Yesterday evening (Wednesday) at around 2030 UTC the maxi-trimaran IDEC-SPORT got ahead of her virtual rival Banque Populaire V, which set the outright round the world reference time in 2012 with Loïck Peyron at the helm.
Taking advantage of a route diving due south since the west of the Canaries on the way down towards the Cape Verde Islands, and making the most of the trade winds, which are nevertheless variable, Joyon and his crew of five kept up speeds above thirty knots during most of the night meaning this morning they are more than 65 miles ahead of the record pace, having sailed 700 miles in 24 hours at an incredible average of 29.1 knots. This gap is not that significant in terms of the round the world time, but impressive taking into account that the crew were only able to get going at high speed ten hours or so after leaving Ushant after passing the centre of the low and that at that point they were almost 220 miles behind the record.
Francis Joyon, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet, Boris Herrmann, Alex Pella and Bernard Stamm certainly put their foot down after that to get back up with the record time. They are due to pass the Cape Verde Islands at midday, maybe following the track taken on 12th November by the leader of the Vendée Globe, British sailor, Alex Thomson who took his Hugo Boss between the islands of Santo Antao and Mindelo. This is a possible choice because of the weakening trade winds, which are turning to the east near the islands, protecting Idec Sport from the wind shadow of the peaks of Santo Antao, which culminate at 1979 metres.