It was a symbolic moment as we look forward to a legendary record. After three weeks carrying out a brief refit at the Multiplast yard in Vannes, Francis Joyon and his team launched the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran (ex Groupama 3) today (Friday). She will go on stand-by for the Jules Verne Trophy in late October. This is another step forward for Joyon, who is due to carry out his first sailing trips next week with a crew of just five, whose names will be revealed at IDEC SPORT’s christening ceremony on 14th October in La Trinité-sur-Mer in Southern Brittany.

Launch of the Ultime category Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT, skipper Francis Joyon, in La Trinite sur Mer, Brittany, France on october 2, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI pour IDEC

Launch of the Ultime category Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT, skipper Francis Joyon, in La Trinite sur Mer, Brittany, France on october 2, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI pour IDEC

The schedule was a bit tight, but we kept to it. The trickiest period is now behind us,” said a happy and relieved Francis Joyon, who relaunched IDEC SPORT with his team on Friday morning at the Multiplast yard in Vannes. She has come full circle, as it was at this yard that the trimaran was originally built for Franck Cammas. The trimaran has already achieved a list of successes, both with a crew and sailed solo: the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy from 2010 to 2012 and winner of the last two Route du Rhum races. During the three weeks in the yard, the boat was decorated in the colours of IDEC SPORT, but there was other work to do too. “The trimaran had to be given the once over after sailing 25,000 miles as Lending Club,” explained Francis Joyon. “We also made a few improvements, such as fitting a removable propeller and setting up a real nav post inside.” Francis and his team didn’t waste a moment after her relaunch. Once the rudders and centreboards were fitted, they stowed the sails aboard and motored to Lorient where IDEC SPORT will have her mast stepped this evening, before heading for her home port of La Trinité-sur-Mer tomorrow (Saturday). “The whole of this launch phase is rather tiring and stressful,” admitted Francis. “It’s not yet time for the fun in this project. But that is not far off with her first trips coming up. I can’t wait to see her with her sails up.”

Taming the beast…

Planning to go on stand-by in late October for the Jules Verne Trophy, Francis Joyon wants to begin training quickly, and will probably be out sailing next week. There are plenty of new things for the fastest solo sailor in the world to discover in the near future, as he will be attempting his first crewed record. “There are two things that are new

Launch of the Ultime category Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT, skipper Francis Joyon, in La Trinite sur Mer, Brittany, France on october 2, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI pour IDEC

Launch of the Ultime category Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT, skipper Francis Joyon, in La Trinite sur Mer, Brittany, France on october 2, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI pour IDEC

here for me,” he confirmed. “I’m going to have to get used to the boat, but that doesn’t worry me. A multihull is a multihull and I’ll soon settle into the swing of things aboard. The second new element is that I’m going to be managing a team. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised to find myself facing a crewed challenge. But I really want to discover a different facet of life as a sailor, and one which requires a lot of rigour. With a crew, you have to be more organised than a solo sailor, when preparing, and that is the case at every level, with the supplies, medical stuff, safety gear, etc.” In order to be efficient and to keep the weight down, Joyon has chosen to tackle the Jules Verne Trophy with a crew of just five, whose names will be announced on 14th October at the boat’s christening ceremony in La Trinité-sur-Mer. The suspense builds, but one thing is certain: IDEC SPORT will have a lot going for her in this attempt to smash the 45 and a half day record set by Loïck Peyron and his crew.

IDEC SPORT in numbers

Designers: VPLP team (Van Péteghem-Lauriot Prévost)
Previous names: Groupama 3, Banque Populaire VII
Length: 31.50 m
Beam: 22.50 m
Displacement: 18,000 kg
Draught: 5.70 m
Mast height: 33.50 m
Structure: carbon-Nomex
Upwind sail surface: 411 m2
Downwind sail surface: 678 m2
Initial launch date: June 2006
Initial launch date in the colours of IDEC SPORT: 2nd October 2015

Reminder of the Record:
Francis Joyon’s goal this winter is to attempt to improve on the Jules Verne record, held by Loïck Peyron and his crew with a time of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds. An “ultimate” challenge for Joyon, who is still the fastest solo round the world sailor. Aboard his former IDEC in 2008, he completed the round the world voyage in 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 06 seconds.

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