The 2016-2017 Jules Verne Trophy: IDEC SPORT, back again

After a spell in the yard in Vannes during the summer, the Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT is being looked after by Francis Joyon and his crew with the aim of getting back out there on the start line for the Jules Verne Trophy. Joyon the solo sailor, the world’s greatest sailor with a record-breaking boat, enjoyed himself last year during this extraordinary voyage with a crew. At the helm, trimming or at the nav desk, the man, used to do everything so well by himself, soon got used to the idea of working together with others and trusting them. But we’re not talking about any old team. There were just five others, coming from various backgrounds, but who obviously pulled together to become a smooth running machine. Just over 47 days later, these six men, who really enjoyed themselves and achieved a high standard of performance, just missed out on getting the Jules Verne Trophy.

Captain Joyon quickly settled into this team performance after so many years doing it alone. He was able to delegate responsibility around the boat. In the hostile environment of the Southern Ocean, everyone trusted everyone else in this crew of six. They had their own skills and character traits, but they all came together in perfect harmony. Wise, skilful, with a contagious sense of humour, these six men took on a role usually done by ten people or more to get the most out of the boat in conditions that unfortunately were not favourable for major records.

Francis, Alex, Clément, Bernard, Gwéno and Boris wanted to get back out there. They want more adventure again this year, more adrenalin and want to push that bit harder. The Jules Verne Trophy, the Holy Grail of sailing only just escaped them last year. They have the feeling of some unfinished work. As each day passed getting the maxi trimaran in the best of shape to go even faster for longer, there was the growing belief that in spite of her size and the difference in comparison to the current record-holder, IDEC SPORT and her exceptional crew will be able to surprise. The 2015 Jules Verne Trophy attempt showed what this small group of men could do, taking one of the world’s largest racing multihulls to her full potential for 47 days. It just goes to show what someone like Joyon can inspire in others. These six men are offering us another maritime adventure, but it is much more than that, as this is a story of what men can achieve together. We shall be following closely.

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