IDEC SPORT’s dash across the Southern Ocean should be rewarded this afternoon with the first intermediate record for Joyon and Co. They look like setting an incredible time to Cape Leeuwin in SW Australia, the second major cape in the Jules Verne Trophy.
It will have taken them just over 17 days since leaving Ushant, some twenty hours ahead of the reference time set by the title-holder, Banque Populaire V. Joyon, Pella, Stamm, Gahinet, Audigane and Surtel should be setting a new record for the stretch between the Cape of Good Hope and Leeuwin, which they covered at an average speed of more than 36 knots.
The speed has dropped slightly since yesterday evening, as expected by Francis Joyon yesterday. The strong winds are on the left of the boat, shifting to the north. This requires skill at the helm with teh wind on the beam and speeds will not be as high as over the past few days since entering the Indian OCean on 29th December, just four days ago. The lead over Loïck Peyron and his crew of thirteen is now 437 miles, and they are still extending this lead, with IDEC SPORT continuing to go straight on gaining by taking the direct route in the Furious Fifties.