At 1228hrs UTC on Friday 20th January 2017, the maxi-trimaran IDEC SPORT crossed the Equator. Francis Joyon, Sébastien Audigane, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet, Alex Pella and Bernard Stamm achieved the best performance ever for the stretch between Ushant and the Equator after rounding the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn) with a time of 35 days, 4 hours and 45 minutes. This is 2 days, 22 hours and 36 minutes better than the previous reference time held since 2012 by Loïck Peyron and the maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V.
This is the fifth intermediate record in this Jules Verne Trophy for Francis Joyon and his men, after the new records set at Cape Leeuwin, in Tasmania, the International Date Line and Cape Horn.
“It is something that completely passed us by,” declared Francis Joyon talking about the return to the Northern Hemisphere. “We have been focusing so much on getting across the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone forcing us to go west of the usual route to the north of Brazil. We are slowly getting around a huge area of high pressure, which although not as powerful as the Doldrums, is slowing us down in very light conditions. The sea is very calm and the sky is grey and it’s very hot. We hope to pick us some wind late this afternoon to get back on track towards Brittany, sailing upwind to start off with, then opening up the sails to finish we hope and to be back at full speed after the Azores.”