Francis Joyon, Quentin Ponroy, Gwénolé Gahinet, Bernard Stamm, Antoine Blouet and Sébastien Picault early this afternoon took their IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran to second place in the maiden edition of the Nice UltiMed. After three days, one hour, 54 minutes and 27 seconds of exciting racing in close contact with the Sodebo maxi-trimaran, they finished less than an hour after the winner after a 1109 mile course from Nice via Marseille and sailing around Sardinia and Corsica.
Francis Joyon admits this evening he is very pleased to be back with the crew of IDEC SPORT who have not lost any of their legendary humour. The trimaran, which has only recently left the yard after a long winter refit has satisfied him completely. The Nice UltiMed and the many miles they have clocked up since leaving La Trinité-sur-Mer have launched a new campaign for the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy, who is looking ahead to the Route du Rhum in November.
The Med lived up to its reputation
Bernard Stamm is probably the sailor on IDEC SPORT, who knows the Med the best with all her ups and downs, thanks to his many attempts at the Tour de France sailing race. “It was no surprise that the Big Blue showed us all her different facets and was as unreliable as expected,” smiled Bernard. “We went through all the points of sail, all sorts of sea states and conditions from strong winds on the way down from Marseille to the south of Sardinia and total calm.” The Nice UltiMed saw many changes and handovers at the front, which made it into a sort of giant match race. “We both (with Sodebo) had some winning moves,” explained Francis Joyon. “We rounded the tip of Corsica in front, but Thomas and his crew took the lead again before reaching Nice for the first time.” IDEC SPORT and Sodebo were almost always within sight of each other, revealing they had similar potential.
The IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran in great shape…
“We are particularly pleased with the changes made during the winter,” added Francis. “I’m delighted and proud that Sébastien (Picault) and Antoine (Blouet) were able to take advantage of this Nice UltiMed after all the excellent work they did on the electronics and deck hardware. The foils are the icing on the cake. We didn’t really have time to test them in detail and it is clear after this first race that we still have a lot of work to do to get to grips with all the subtleties.” Bernard added, ”We now need to tame the monster. The float rises up faster than in the Jules Verne Trophy. The boat settles down differently, so we need to get used to that.”
The first race of the season, the Nice UltiMed has pleased the crew of IDEC SPORT. Discovering or rediscovering the Med on a boat as exceptional as IDEC SPORT is a pleasure that no one on board wanted to miss. Quite the reverse. “This format of racing took me back in time to the round Europe races when we came down here for short legs lasting two or three days in the finest harbours in the Med,” concluded Francis.
IDEC SPORT’s race in facts and figures:
Race time: 3 days, 1 hour, 54 minutes and 27 seconds
Gap to leader: 56 mins and 59 secs.
1108.9 miles sailed out on the water averaging 15 knots.