Francis Joyon Shatters The Solo 24 Hour Record
IDEC takes almost 40 miles off Thomas Coville's reference time
©Jean-Marie Liot / IDEC
Francis Joyon had left La Trinité-sur-Mer, France last Friday, heading for the Azores in order to find the ideal conditions to challenge the reference time of 628.5 miles set in 2008 by Thomas Coville during his second attempt against the lap record in the world, still held by Francis.
Joyon said, "I needed to meet ideal conditions, that I had previously found in the Indian Ocean, with winds well established, preferably in front of a front in order to benefit from a (relatively) flat sea ... I went about 800 miles west of Cape Finisterre, on the edge of high pressure near the Azores. I left with a wind from the southwest, but I have faced from the outset a swell from the north.
"After a time, the swell is ordered and the wind increased to 32 knots. It was extremely perillous. The boat was constantly on the edge. I did not steer. I remained standing 24 hours in my cockpit with mainsheet in one hand, and the jib sheet in the other. When the boat crashed into the wave, I eased one or the other sheet. But I often had to let both sheets at once. No rest. Some granola bars for food only. "
With peaks of 34 knots, the sailor from Locmariaquer adds a new line to his many records. He had already held the record in 2004 aboard the old trimaran IDEC.
He carried this reference time to 613.5 miles (25.56 knots average) record during his Round the World solo record in 2007. Then Thomas Coville, had therefore taken the reference time in the following year by swallowing 619 miles at an average of 25.80 knots average near Kerguelen. Thomas Coville on his 32 meter trimaran Sodebo increased his own record to 628, 5, (average 26.2 knots) in December 2008.
"I would have been very pleased to get this record, by only a handful of miles,"
says Francis. "But nearly 40 miles! I am very happy. My satisfaction comes mostly from the fact that I have sailed very little since I capsized last year when I attempted the record for crossing the Atlantic. IDEC has undergone a beautiful refit this winter. But the mast is the same one that broke in two during the capsize. As for sails, these are the originals, which have 90,000 miles on the clock. Beyond the numbers, I just offer a truly magical moment. Able to operate such a machine to its full potential is extraordinary. That's what I thought overtaking cargo ships in showers of foam. "
* (Subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council)