The decision to set sail on Sunday evening was taken at the last moment in Brest, with lots of uncertainties in the various weather charts. The highly experienced Swiss sailor, Bernard Stamm summed up the attitude of the crew as they cast off: “If we waited for ideal conditions, we’d never go.” The IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran began its attempt at the record held since 2012 by Loïck Peyron in surprising conditions. The first nine hours after leaving Ushant saw them wallowing in an area where there was hardly any wind. It was only early this morning (Monday), that the big blow arrived. This meant that IDEC SPORT was finally able to head towards the SW and pick up speed.
Waiting for the front
Stopped for a long time during the night, the start was puzzling for some observers. Francis Joyon and his men had to remain patient while awaiting the arrival of the strong NNW’ly winds. “The idea was to be ready for the arrival of this front,” explained Marcel van Triest, the router for the Maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT, It was only at around 8 this morning that IDEC SPORT finally turned to the SW to begin her attempt at the record and take off at thirty knots, which is the speed they have kept up since then. The consequence of this wait was that Joyon and his boys are 207 miles off the pace this Monday morning, but since then, they have been at a steady speed in the Bay of Biscay.
Decent time to the Equator and an interesting time to the Cape of Good Hope
“Unlike what we saw in the charts a fortnight ago,” explained Marcel, “we can see a decent time to the Equator of around five days and twelve hours, which is much more than last year (5 days and 1 hour), but a very interesting time to the Cape of Good Hope of around 13 and a half days, meaning they may be able to avoid going too far south in amongst the ice, as our routing showed when we were looking at an opening on 6th November.”