The IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran, which has been out of the water in the Multiplast yard in Vannes since November, is undergoing her first major update since her launch in 2006. Francis Joyon, who showed the full potential of this VPLP designed boat by smashing the Jules Verne Trophy record (40 days), aims to keep his boat competitive this winter by fitting her with the latest technology in terms of foils. The aim is to ensure she can keep up with the boats recently launched. Foils with spoilers, T-shaped rudders… IDEC SPORT, unanimously recognised and applauded for her extraordinary marine qualities, is now getting ready to take off.

Always ready to offer a great image and aware of the fantastic technological leap forward made by the other boats in the Ultime Class, Francis Joyon is pleased to be able to update his maxi- trimaran, as he looks forward to the battles that lie ahead including the Route du Rhum, which starts from St. Malo on 4th November. “We won’t really be flying like the more recent boats in the class,” he stressed, “but thanks to these foiling appendages, we should take off with the central hull just touching the water, and that means we should gain in terms of sheer speed.”

After a lot of discussion and reflection with the boat’s designers, Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriost-Prévost, Francis decided to fit foils with spoilers and T-shaped rudders to increase the vertical thrust and allow the boat to take off. “This is the first major change that has been made to this boat developed by Franck Cammas in 2006 and 2007,” added the sailor from Locmariaquer. “These changes are necessary for us to remain competitive when we come up against the new flying boats, whose full potential still has to be discovered. We should see an increase in the boat’s performance of several percent.”

Good sea handling, safe, reliable, an all rounder, IDEC SPORT is being strengthened without losing anything of what she had before. “Using the shorter mast means the boat has suffered less and she hasn’t aged as much,” stressed Francis. “With a brand new mainsail track, and a lot of other small improvements, she will have lost some weight to enable her to perform even better in lighter conditions.”

The Nice Ultimed as a rehearsal

Francis Joyon hopes to get his boat back in the water between 15th and 30th March. This will then be followed by sea trials and adjustments. “All of these fittings are new to us and the crew is going to have to learn how to get the most out of the foils, find the right angles and the best range possible…”

The Nice Ultimed will offer the IDEC SPORT team a long delivery trip, which is an ideal way to get to know everything, before she does battle with the leading boats in the class in what looks like being a tough contest in Nice from 25th April to 6th May. “It is true that this format with crewed racing doesn’t favour us. It is when sailed solo in the Route du Rhum that IDEC SPORT will have the best chance.” Francis is looking forward to this event and has remained faithful to the small valiant crew that won the Jules Verne Trophy. Bernard Stamm and Guénolé Gahinet, who set the round the world record with him, will be back, along with those who took part in The Bridge 2017, Quentin Ponroy and Sébastien Picault.

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