24 hours record
668 nautical miles in 24 hours for Francis Joyon
mercredi 1er août 2012 –
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Francis Joyon set off from la Trinité-sur-Mer in Brittany last Friday to head for the Azores to look for ideal conditions to tackle the record set by Thomas Coville, who sailed 628.5 nautical miles in 2008 on his second attempt at the round the world record, still held by Francis.
“I had to look for the ideal conditions, which I only managed to find before in the Indian Ocean with steady, strong winds, preferably ahead of a front , in order to benefit from relatively calm seas... So I headed off around 800 miles west of Cape Finisterre, on the edge of the Azores high. I set off with a south-westerly wind, but from the start I had to deal with a swell coming in the other direction from the north.
I gave it my all and after a certain length of time, the swell eased off and the wind strengthened to 32 knots. It was extremely risky. The boat was constantly on the edge. I wasn’t at the helm. I stayed there for 24 hours standing in the cockpit with the mainsail sheet in one hand and the solent sheet in the other. When the boat dug into a wave, I eased off one or the other. But I often had to ease them both off at the same time. There was no rest. I just swallowed down a few cereal bars to feed myself.”
These words from Joyon himself sum up the scenario and how he achieved this special record. With peak speeds of 34 knots, the sailor from Locmariaquer has added another item to his long list of successful records. In 2004 he previously held the record aboard his former IDEC trimaran.
He took the reference time to 613.5 miles (average speed of 25.56 knots) during his successful round the world record attempt in 2007. Thomas Coville then grabbed the record from him in the following year covering 619 miles at an average speed of 25.80 knots near the Kerguelens. The very same Thomas Coville aboard his 32-metre trimaran then beat his own record, sailing 628.5 miles at 26.2 knots in December 2008.
“I would have been happy to beat this record by just a few miles", added Francis. “But almost 40 miles ! I’m over the moon. I’m particularly pleased as I haven’t sailed that much since capsizing last year during my transatlantic record attempt. IDEC underwent a lot of decent work in the yard during the winter. But the mast is the same one that broke in half, when she capsized. As for the sails, they are the original ones, which have already clocked up 90,000 miles. Going beyond the numbers, I was able to enjoy a truly magical moment. Being able to sail such a machine and get the full potential out of her is extraordinary. That’s what I kept telling myself, as I zoomed by cargo ships sending the spray flying.”
*(Awaiting ratification from the World Speed Sailing Record Council)
Voir en ligne : Info presse www.trimaran-idec.com
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