Francis Joyon and his men have just had their best day since the start of the Jules Verne Trophy record attempt. IDEC SPORT covered 826 miles in 24 hours. The equivalent of 1500km ashore. An impressive performance.
They are going all out. Once again, we had to pinch ourselves looking at the figures coming from IDEC SPORT this morning. As they finish their twentieth day of sailing, Francis Joyon, Bernard Stamm, Gwénolé Gahinet, Alex Pella, Clément Surtel and Boris Herrmann achieve another success – their best performance since the start. They sailed down below the whole of Australia in just one single day.
A clear trajectory
We can remember how excited Alex Pella was yesterday, when they were celebrating their record-breaking crossing of the Indian Ocean between Cape Agulhas and Cape Leeuwin (5 days and 11 hours). The happy Catalan talked about a trajectory that looked like it had been drawn by a laser on the direct route. Then, there was the German, Boris Herrmann who declared, “It’s crazy. We look like doing Australia and New Zeland in less than two and a half days.” If we look at the trajectory taken by IDEC SPORT after these two declarations, it is very clear. A perfectly straight line. And very high speeds. If yesterday they were twenty hours behind the time to beat when they reached Australia (leaving to one side the geometry of their positioning), they have once again made important gains today. This morning, IDEC SPORT reached the point marking the 20th day for their virtual rival, Banque Populaire V just four hours behind them. So it would be quite fair to say they are back equal again with the reference time.
And now the Pacific
The sailors love this point of sail – perfect reaching. With the wind on the bea they are clocking up the miles at full speed. The average speed is above 35 knots with peaks once again in excess of 40. They will officially be entering the Pacific around lunchtime today (Saturday European time), when IDEC SPORT crosses the longitude of Tasmania, which will be around 450 miles to their north. Aboard the big, red boat, they are right to remain hopeful. It has been known since before the start that it is in the Pacific that there were potential gains to be made over the record time. Reaching this ocean with the score equal with Banque Populaire is an extraordinary performance. Next target, Cape Horn…