THE GAP WIDENS AGAIN
After getting back to 460 miles of their virtual rival, the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V, which has held the Jules Verne Trophy record since 2012, Francis Joyon and his crew of five, have since seen the gap expanding again.
At this point in his voyage, Loick Peyron was finishing getting around the Azores high, which this year is a long way south and began to progress directly towards Europe. Idec Sport, which is trying to get away from the huge area of calms blocking the North Atlantic at the latitude of the Canaries, has for the past 24 hours been following a route, which if continued would take them to New York. The speed out on the water is permanently between 30 and 35 knots, but in terms of speed towards the finish (VMG) is only twelve knots. Banque Populaire V will therefore continue to extend her lead until Joyon, Surtel, Gahinet, Pella, Herrmann and Stamm turn towards the east, when the trade wind shifts to a westerly. This is not likely to happen before tomorrow evening. On the 44th day of this record attempt, Idec Sport will then begin the home run back to Ushant, hopping onto one of the deep lows sweeping across the North Atlantic. Francis Joyon and his men are getting ready for a very rough finish, with the aim of getting the best time possible on this final stretch segment between the Equator and Ushant, and at the same time if possible, fighting a close duel with the other boat competing for the Jules Verne Trophy, the giant Spindrift 2, which this morning is 530 miles away, and has an advantage in terms of distance to the finish of 250 miles.