THE CHARM OF THE TROPICS

IDEC SPORT is less than 1000 miles from entering the Northern Hemisphere. At 17°S this morning, the big red and grey trimaran is climbing back up the Atlantic pushed along by the Brazilian trade winds, which are allowing Francis Joyon and his men to keep up an average of 25 knots as they continue in their attempt to grab the Jules Verne Trophy.

After all the hard work, some rest. After racing across the Southern Ocean at speeds which allowed them to enter the history books, the gang on IDEC SPORT is continuing to advance at speed towards the Equator. “The trade winds are from the east and it’s pleasant sailing. We’re making between 25 and 30 knots, without getting drenched. We haven’t forgotten the charms of the South, but we are enjoying what the Tropics have to offer,” the skipper of IDEC SPORT told us. Out on deck, Clément Surtel and Alex Pella are taking advantage of these dream conditions. “It’s a bit like being on holiday. The weather is fine, we’re eating and sleeping well with the boss at the helm,” laughed Alex Pella, who is always in a good mood like the other members of this crew.

Sailing 500 miles off the coast of Brazil, Francis Joyon and his crewmen are making the most of the conditions while attempting to avoid the hurdles along the way. This morning they are 1630 miles ahead of the record pace, even if they have given back a few miles in the past few days to their virtual rival, Banque Populaire V. That is only normal in this section of the race course, where it is hard to clock up high average speeds, remembering they were 4 days and 6 hours ahead of the record at Cape Horn.