Jean-Yves BERNOT, the onshore router for JOYON, said the slowdown in speed had been predicted several days ago, "It has been three days since we knew that he would have to go through there [the high pressure system]," he explained. "We therefore were expecting 12 hours of calm that Francis of use to rest."
BERNOT says his communication to JOYON yesterday morning was a simple instruction to take advantage of the calm conditions: "Today's programme: nap!""
Since yesterday afternoon, JOYON has been picking up speed as the high pressure system moves from west to east as had been predicted. As he heads north towards the equator, BERNOT predicts that JOYON will encounter northwesterly and then northeasterly winds in the 15-20 range with relatively flat seas. In these conditions IDEC should be able to reach speeds of 18 knots, making yesterday's slowdown a temporary blip in his record attempt.
The Record To Beat
Record: Round the World, non-stop, singlehanded
Skipper: Ellen MACATHUR (GBR)
Dates: 28 November 2004-7 February 2005
Elapsed time: 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds
Distance: 21,760 nm
Average Speed: 12.66 knots
Trimaran IDEC - www.trimaran-idec.com
World Sailing Speed Record Council - www.sailspeedrecords.com