To the west of the Azores, IDEC SPORT this morning has 1400 miles left to sail to complete the round the world voyage. For the moment they are heading east and are due to finish on Friday, hoping to do better than Groupama in 2010, on the same boat. But they need to be careful in the rough weather ahead.
The gybing is now behind them, after the four they carried out yesterday on the edge of the high. They have now made their way around this area of high pressure, which is now to their south and they are having to deal with heavy seas and powerful winds. The waves are around 14 feet high in this area. In spite of these strong conditions, IDEC SPORT is speeding along at 32 knots this morning (0600hrs). Relatively close to the Azores, 250 miles to their right, the big, red trimaran now has less than 1400 miles left to sail to reach the finish between The Lizard and Ushant.
Finishing on Friday with a record for the boat?
They should be arriving some time during the day on Friday. A lot of people are expected to be present in the harbour in Brest to welcome them home. Even if the weather has not always been cooperative they should complete the voyage in less than 48 days. This would mean that they have improved on this boat’s record performance, when she was sailed by Franck Cammas and his crew of ten in 2010. In the colours of Groupama, they won the Jules Verne Trophy in 48 days 7 hours and 45 minutes. As IDEC SPORT has just started her 46th day of sailing that should be possible.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, as the situation ahead remains tricky. They want to get to the finish as fast as they can, but they have to find a more comfortable route to get there, which is no easy task given the number of low-pressure areas that have been sweeping across the North Atlantic and the Bay of Biscay. Yesterday a merchant seaman sent Francis Joyon’s crew a message suggesting they need to be cautious and that he was going to do just that on his 300m long cargo ship. At the moment, the wind is blowing at 30 knots in the area where IDEC SPORT is sailing, but 200 miles further north, it is 10 knots stronger and the seas are even heavier. Vigilance is the watchword.