Francis JOYON is back on the record trail, with the singlehanded Mediterranean, then North Atlantic record in his sights.
Just a few months after his amazing round the world record of just over 57 days, the yachtsman from Locmariaquer in southern Brittany is working on his giant IDEC trimaran preparing for some new adventures.
Busy in Marseilles and Toulon with commitments with his partner, IDEC, JOYON has decided to take a look at the Mediterranean challenges. The historic Mediterranean record between Marseilles, France and Carthage, Tunisia is currently in the hands of Bruno PEYRON's (FRA) maxi multihull and her crew. While not claiming to be able to equal the average 25 knots or so achieved over the distance by the Orange II maxi catamaran, JOYON would like however to place the bar as high as possible for a singlehanded multihull across The Big Blue. In September, IDEC will be heading for Cadiz, Spain, in order to go on stand by for another attempt at the Columbus Route between Cadiz and San Salvador, Bahamas. A leopard never changes his spots!
A Trimaran In The Best Of Shape
A well-rested JOYON has clearly been thinking about the future, as he has taken care of the IDEC maxi trimaran over the past few weeks. The big red yacht, which holds the round the world record (57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 6 seconds since last January) has been the subject of close attention by her skipper, aided by his faithful helper Christophe HOUDET, and his own brother Christian, with some additional assistance from local craftsmen. While the platform does not appeared to have suffered from her round the world voyage, JOYON has been examining some of the key elements on his machine; Two new foresails have been added to the "Cuben Fiber" mainsail and staysail from the circumnavigation, and the mast, which he climbed four times yesterday was the subject of some important strengthening measures, mainly concerning the shroud fixation points. (You may remember the risk of dismasting, which hovered over the record attempt last winter...). The in-water refit in La Trinité made it necessary for divers to intervene to inspect her bottom and to check over the hull. Once again, nothing to report, so IDEC is amazingly in superb condition.
JOYON hopes to add a touch more to this healthy condition by adding new rudders to the floats. We can add that the previous appendages came from a 60-foot trimaran; "They suffered a lot during the circumnavigation,"
explained JOYON, "The stock showed signs of bending. We therefore constructed two new blades, which are much more rigid."
Still with the appendages, the daggerboard was also modified as recommended by the skipper; "We gave her a better symmetry. It should make her more comfortable and offer her a better trajectory."
The Mediterranean Record and then the Columbus Route...
At the end of May, JOYON and HOUDET, accompanied by a third crewman, will take the boat on her long delivery trip via Gibraltar to the Port of Marseilles. JOYON knows that the pre-summer period is not really ideal for finding a strong Mistral wind, which would enable him to sail straight across the Mediterranean.
"I came down to the Mediterranean to show the boat to my friends and sponsors,"
explained JOYON. "I'm leaving myself with a fortnight on stand-by hoping to find some strong favourable winds."
JOYON will then set sail alone to set a record time for the 458-mile voyage.
Having lost his singlehanded record between Cadiz and San Salvador (the Columbus Route) in June 2005 to Thomas COVILLE (FRA), JOYON would like simply to compare the potential of his new IDEC with that of the Sodebo trimaran over the distance. An attempt, which may take place as early as September.
The Records To Beat
Record: Marseille - Carthage
Yacht: Orange II
Skipper: Bruno PEYRON (FRA)
Dates: September 2004
Elapsed time: 17 hours, 56 minutes and 33 seconds
Distance: 458 nm
Average Speed: 25.53 knots
Record: Marseille - Carthage, singlehanded and monohull
Yacht: Roaring Forty
Skipper: Michel KLEINJANS (BEL)
Dates: March 2008
Elapsed time: 1 day, 21 hours and 24 minutes
Distance: 458 nm
Average Speed: 10.00 knots
Trimaran IDEC - www.trimaran-idec.com
World Sailing Speed Record Council - www.sailspeedrecords.com