UPS AND DOWNS
While the men on IDEC SPORT were able to enjoy the weather on Sunday afternoon, as Francis Joyon told us yesterday morning looking back at sailing at high speed under big gennaker during the night, Monday was a rather sad affair with low speeds, and lots of gybes to get back on track. The key factor was avoiding getting lured into the area of calms associated with the High. This sort of progress is bound not to be very positive in terms of the record, and that is confirmed if we look at the results of the past 24 hours, as they have clocked up a mere 400 miles , while 4 years ago, the Defender, Banque Populaire V sailed almost 700. The deficit, although anticipated by the men on board has now reached practically 300 miles.
The good news during the night is however important. The IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran has finally made it to the series of low pressure areas moving off the coast of Argentina. Joyon and his troops have been sailing for the past few hours in a strong westerly air stream, enabling them to advance at more than 33 knots towards South Africa. This means that the situation is undergoing a major upheaval. IDEC SPORT is expected to stay in this wind for some time in order to make headway south and slide under the St Helena High, which is dominating the weather to the south of the continent of Africa, forcing Joyon, Gahinet, Pella, Surtel, Hermann and Stamm to enter the dark zone between 40 and 50 degrees south. It looks like being a lively time on this tenth day of the Jules Verne Trophy with very high speeds from the boat and subtle routing choices from the men.