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26 May 2005, 12:42 pm
The Race Is on
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WSSRC Record Attempt
New York, USA

At 19:03:36 hours GMT last night Francis JOYON (FRA), on the 90 foot trimaran IDEC, crossed the starting line and began his attempt on the single-handed transatlantic record.
To beat the eleven year old record set by Laurent BOURGNON (FRA) on Primagaz JOYON must reach Lizard Point before 21:37:14 hours GMT on 2 June.

After over a month of waiting JOYON's router, Jean-Yves BERNOT (FRA) believes the weather is sufficiently favourable to merit an attempt on the eleven year old single-handed transatlantic record from New York to Lizard Point.

JOYON has been in New York on stand-by for an attempt at the eleven year old record since 10 April.

The well-known North Atlantic expert, BERNOT, is acting as JOYON's router and has been handed the task of showing IDEC the way. Yesterday he confirmed that a favourable weather system seems to be on the horizon.

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JOYON and IDEC waiting in
New York
© Billy Black/DPPI
'It may be tomorrow, as a small low-pressure area is moving in,' said BERNOT, speaking of the possible departure yesterday. 'What is important now is to watch how it develops. Once we start, the conditions will be good, but Francis will nevertheless have to manage to cover the 100 miles or so separating him from the zone, where he will pick up the weather system. Lows are created around Cape Hatteras [North Carolina] and initially tend to be rather unpredictable, before they gradually settle down into a pattern. In theory, the wind conditions should be good - 25 to 30 knots, hardly any stronger - and in any case, we shall be setting out, if we see that the journey is possible within less than seven days.'

'With winds of this strength and a decent angle of 110° to 130° TWA, we can easily keep up an average of 20 knots without too much effort, but of course, we can't expect perfect conditions throughout the whole trip. The main risk on this route is to see the flow drop off towards the finish, to the extent that we'll be getting home in pre-summer conditions. Having said that, a lot of records have been broken in late June or early July.'

BERNOT went on to say that if JOYON did depart for the record today it would be around 1800 hours GMT. Otherwise he predicted their would be more opportunities later in the week, or early next week.

The single-handed record for a transatlantic crossing currently stands at 7 days, 2 hours, 34 minutes and 42 seconds. It was set by Laurent BOURGNON (FRA) on Primagaz back in 1994. The west to east crossing leaves Ambrose Light and finishes 2,925 miles away at Lizard Point.

Speaking about the record back in March JOYON commented, 'The main difficulty is going to be that we have to go fast all the time. The average speed is so high, that there's no time to hang around. The slightest weather hitch, the slightest hold up and the record is out of our grasp. The weather has to be just right over the six days.'

'The router is a vital tool, which is allowed within the framework of the record. The Atlantic is the time which has the fastest average speed in single-handed sailing. The chances of beating it on one attempt are low, as all the attempts over the past ten years have failed. You really have to ensure luck is with you by using all the available means.'

JOYON already holds the east to west, Plymouth to Newport transatlantic record, which he set five years ago on Eure et Loir, with a time of 9 days, 23 hours, 54 minutes and 36 seconds.

trimaran-idec.com (As Amended By ISAF). Image, JOYON and IDEC are ready to go© J. Vapillon, F. Van Malleghem
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