statement, a desire expressed in the heat of the moment at the finish, particularly as it is never easy to bring together such world-renowned sailors, who are often hired for other adventures or other races. It seemed that the likelihood of setting off with exactly the same crew was remote… but that is exactly what is going to happen.
They will all be there again ready to sail around the world, as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Maybe in late October, but in any case, “as early as possible,” declared Francis Joyon. In particular, because “there aren’t many of these opportunities between October and February” and by setting off early in the season, there is a greater likelihood of moving from one system to another on the final climb back up the Atlantic. Taking advantage of their first round the world voyage together, when they pulled off some remarkable achievements (Indian Ocean record, in particular) but above all, experienced an extraordinary human adventure, the six sailors on IDEC SPORT are going to do it all over again, hoping that they will be luckier this time and grab the record held by Loïck Peyron’s crew since 2012 – 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.
Francis Joyon portrait, skipper of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Francis Joyon portrait, skipper of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Francis Joyon presents…
Let’s leave the job of presenting the five sailors to Francis Joyon, who sailed 30,000 miles with them. They come from a range of backgrounds, but are all good all-rounders and motivated by the same goal – to become the fastest men around the world:
Alex Pella portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Alex Pella portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Alex Pella (SPAIN) 43
F.J.: “Alex was on watch with Bernard (Stamm) and they got on like a house on fire. You just have to watch the funny videos they did together to see that… Alex has a huge experience of sailing on all sorts of boats, in particular on 60-foot IMOCAs (the Vendée Globe boats). He is bringing us his wealth of experience from solo, double-handed and crewed racing. As there aren’t many of us, we don’t have defined roles on board and everyone needs to know how to do everything! Alex is a very good trimmer, helmsman, but is also good when carrying out manoeuvres on the bow…. In fact, I’m wondering what he isn’t good at!”
>Bon in Barcelona, the Catalan sailor began his career on a Mini 6.50 (2nd in the Transatlantic race) before winning the Route du Rhum on a Class40. He has also sailed a lot on bigger boats, in particular in the Barcelona World Race, in which he finished fourth in 2011.
xxxx portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

xxxx portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Boris Herrmann (GER) 35
F.J: “Befoere coming out with us, Boris had already sailed around the world on a small boat, a project he ran himself. He sails a lot with a crew, but also has a lot of experience sailing solo. He’s a nice, friendly guy, who knows how to do a lot of things. He is also a good all-rounder. Our crew is basically a group of solo sailors who complement and help each other. He fits in perfectly with those criteria.”
>In 2009, Boris Herrmann became the first German to win a round the world record: the Global Ocean Race. He can do anything, has sailed on small monohulls and giant multihulls and has the experience having faced the hostility of the Southern Ocean. Like a Swiss army knife, he is multi-purpose.
Bernard Stamm portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Bernard Stamm portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Bernard Stamm (CH) 52
F.J: “Out of all of this, it is Bernard, who has clocked up the most round the world voyages. He is our most determined helmsman. He knows how to speed the boat up, but keeps that speed going. During our last attempt, he gave us something extra in terms of strategy, navigation, finding the ideal route. It’s always worth listening to his advice. Having taken part in the Vendée Globe, where routing is not allowed, he has really worked hard on these matters. He is very clever at analysing satellite photos.”
Ø The only member of the IDEC SPORT gang, who has already held the Jules Verne Trophy (in 2005 as part of Bruno Peyron’s crew), Bernard has already won three round the world races on monohulls – the solo race, Around Alone twice and the double-handed Barcelona World Race once with Jean Le Cam. An impressive CV.
Clement Surtel portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Clement Surtel portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Clément Surtel (FRA) 37
F.J: “With Corentin (Joyon, his son) and me, Clément takes care of the boat throughout the year, and he did that before for the previous skippers. So, he is the one, who know the equipment best of all. Whenever there is a technical question, a risk of wear and tear or a part that looks like breaking, he is able to answer all our questions. He is a key figure, as he has known the boat for years. He’s a nice chap, who gets on with everyone, who has a great character. He loves trimming, carrying out manoeuvres and being at the helm. He has a wide range of talents, is a good all-rounder, but also an experience of solo sailing…”
Ø Fascinated by multihulls, Clément has a huge experience of giant trimarans. He was in charge of preparing the boat, when she was in the hands of Franck Cammas. Before going aboard IDEC last year for the round the world attempt, he was a member of the shore team for two Jules Verne Trophies in 2005 and 2010.
Gwenole Gahinet portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Gwenole Gahinet portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA) 32
F.J: “Gwéno is someone, who is appreciated by all the crews he has sailed with. He was maybe lacking in experience in comparison to the older guys, who accompanied him during the last round the world attempt, but now he knows the score as well as the rest of us. He spent a long time at the helm last year, carried out a lot of manoeuvres and trimming… He is another of those all-rounders, whom you can always count on.”
Ø Son of the late Gilles Gahinet,a legendary sailor, “Gwéno” is also an engineer in boat design and worked a lot with the VPLP design team that came up with IDEC SPORT. He is above all an excellent navigator, who achieved several major victories on a Mini 6.50 and in the Figaro class before tackling the round the world adventure.
Router back on dry land: Marcel Van Triest (NDL), 52
F.J: “A fantastic router… whom we hope to have sailing with us on IDEC SPORT in early October. This will be useful, as he will get a better idea of what life is like on board. We’ll be thinking of him a lot, as he works in the sunshine of the Balearic Islands, while we’re in amongst the ice in the Southern Ocean. It was like that several times last year (laughs).”
Ø The Flying Dutchman, as he has been nicknamed, is one of the top routers in the world. He will be trying to beat his own record, as he worked with Loïck Peyron in 2012. Another detail: Marcel is also a great sailor himself having clocked up five round the world races.
Francis Joyon (FRA), 60
F.J: “It’s never easy to present yourself… Let’s just say I’m the youngster in the crew! One of the most important things for me before our last attempt was to manage to experience a round the world voyage, where the sailors enjoyed themselves… because it’s more fun like that, but also because if you enjoy something, you do it well. I think we were successful from that point of view. The proof being that we only just missed out… and now they’re all returning. As there aren’t many of us, it is vital that we all get on well together. I leave them use their own initiative. The watch system for example is something they came up with, not me.”
Ø The only sailor in the world to have the four major solo sailing records at the same time – the Round the World record, the Atlantic record, the 24-Hour record and the Columbus Route record, Francis Joyon’s attempt with a crew was closely followed last year. He certainly passed the test. Will he become the first sailor to hold the outright round the world record sailing solo and with a crew?
In brief
The IDEC SPORT crew
Francis Joyon (FRA), skipper
Bernard Stamm (CH), helmsman-trimmer
Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA), helmsman-trimmer
Alex Pella (ESP), helmsman-trimmer
Clément Surtel (FRA), helmsman-trimmer
Boris Herrmann (GER), helmsman-trimmer
Marcel Van Triest (NLD), on-shore router
. The Jules Verne Trophy
Record to beat: 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds set by Loïck Peyron and his crew of 13 in January 2012 on the trimaran Banque Populaire V (40 m)
Average speed to beat: 19.75 knots
Course: around the world via the three capes, Good Hope, Leeuwin, Horn.
Great circle distance: 21,600 miles
Start and finish line between Ushant (Créac’h Lighthouse and The Lizard (Cornwall).
. The IDEC SPORT trimaran
Trimaran with foils
Designers: VPLP
Previous names: Groupama 3, Banque Populaire VII
Initial launch: June 2006
Length: 31.50 m
Beam: 22.50 m
Displacement: 15 t
Draught: 5.70 m
Mast height: 33.50 m
Structure: carbon-nomex
Lucky is first-to-finish in the Transatlantic Race 2015 (Photo  by Lloyd Images)

Lucky is first-to-finish in the Transatlantic Race 2015 (Photo by Lloyd Images)

(Friday, July 10, 2015) –  Late afternoon, British time, Bryon Ehrhart’s Lucky was the first boat in the Transatlantic Race 2015 to cross the finish line at The Lizard, ending a brutal 8 days 22 hours 5 minutes and 3 seconds at sea on a 2,800-mile eastbound crossing of the North Atlantic, sailed mostly in strong winds.

At present Lucky holds the lead in the Transatlantic Race 2015 under IRC handicap, but the title remains under threat from boats yet to finish. Similarly, her impressive course time is likely to be bettered by the maxis which started four days after her.

“We are excited to have finished; it was an interesting test,” said Ehrhart, who earlier this year acquired his Reichel/Pugh 63 (formerly the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner, Loki) with the principle aim of competing in this race.  Erhart, a Chicagoan, is a member of the New York Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club – two of the four clubs, with the addition of Storm Trysail Club and the Royal Yacht Squadron – that comprised the organizing authority for the race.

Navigator Ian Moore added: “Obviously the whole crew are really excited to have made it to the finish and to be the first boat home. It has been a very long night and a very long day. The beat to the finish felt like it would never end and the wind started to run out. It is a fantastic feeling to finally finish the race.”

 

Competing in IRC 2, Lucky set off from Newport, R.I., on July 1 with the second group of starters, including Clarke Murphy’s longer and much-higher-rated 100’ Nomad IV. Nomad and Lucky sailed neck and neck for the first few days, but Lucky took a more direct easterly route towards Point Alpha, the ice exclusion, which allowed her to reach its south-western tip 13 miles ahead.

The two boats continued due east after passing the south-eastern corner of the exclusion zone, staying in the best breeze as they determined how cross to a patch of light winds on Sunday, July 5. Ultimately Luckymade the best of it, adding six miles to her lead over Nomad IV. By this stage both boats had passed all of the first starters, which had departed three days before them, with the exception of the biggest boat in the fleet, the 138’ Mariette of 1915. Lucky finally passed the 100-year-old schooner two days from the finish, at the same time as she was splitting from Nomad IV to head north.

With the Azores High forecast to extend over the western tip of the U.K. as Lucky made her final approach to the finish, she headed north where the breeze would remain strongest for longest. Thanks to this she managed to extend her lead to more than 60 miles, but with the risk that Nomad IV, approaching from the west-southwest would come in with pressure and overtake her.

Lucky lost ground as she headed north of the Scilly Isles early this morning and was forced to beat up the narrow passage between Land’s End and its off-lying Traffic Separation Scheme allowing Nomad IV to close. But it was too little too late.

 

Lucky crossed the line while Nomad still had 37 miles to sail in a dying breeze. Nonetheless it was close after more than 3,000 miles of racing—in distance sailed—considering the two boats are so different:Lucky, a 63’ long stripped out racer; Nomad IV, at 100’, a much bigger boat but fitted out with a luxury interior, and also having suffered a catalogue of problems on this race.

“It was always in the back of our minds that they were out there charging along,” admitted Moore. “But it would have been a big job for them to catch up 50 miles in 12 hours.”

As to what contributed to Lucky’s success, Ehrhart commented: “It was everything. The crew is certainly the leading star in this and the boat was well prepared as was the crew. It was a good navigational plan by Soapy [Ian Moore]. We think we sailed as well as we could. They didn’t leave anything out and there was nothing I wish we could have changed. I just hope that the result stands.”

Elsewhere in the fleet, last Sunday’s starters now have the bit between their teeth and are making fast progress. All four boats—the two maxis, Comanche and Rambler 88, and the two trimarans, Phaedo³ andParadox—have been eating up the miles, none more so than Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo³. In the 24 hours until 1030 ETD (1430 UTC) she had sailed a massive 626 miles at an average speed of 26.5 knots. In the inter-maxi monohull dust-up, Rambler 88 was doing a good of job of staying in touch with the 100’Comanche, having lost only 30 miles to her in the last 24 hours.

These boats are now picking off the rest of the fleet. Some 275 miles north of Phaedo³ is the current Cruiser class leader, Jack Madden’s Swan 60, Lady B.

“We have been doing well,” reported Lady B’s navigator J.J. Schock. “We are averaging about high nines speed over ground and everyone is in good health and spirits.” This morning Lady B was seeing 25 knots from the southwest and two-meter seas, which Schock described as having a long period, so “quite comfortable. We are sailing along on starboard tack under main and No. 3. Everything is calm on board and we’re just trying to make good speed.”

Schock acknowledges that this crossing has been particularly breezy, with wind speed having remained in the high 30s for days, occasionally accompanied by squalls into the 40s and one gust reaching 50 knots.

Being in the Cruiser class means they have the luxury of not having to eat reconstituted freeze dried food. “We have a wonderful cook on board and she is taking very good care of us. When it has been rougher, we have been having some peanut butter and jelly and crackers. When it has been nice we have had some nice meals,” said Schock.

Further up the fleet Earl St. Aldwyn’s Shipman 50 Zephyr experienced some drama last night when the shackle on the spinnaker halyard exploded, causing the kite to tumble into the water and for the boat to run over it. “We managed to recover it remarkably with no damage,” reported skipper David Sharples. “We sent George Bullard up the mast to recover the halyard at first light.”

Now up to sixth on the water, Ross Applebey’s Oyster Lightwave 48 Scarlet Oyster was this morning running downwind, but had prudently dropped the spinnaker in the early hours after the breeze had built to 30 knots. “We are pointing at the mark, but it is pretty rolly. I think we have managed to find ourselves a bit of current again, so it is heating up again. We are in pretty good shape,” commented Applebey.

The battle remains relentless against the ocean racing classics Carina and Dorade, but Scarlet Oyster is now ahead of the former on handicap, but still lying third to the immaculate S&S classic in IRC Class 4.

 

Lucky Crew Celebrates taking Line Honors (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Lucky Crew Celebrates taking Line Honors (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Spindrift 2 at Newport shipyard awaiting weather window for North Atlantic record attempt  ( Photo by George Bekris )

Spindrift 2 at Newport Shipyard awaiting weather window for North Atlantic record attempt ( Photo by George Bekris )

 

Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard will not get the chance this year to break the North Atlantic Record.  Mother Nature would not play ball .   With no weather in sight to propel the Maxi-Trimaran Spindrift 2 and give it a chance to break the North Atlantic Record the team plans to leave their dock at Newport Shipyard on Monday, August 18th or Tuesday the 19th.

It’s a shame they never got the opportunity to give the record a decent go.  They were all set to attack the New York to Lizard Point record of 3d 15h 25m record if the winds could only have cooperated.   They did not.

The team has stayed busy all summer with other Spindrift programs, projects and events, but it still must be a disappointment to them not having a chance to break the record.  Hopefully they will bring this Maxi Trimaran back to the east coast of America again in the near future to give the North Atlantic Record  a run.

Yann Guichard said it well back in the early summer as he spoke of their preparations “Dona and I are obviously following the weather very closely. Together, with team navigator Erwan Israël, we check the two daily American and European forecast updates. The first come in before 5am and, whilst there is still not really a departure window on the horizon, we inevitably check each weather update religiously. We are as ready as we can be with a good technical and sporting potential, but the weather is out of our hands. That is what makes record attempts so frustrating…but also so special.”

Best wishes and Bon Voyage to the team and we wish them a safe journey back over. Yann Guichard will now prepare the boat for his solo attempt at the Route du Rhum in the fall.

Spindrift 2 , Newport June 4, 2014  (photo by George Bekris)

Spindrift 2 , Newport June 4, 2014 (photo by George Bekris)

Few records have been attempted more often than the North Atlantic crossing. To sail from New York to Lizard Point in less than 3 days and 15 hours requires both an experienced crew and an exceptional machine such as Spindrift 2, combined with ideal weather conditions. “For a multihull to achieve such a feat on this route, you need a depression that crosses the ocean at the same speed as the record so that you can ride ahead of it on a flat sea,” explains Richard Silvani, a Météo France meteorologist who is Spindrift racing’s onshore route-planner. “This summer’s weather has made any record attempt impossible,” he says. “The anticyclone located at 50 degrees north, directly above our intended route, has prevented depressions from crossing the ocean between America and Europe. Even today’s 10-day forecasts predict no change in the situation.”

After two and a half months of weather-watching, it is time for Spindrift racing to bring the 40-metre maxi-trimaran back to its home port of La Trinité-sur-Mer. Yann Guichard has expressed his frustration, which is shared by Dona Bertarelli and the crew, at missing out on this opportunity to sprint across the North Atlantic. “You simply have to accept that only the weather can pave the way for record attempts,” he says. “Ever since breaking the Route de la Découverte record last year, we were keen to take on this iconic route. We knew that the record would be tough to beat, but we were fully prepared and ready to go. I would like to thank the entire team. They have been fantastic, and their efforts will stand us in good stead as we start to get ready for next year’s record attempts, notably the Jules Verne Trophy (around-the-world, non-stop). ”

Back to France.
Spindrift 2 will leave Newport on August 19th. Yann Guichard will use the return trip as preparation for the upcoming Route du Rhum. “The technical team is currently setting up the boat for single-handed racing,” he says. “When I am with the crew, it is like being an orchestra conductor, but for the Route du Rhum, I will be alone on the stage. I will be up against the leaders of single-handed sailing, which is not really my speciality. That said, I have many other strengths, in particular extensive knowledge about sailing on multihulls. With three months to go, I am immensely excited about this challenge, yet I appreciate the need to be meticulous with my preparation. Training will start straight away with this Atlantic crossing, which presents an ideal opportunity.”

A gruelling autumn for Spindrift racing.
Spindrift racing will now enter an exciting phase of the season, competing in the final stages of the D35 championship on Lake Geneva, whilst preparing for the Route du Rhum. “We have a gruelling end to the year,” explains Dona Bertarelli. “The D35 Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing will resume competition at the end of August, racing in the final three Grand Prix regattas of the season, whilst Spindrift 2 will gear up for the Route du Rhum. From now on, Yann must focus on competition and performance. With the full support of the team, my aim will be to allow Yann to forget about all other aspects and remain concentrated on the challenge that awaits him. We want him to be in the best possible physical and mental state when he arrives on the start line on November 2nd.”

 

©Th.Martinez/Sea&Co.  BELLE ILE - BRITANNY- FRANCE . Maxi "SPINDRIFT 2" skipper Yann Guichard (FRA) en entrainement solo au large de Belle Ile, en vue de la Route du Rhum. *** Maxi "SPINDRFIT 2" skipper Yann Guichard (FRA) training solo offshore Belle ile ( Britttany-FRA) before Route du Rhum.

©Th.Martinez/Sea&Co. BELLE ILE – BRITANNY- FRANCE . Maxi “SPINDRIFT 2” skipper Yann Guichard (FRA) en entrainement solo au large de Belle Ile, en vue de la Route du Rhum. *** Maxi “SPINDRFIT 2” skipper Yann Guichard (FRA) training solo offshore Belle ile ( Britttany-FRA) before Route du Rhum.

Francis Joyon breaks the North Atlantic Sailing Speed Record crossing Lizard Point this morning on IDEC II (Photo © JEAN MARIE LIOT / DPPI / IDEC)

Francis Joyon on on the maxi trimaran IDEC II shatters the North Atlantic Record in an amazing  5 days, 2 hours, 56 minutes and 10 seconds.  That is 16 hours, 24 minutes and 30 seconds faster than the record previously established by Thomas Coville in 2008!

Francis Joyon on IDEC II (Photo by George Bekris)

Records Francis Joyon has previously broken.

2013

Record of Discovery Route
8 days 16 hours 7 minutes and 5 seconds (valid record date)

2012

24 hour record solo
666.2 miles traveled (valid record to date)

2010

2nd in the Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale

2009

Winner of the Tour of the Isle of Wight
4 hours and 24 minutes

2009

Record between France and Mauritius
26 days 4:13 minutes 29 seconds (first reference time)

Winner of the Tour de Belle-Ile

2008

Record of Discovery Route
9 days 8:35 p.m. minutes 3 ​​seconds

Lap record of absolute world alone
57 days 1:34 p.m. minutes and 6 seconds (valid record to date)

24 hour record solo
616.07 miles traveled (improved by Thomas Coville)

2007

Record run of the inning solo
6 hours 23 minutes and 36 seconds (valid record date)

2005

Record for crossing the Atlantic solo (New York – Lizard)
6 days, 4 hours, 1 minute and 37 seconds

24 hour record solo
542.7 miles traveled

2004

Record of Discovery Route (Cadiz – San Salvador) alone
11 days, 3 hours, 17 minutes and 20 seconds (improved by Thomas Coville)

Lap record of absolute world alone
72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds (enhanced by Ellen MacArthur)

2001

Winner of the 76th Fastnet sur Eure et Loir

Fastest lap of the Isle of Wight
3 hours, 10 minutes and 11 seconds

2000

Winner of the Transat Europe 1 – Newman Star sur Eure et Loir
record running into 9 days, 23 hours 21 minutes

1998

Sixth of the Route du Rhum

2nd Route des Phares

1997

4th in the Transat Jacques Vabre

2nd Grand Prix Port of Fecamp

4th Race in Europe

1996

5th Multihull Championship

Second Quebec-St Malo

1995

3rd Open UAP Banque Populaire

2nd in the Transat Jacques Vabre

1993

3rd Open UAP

Third of the Coffee Route

1992

Third of the Coffee Route

1991

5th Open UAP on BPO

1990

10th Route du Rhum on BPO

1988

Third of the Discovery Route on JB Express

SAILING - NORTH ATLANTIC MULTI SOLO RECORD 2013 - CAP LIZARD (GBR) - 16/06/2013 - PHOTO JEAN-MARIE LIOT / DPPI - FRANCIS JOYON (FRA) ONBOARD IDEC BREAKIN THE SOLO-HANDED NORTH ATLANTIC RECORD

IDEC in New York (Photo by George Bekris)

IDEC in New York Before Record Attempt in 2011 (Photo by George Bekris)

 Francis Joyon is leaving. In a few days, he will address the prestigious  North Atlantic record.  Success would make him the first skipper to win the incredible “Grand Slam” of records.  Joyon will be on stand-by in New York from May 15.  Yesterday evening the skipper  was in Paris for a great evening presentation at Pershing Hall in the presence of three of the four  solo Atlantic  record holders Florence Arthaud, Thomas Coville and Bruno Peyron, current record holder.  His record will be challenged shortly by the skipper of the Maxi-trimaran IDEC.

Florence Arthaud ,Francis Joyon,Patrice Lafargue, Thomas Coville and Bruno Peyron© Aurimages / Groupe IDEC

© Aurimages / IDEC Group

Hold 21 knots average for less than 5 days, 19 hours and 29 minutes. Alone.  On the demanding North Atlantic.  That’s the challenge with the high bar set by Thomas Coville in July 2008.   Francis Joyon will sail between the Statue of Liberty and the English Cornwall.  To be precise between Ambrose Light in New York and that the Lizard in the south of England .  In that in-between are heavy waves, winds and icebergs to content with while sailing at breakneck speeds.

Francis Joyon aboard IDEC in NYC May 18, 2013 awaiting a weather window for the North Atlantic Record (Photo by George Bekris)

There is a very short list of sailing legends who dared to challenge alone, on multihulls, the North Atlantic and all it’s all dangers.  More people have walked on the moon than have accomplished this feat!  Sailors who have attempted this can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The names of the woman and four men who have accomplished this have forged in the wind the imagination of us all: Bruno Peyron, Florence Arthaud, Laurent Bourgnon, Thomas Coville, Francis Joyon. 
 Francis Joyon is one of them. The IDEC skipper already holds the same record, in July 2006 (6 days and 4 hours), when he shattered the  one day a time established eleven years ago by Laurent Bourgnon. 
In twenty-six years of 1987 to the present day, only six attempts were successful. Bruno Peyron has won twice, in 1987 and 1992. Francis Joyon If successful, it would become the second two-time winner of the North Atlantic. It is also the only sailor to claim the Grand Slam absolute record since the driver of the maxi-trimaran IDEC is already the fastest solo sailor around the world (57 days 13h), the fastest of 24 h (668 miles or 27.83 knots average) and the fastest on the Atlantic from east to west, namely the Discovery Route, between Cadiz and San Salvador, he sprayed record this winter and 8 days 16 h.
 108 years after Charlie Barr North Atlantic … its mysterious mists, its whales and the famous single or almost that needs surf at full speed between the New World and the Old Continent depression … so here’s the ultimate challenge address to access this unique status. Francis Joyon, who has already won this clock in 2005 aboard the first trimaran IDEC is well aware of tackling a real maritime myth. He commented: “If we put notes to records according to their importance, I would say the most important is the World Tour. The North Atlantic is the number two because of its long history related to the schooner Atlantic Charlie Barr and his crew of 50 men who inaugurated the year 1905, and then to Eric Tabarly was the first to resume still crew, 75 years later. The solitaire version belonged to me a few years ago, it was taken over by Thomas (Coville) … and so it falls to me to take it again! ” Simple like Joyon on who should not rely for the ease . “Average to keep approaching 21 knots. So have a good weather is essential, but should not be either drop regime. It must be thoroughly all the time for 5 and a half days … “On board a multihull 30 meters at full speed, the exercise is not within reach of anybody. This is also perhaps no coincidence that the few sailors to have held the famous record were present in Paris on Thursday, April 25 with Francis Joyon for presenting this event. Only they know … 
They said:
 Patrice Lafargue,Chairman of the IDEC Group “Francis Joyon IDEC supports for over a decade now. We are proud to support one of the greatest sailors of the planet in its hunting records, Francis gave us so much emotion around the world and on every ocean … With this attempt on the record of the North Atlantic, it is a new challenge that we propose. Of course we are wholeheartedly with him and fingers crossed for it to succeed this Grand Slam that nobody has succeeded before him. Beyond the sporting aspect, exciting, this is a man with whom the IDEC Group shared values ​​of innovation, competition, respect for the environment … Good luck Francis ” 
Bruno Peyron ‘s record solitary Inventor 1987 (11 days and 11) Winner again in 1992 (in 9 days and 21h) catamaran Explorer “This record is a true success story: it combines a legendary course, recall illustrious ancestors as Charlie Barr … and requires a total commitment.Initially, in 1987 I wanted to start this record with a simple idea: fight alone the historical time of Charlie Barr and his crew of fifty men. Since the bar is mounted and the record of the North Atlantic has become the second largest after the clock tower in the world. On the first, in 1987, all the ingredients were there for a good story, simple and effective. We left New York in fratricidal duel: Loick with Lada Poch against me on Explorer. I keep a mixed memories of fun, commitment and a rare arrival, asphyxiated on the English coast, to rebuild around Land’s end to cut the line. The second solo record, I have a less playful memory because lack of resources the boat was almost abandoned in an old shipyard in Newport. I bought in Florence (Arthaud) a big old sail that was too small. Initially, I got a storm anthology off New York that I saw in the lightning. Then, the weather was good and I’ve made ​​the crossing being a conservative suspicion … But the story was launched and I knew others would with sharper weapons and unfailing determination. The main difficulty is to find the perfect weather window, that is to say one that can cross with a single pressure system, with the potential of current machines. To be honest … I would go back! I love this course where the commitment is total. This is probably the same one where, with sails adapted, could lead alone my catamaran 120 feet to 90% of its potential. ” 
Florence Arthaud Winner record in 1990 (9 days, 21h 42m) trimaran Pierre 1er ” I keep a special memory of this record, including my arrival in Brest, where I was greeted by thousands of cut flowers thrown on my boat which was found covered with roses … It was beautiful. Especially since I had a difficult end of the course because I had a concern about the headsail and there was more wind: sailing under mainsail alone and wind is not ideal when we want to go as fast as possible! 
Francis Joyon on IDEC ( Photo by George Bekris )
The departure of New York is fabulous, I had that record the return of Two Star to train for the Route du Rhum and it has served me well! The problem is that I do not have much time to choose the best time to time, then wait the ideal window is a key to success with having boats that go fast enough stay ahead of the depression. I remember to Newfoundland I thought it would not happen … and then it happened. I also remember that this is one of the few courses where I have not had any problems with my autopilot. Records are made ​​to be broken … and that Francis deserves to beat this one too … ” 
Thomas Coville Taking the record in 5 days 19 hours 29 minutes and 20 seconds on the trimaran Sodebo “I made ​​a first attempt without success. From New York is something very clear: this is a very special feeling to be at the heart of this megalopolis at the foot of Manhattan … and a few minutes later, to be alone on your big boat ocean around the front of the bows. The transition is very sharp. I remember I put a lot of pressure: there is traffic, fog, whales, sometimes even ice cream! The start is difficult, complicated and sometimes dangerous when you do not even see the bow of the boat and you feel fishermen around. Then it’s a real tussle trying to stay ahead of the depression … and a standoff that lasted four days! The boat fuse crosswind, it is not constrained by the sea is unique as it … In the end, finally, it must almost fall on the line, lowering his head, after one or gybes in little time, as it often ends up in the wind a little soft or downwind. He must have kept some energy for that and it is not the easiest. I had gone to Northern Ireland before jibe! “
Francis Joyon on IDEC in New Your prior to record attempt in 2011 (Photo by George Bekris)

Francis Joyon on IDEC in New Your prior to record attempt in 2011 ( Photo by George Bekris)

 

Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss smashes Transatlantic Record

Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss smashes Transatlantic Record

 

British solo sailor, Alex Thomson has smashed the single-handed monohull transatlantic record, by more than 24 hours, crossing the finish line at Lizard Point, off Falmouth in Cornwall, in time to get back for the London Olympic Opening ceremony.

The 38 year old sailor crossed the line at 17:17 GMT (18:17 BST) setting the new time at 8 days 22 hours 8 minutes, beating the previous record, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, which had been held for 10 years.

“It has been a long few days,” said Alex. “The first half from New York was great with weather conditions in our favour, but things started to slow down the closer I got. But the wind has held out this morning and it’s so fantastic to have broken this record.”

Alex set sail from New York on July 17th at 19.09GMT to cover 2800 nautical miles in a quest to break the record for what is officially known as the ‘West to East Ambrose Lighthouse to Lizard Point Under 60ft Single-Handed Monohull Record, Male’, which sat at 10 days, 55 minutes and 19 seconds, and was set by Swiss sailor Bernhard Stamm 10 years ago.

His secondary aim was to get home in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in order to support Chairman and good friend, Sir Keith Mills.

“When I set off I had no idea if I was going to be able to do it. And it has been hard. Lack of sleep, broken instruments on the boat and constant exposure to the elements has really taken it out of me. But it’s such a good feeling to have beaten it by such a great margin,” said Alex.

But the record breaking achievement is only half of the story. Alex is in fact lining up to attempt to be the first Brit ever to win the gruelling single-handed round-the-world race, the Vendee Globe, leaving from France in November on board his 60ft monohull, HUGO BOSS. And this record breaking achievement puts him in good stead.

“This record attempt was also a training exercise for the Vendee Globe,” said Alex. “We felt this record attempt would put me under real pressure and stimulate race conditions and I have felt a real value in it.”

He is one of three British competitors who will take part in the non-stop, solo, unassisted round-the-world yacht race starting in Les Sables d’Olonne in France, on November 10th. Currently only 50% of attempts to complete the race have been successful in the race known as the ‘Everest of sailing’