Despite his hopes of launching, on Sunday, his second attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy, Francis Joyon was forced to modify his plans on Saturday. Unfavorable weather conditions in the South Atlantic didn’t look like they’d let him beat the standing record. On the starting blocks in Brest since Friday, Joyon and his crew nonetheless remain hopeful of an improvement at the start of next week.
“The North Atlantic conditions are practically ideal, but our routing says that we’d arrive at Good Hope one and a half or even two days behind the record,” explains Francis Joyon, slightly disappointed at not being able to take advantage of the current strong northerly and northwesterly winds, capable of shooting the boat to 0° latitude in the space of 5 days. “The St Helena High is very far south at the moment, which would force us to go a long way south to sail downwind. This strategy would be costly because of the extra distance covered, and above all, very risky because of the presence of ice in those latitudes.”
IDEC SPORT, in top form as demonstrated by its fine trial run yesterday, has thus gone back to Code Red, and will not be taking advantage of tomorrow’s good conditions for sliding downwind, set to push Vendée Globe competitors towards Cape Finisterre and the Portuguese trade winds. “We’re going to watch our friends go off, and we hope that things will evolve favorably in the South Atlantic and possibly bring interesting conditions from Wednesday evening onwards. What I fear is seeing west south westerly winds settling in off the coast because we know that these can last a long time and prolong our stand-by state indefinitely…”
Source : www.idecsport-sailing.com