IDEC SPORT’s 36th day of racing in her attempt to grab the Jules Verne Trophy record was a dark day.
The passage through a huge area of high pressure stretching out across the South Atlantic off Brazil was, as expected by Francis Joyon and his troops, extremely difficult and costly in terms of performance. Since yesterday morning, the big, red trimaran has only advanced 184 miles towards the Equator, a distance well below the 500 miles required each day to stay within record pace. Her virtual opponent, Banque Populaire V is this morning 750 miles ahead, a situation which already occurred on 6th December, when Loïck Peyron moved 793 miles ahead. Following that, we were able to see the ability of the IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran to regain all that lost ground. For this to happen, the wind gods are going to have to be kind to Joyon and offer him an easy route through this tricky patch. Although the St. Helena high is for the moment offering them some wind, it is from the NNW, which is far from favourable for speed. IDEC SPORT will therefore continue to tack upwind today, looking for the salvation of the SE trade winds, but these tacks are not very efficient in terms of VMG towards the Equator. With 5000 miles to go to the finishing line between The Lizard and Ushant, IDEC SPORT hasn’t given up.