IDEC SPORT now has less than a thousand miles left to go before finishing off Ushant. Francis Joyon and his men are expected back in Brest tomorrow (Friday).
As Francis Joyon indicated yesterday, IDEC SPORT gybed close to the Azores yesterday afternoon. They have gone for the option to head due north, rather than head towards Spain, as rounding Cape Finisterre would have meant spent spending a few more hours in calms after the front passed over. It is this front which explains why the speed dropped to around twenty knots over the past few hours. That slower pace should not last as long as if they had taken the easterly route. IDEC SPORT should soon pick up strong winds, probably later this morning to accelerate on the final run to Ushant.
ETA: tomorrow evening?
The sea is already very rough with 5-6m high waves and conditions are forecast to grow even worse as they move northwards. At 0600hrs this morning, IDEC SPORT is already slightly north of the latitude of Cape Finisterre, 650 miles west of the Spanish coast. Francis Joyon’s troops will be crossing the Bay of Biscay a long way out to sea for two reasons. They want to sail quickly, while ensuring their safety, but at the same time they are aiming to smash the record set by this boat when she was skippered by Franck Cammas on his winning Jules Verne Trophy record back in 2010 (48 days and 7 hours). They are still on schedule to do that as at the end of their 46th day of sailing, they only have 850 miles left to sail. Latest estimates see them finishing tomorrow evening. That will depend on the strength of the wind, but more importantly the sea state. They are now facing the final hurdle in this round the world voyage.