IDEC SPORT is at full speed with the finish of the Jules Verne Trophy drawing near. With less than 550 miles to go, Francis Joyon, Clément Surtel, Bernard Stamm, Sébastien Audigane, Alex Pella and Gwénolé Gahinet are about to complete their victorious round the world voyage. They are currently averaging 35 knots off Cape Finisterre after 40 days of sailing and are expected early tomorrow morning off Ushant (0600-0800hrs UTC), where they will add their name to the list of champion crews taking the Jules Verne Trophy. Later tomorrow morning in Brest, a big welcome is planned, as they arrive almost five days ahead of the previous record (45d 13h 42mn 53sec).
“It was fairly choppy in strong winds. The boat was getting shaken around. Even if we were going slightly slower in the 3-4m high waves, it reminded us of what we achieved in the Indian Ocean. We’re pleased to have remained ahead of the front,” commented Francis Joyon this morning, who clearly wants to finish at high speed. “We can’t wait to approach the finish,” he added, feeling confident and serene about the miles left to sail.
At his side, his five talented crewmen were all smiling. “We’re sailing downwind under J2 and we’ve got quite a lot of wind. We’re sailing at 35-38 knots on seas that are quite pleasant still. We are taking advntage of these final moments at sea and of this great boat, which is so fast,” confirmed Gwénolé Gahinet and Sébastien Audigane as they approached Cape Finisterre. They are now over 2000 miles ahead of the title-holder.
“This Jules Verne Trophy is a straight line and we sailed it at the same pace as the fronts in the Southern Ocean, just as we are now doing in the North Atlantic. According to the latest simulations, we should also grab the intermediate record between the Equator and Ushant, which will be the icing ion the cake,” declared Clément Surtel. “’This is an exceptional trajectory. The sun has come up and we can push that bit harder.”
Paying close attention to the shipping and hundredsds of cargo vessels and fishing boats in this area, the six sailors are taking the IDEC SPORT team to the rank of ninth holder of the Jules Verne Trophy after the crews led by Bruno Peyron, Peter Blake, Olivier de Kersauson, Franck Cammas and Loïck Peyron. “I have seen boats leaving for the Jules Verne Trophy that I prepared. Managing to grab this record is the high point of my sailing career and a dream come true. Crossing the finish in record time is bound to be a huge moment,” added Clément Surtel.
Live coverage from 0900-1130hrs UTC
After crossing the finish line between 0600 and 0800hrs UTC on Thursday morning the boat will sail towards Brest, where she is expected later in the morning. Coverage of this triumphant arrival will start from 0900hrs on the website and social media followed at 1130 by the boat mooring at the pontoon and the first reactions of the crew on the podium in front of the crowds that have turned out to welcome them.