Francis Joyon’s IDEC Sport entered the Pacific on Saturday and in so doing set a new record for crossing the Indian Ocean, which is currently being ratified by the WSSRC: 6 days 23 hours and 4 minutes. Until now, no boat had managed to cover this stretch in less than 8 days. This new record logically follows the one they set between Cape Agulhas and Cape Leeuwin on Thursday evening.
After the record between Cape Agulhas at the tip of South Africa and Cape Leeuwin in SW Australia with a time of 5 days, 11 hours and 23 minutes, Francis Joyon’s crew passed the longitude of Tasmania on Saturday 12th December at 1021 UTC.
IDEC SPORT has smashed, by more than one day (1 day, 5 hours and 31 minutes), the record set by Spindrift, less than two hours earlier. Yann Guichard’s crew crossed this same longitude at 0839hrs UTC on Saturday morning after spending 8 days and 4 hours and 35 minutes on this stretch.
IDEC SPORT is the only boat to have sailed between South Africa and Australia in less than 6 days (less than 5 and a half), but she is also the only boat to have spent less than seven days crossing the whole of the Indian Ocean.
These impressive figures express once again the straight route they sailed a long way south, which was direct, but icy and very fast. “We’re doing 40 knots there,” calmly stated Francis Joyon this morning, pleased with these records he has been clocking up on the big red trimaran. “This is of course very motivating. We have a great boat and a fantastic crew.”
And now the Pacific
As night fell following a live TV link-up on a major French news channel, the sailors on IDEC SPORT continued to push hard under full mainsail and J2. Bernard Stamm explained, “We have another sail we can add if necessary. The wind has come around, but we still have a good angle for downwind sailing at speed.” A glance at the figures confirms this: average speeds of 35 knots with peak speeds of 40 knots and more than 800 miles being covered per day. This dash across the ocean continues to pay off. “It may not be as simple in the Pacific,” warned Francis Joyon, “as in a few days from now, there may be a tricky transition to get across. The routing shows we either have to go a long way north or a long way south, maybe down to 60°. We know what that is like down in the ice, but maybe we won’t go down that far.” The skipper of IDEC SPORT burst out laughing….
Now all eyes are on Cape Horn on the other side of the Pacific. Will they make it in ten days, or in other words, rounding the Horn on the 31st day? We’ll have to wait and see… They have already achieved a remarkable feat. “Being equal with Loïck on entering the Pacific is already something we could not have imagined before the start,” added Francis Joyon.