The IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran is completing the crossing of the second weather hurdle, which lay across the route to the Horn and the tip of South America.
After a night, during which they were considerably slowed down as forecast, with very low speeds reported, Joyon and his men are gradually entering the SW’ly air stream they have been aiming for over the past couple of days. It has taken them two days to deal with this part of the South Pacific where there were two major hurdles impeding their progress. Firstly, there was the centre of an area of low pressure and then yesterday afternoon, a huge area of high pressure. To get around it would have meant Idec Sport would have had to go right down to the Antarctic and the drifting ice, so in the end they decided they had no alternative but to cross through it and take the punishment.
Dealing with two patches of light winds in 36 hours is a lot during a round the world record attempt. But now the route to the Horn looks free of any more problems with a steady and strong SW’ly flow. Idec Sport will gradually see the wind build during the day. A wind, which will suit the boat in terms of strength and direction. We can imagine how impatient Joyon, Surtel, Pella, Herrmann, Stamm and Gahinet must be having focused on getting their giant trimaran moving over the past 24 hours in these light conditions. Idec Sport will be back up to winning speed. Her virtual rival, Banque Populaire V now has a substantial lead of more than 560 milles. But we should not forget that Joyon and his men were 790 miles behind schedule on entering the Indian Ocean, before making it back to a draw with the Jules Verne Trophy holder five days later to the south of Tasmania. The gap widens and narrows depending on what wind is available to them.