After a complicated night during which IDEC SPORT found her self becalmed, as we feared in light airs, the wind has finally arrived in the area. The lead over the record pace has disappeared, but the main thing is the big, red trimaran is sailing south at high speed again: 30 knots this afternoon (Sunday).
It’s a well known fact that at sea everything changes very quickly. That has been the case today and everything is moving in the right direction for Francis Joyon’s men tackling the Jules Verne Trophy. After a “hellish” night, as Francis Joyon referred to it, ”with continual manoeuvres to try to find the wind, fighting hard to advance at three knots,” things have changed this afternoon. Beyond the ridge of clouds that they could see this morning at 1000hrs, the new wind blowing at 15-20 knots has been happily welcomed by the men on IDEC SPORT.
Happy birthday Bernard
Are we exaggerating, when we say happily? No. During the radio session, Bernard Stamm, who celebrated his 52nd birthday today (“Is that so, I thought I was 42, are you sure?”) explained that a nice present would be a 15-knot wind “and in the right direction. That would be really great.” He got his present. An hour later, we received this message from the boat: “Thanks very much for the fabulous present. Making 23 knots headway on our route. Wonderful! See you, Bernard.”… This afternoon, the icing on the cake for the most Breton Swiss sailor: the wind was not only blowing, but had increased. IDEC SPORT is now making thirty knots off the coast of South America. News that really cheers us up!
It is true that the lead over the record time has completely vanished over the past fifteen hours of light winds and calms. The big, red trimaran is now slightly behind the record pace (a handful of miles). That is only normal, as at this point, Banque Populaire V was racing at record pace in the South Atlantic at 32 knots or more. “We knew before setting out from Brest that the South Atlantic would be complicated,” commented Marcel Van Triest, IDEC SPORT’s router. The next important moment will be seeing whether IDEC SPORT is behind or ahead of the pace at the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope, some 3000 miles away.
The adventure has only just begun
The adventure has only just begun and the six sailors on IDEC SPORT are far from finished. Everyone knows that it is not here in the trip down the South Atlantic that there are gains to be made. They can above all lose ground here, but it is in the Indian and Pacific, and in the climb back up the Atlantic (North and South) that they can hope to overtake the record-holder. For the moment, they should be pleased they are out of this trap and that the boat is moving well again. That is indeed what the men on IDEC SPORT are managing to do this afternoon on their dash south. In the information from 1345hrs, the speedo was indicating 29.4 knots. Happy birthday, Bernard!