Francis Joyon on the starting blocks

Course 2016

Created on:
3 November 2016 / 10:33
Modified on :
29 January 2017 / 11:17

Departure time is drawing near for Francis Joyon and the crew of the maxi trimaran Idec Sport. Thursday marked an activation of Code Amber – the alert used by Joyon to indicate a favorable weather opportunity within the next five days for starting off on an attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy. On Friday, Idec Sport will be heading to Brest to stand ready for setting off on this crewed non-stop circumnavigation. The starting line may be crossed as early Sunday evening, in Ushant.

©Mer et Média / Idec Sport
©Mer et Média / Idec Sport


“A good weather configuration has emerged,” explained Francis Joyon. “Mainly northerly winds at around twenty knots, ideal for a quick exit from the bay and for making for the Equator, gybing once, in a time very close to the one we achieved during our attempt last year.” Let’s remember that on that occasion, Idec Sport notched up the second-best performance in the history of the Ushant-Equator leg, with a time of 5 days, one hour and 52 seconds – eleven hours better than the Trophy’s title holder Banque Populaire V, skippered by Loïck Peyron.

“But there’s still uncertainty about how the St Helena High will evolve,” adds Francis Joyon. “For now it’s located very far to the south, blocking the route to the Cape of Good Hope and the Indian Ocean. We’d need to go down very low south in order to get around it. So we’ll get to Brest tomorrow while continuing to monitor the evolution of weather conditions in the South Atlantic, bearing in mind that the North Atlantic is very favorable for now.”

The whole crew (Bernard Stamm, Gwénolé Gahinet, Alex Pella, Clément Surtel), with the exception of German Boris Herrman, held back in Germany, is on deck and will take advantage of the delivery trip to Brest to settle in. “Bernard will look after final supplies once we’re in Brest, and if the departure scenario is confirmed and the situation in the South Atlantic improves, we may well cross the starting line on Sunday evening,” concludes Francis Joyon, visibly impatient to get going. “The job list has been dealt with. We’ve made the boat lighter. It seems that it’s now time to set off on this wonderful big adventure.”


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