FINAL DAY IN THE ATLANTIC
The IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran is due to finish her descent of the South Atlantic today. This part of the ocean has not been very cooperative for Francis Joyon and his crew of five. The approaches to the tip of South Africa are looking slower than hoped for with average winds too low to keep up the record pace. The big, red trimaran only managed to cover 510 miles in the last 24 hours and still has a day’s sailing ahead of her to cross the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope.
This morning she is more than 360 miles behind the record pace set by the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy, Banque Populaire V. The arrival of another area of low pressure at lunchtime should allow them to accelerate, but at the same time will force them to head further still towards the south east in order to avoid the windless area of the high pressure area settled over the south of South Africa. IDEC SPORT will then be entering the Indian Ocean, which is not as vast as the Pacific, but can be just as treacherous. Another worry for Joyon, Stamm, Surtel, Gahinet, Herman and Pella is that they are going to have to keep a close eye out for icebergs and growlers (drifting ice that is particularly difficult to spot), which are present at around 51-52 degrees south, which is precisely where IDEC SPORT will be heading when they get to the Kerguelens.