After an exceptional career and just a few hours after shattering the solo trans-Atlantic and 24 hour records, the trimaran IDEC was wrecked on rocks.
After crossing the line at the Lizard, Francis had headed down the Four channel, passed the Raz de Sein in the evening and then, because he had a morning rendezvous at La Trinité, decided to slow the boat down by reducing canvas and sailing before the wind. His heading was to leave Penmac'h about 30° to the right, but, because he hadn't slept for a long time, he fell into a deep sleep. He was on autopilot and thinks it must have gone wrong - like it had a couple of times during the record - but, because he wasn't going fast, there was no change of speed to alert him.
Francis Joyon was woken, suddenly, by a great crash and found himself between two 6 metre rocks.

A very emotional Francis Joyon described what happened next "I thought I had hit some isolated rocks, so I sent out a Mayday, but when I gave my position they told me the rescuers would come and meet me by land, because you could get to the boat on foot! I was in a state of stunned disbelief, because I let my rescuers take complete charge and that isn't at all like me. When they say how shocked I was they insisted I went to hospital and I spent 3 hours there. "Then my brother arrived about 4am and we went back to the boat and tried to get it off with the help of SNSM. I got on board to try to tie it up, but it pivoted and in a few minutes the sea overwhelmed it and the mast came down. In spite of the extraordinary courage of the guys from SNSM there's now nothing but bits and pieces. It's incredible that a boat could break up so quickly."

"The last 6 days on board IDEC were filled with nothing but happiness and its inevitable that, when you have this sort of success with a boat, you get very attached to it. I'm not far off thinking that these pieces of fibre really do have a soul. I truly have the impression that the boat did a better job than me, that it went after the two records. I was already planning other things; I wanted us to break the 600 miles in 24 hours, but, at the end of the day, where the sea is concerned you have to accept the mistakes as you accept the laurels."

Patrice Lafargue, Managing Director of IDEC said:"To see such a boat destroyed is a very emotional thing, we were attached to it, but it is Francis that made us love it and it is Francis that we love above all. Francis is here today, that is what matters and if he wants it, we will continue and together do other great things."

Olivier de Kersauson, who once held the Jules Verne trophy with IDEC, then Sport Electric, expressed his sadness at the loss of the trimaran he gave to Francis Joyon. "It is heart breaking to crash into Penmarc'h, especially for someone who has accomplished all that he has accomplished with this boat. To lose a boat is like losing a companion, it's something very serious, murderous. For us, Dider Ragot and myself, this boat was full of memories; it was Poulain, Charal, La Lyonnais des Eaux and then Sport Electric; it was an exemplary piece of maritime history from one end to the other. Geronimo is the follow up to that boat; without the experience and know-how we acquired with her, there would be no Geronimo. I feel so sad, I loved that boat, but above all it is Francis that I am really unhappy for; I have lost a memory, for him it was also the tool of his trade that he had to abandon on the Penmarc'h rocks."

A new beginning

Today say the culmination of a long chapter of events that begin with Francis Joyon’s round the world solo record, continued with his fabulous trans-Atlantic and 24 hour solo records and then took a blow that day when his famous old trimaran was lost on Brittany’s rocks, in 2005.
Today Francis Joyon has an IDEC again, but this time it was a brand new boat, purpose built for ocean record breaking, which took to the water in the old submarine base in Lorient, France.
Workers from the builder, Marsaudon Composites, Groupe IDEC employees and managing director, Patrice Lafargue, naval architects Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret, friends and family and the press shared an emotional moment with Francis Joyon as the second IDEC touched the water.
 “I’m pleased to see it there and looking so right in its lines” said a smiling Joyon “and I’m very touched to see all those involved reunited here. Our project rested on the chemistry between various organisations: the Irens-Cabaret duo, the Samuel Marsaudon team, shipyard Gépéto for various parts, Lorima for the mast and boom. All in this small world worked together, under the direction of Christophe Houdet, to deliver IDEC in a relatively short time span.”
Francis Joyon’s staunchest supporter, Patrice Lafargue, MD of Groupe IDEC, described the new trimaran as in the image of Francis, strong and straightforward. A boat to go out and reconquer the  records of the first IDEC.

Stepping the mast

The carbon mast is nearing completion at Lorima, close to where the trimaran now lies. The sails, by Incidence, are ready and Francis hopes that he will be able to go for a first sail next week. It will be a voyage to the Marsaudon shipyard, to say “Thank you all” to the worker force.
Once satisfied with the new boat, Francis will take her home to La Trinité sur Mer and began a series of training exercises, each longer than the last. “I can’t wait to be alone at sea again,” said Francis “it’s been two months since I was last on board a boat and I feel rusty.”

The programme

It’s an ambitious programme! Of course, the Holy Grail is to retake the world record that Ellen MacArthur took from Francis, but there are also trans-Pacific and Discovery Route records to take a tilt at and he is toying with the idea of trying for the crewed 24 hour record, saying “It should go very well with a crew of four.” Considering that the record has been set at 766.8 nm – an average of 31.95kts – by Bruno Peyron and Orange II, Francis and the designers must think they have a very fast trimaran.  

The designer

Nigel Irens, who designed IDEC with Benoit Cabaret, said “Working with Francis Joyon was a both a pleasure and a challenge. The pleasure came because he is a natural gentleman; the challenge was to meet the requirement for simplicity that such an out of the ordinary sailor wanted. Often, Francis would both surprise us and ease our task, by eliminating some design difficulty with a very simple and unsophisticated solution. The result is a trimaran that is powerful, simple and totally dedicated to a solo sailor.”

The builder

Samuel Marsaudon, IDEC’s builder said “Our challenge was to construct the biggest multihull ever produced by infusion. We had some worrying moments and the long electricity failure, last September cost us half a floater. The collaboration with Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret was enriching, both from a technical point of view and in human relations. Now, the boat is in the water, the shed is empty and we just have the moulds left from this project; why not a second boat?”

The sponsor

Patrice Lafargue, MD of Groupe IDEC said “I loved the old IDEC, but having followed the birth of this boat, from the very first sketches to its launching, one already has tender feelings towards it. Francis is an extraordinary person, who has inspired us and who we have chosen to accompany. Numerous challenges await him, each more ambitious than the last and everyone in Groupe IDEC is expecting to relive the high points of 2004 and 2005.”

The skipper

Francis Joyon said “This trimaran is the result of a marriage between the designers, the builders and my supporters in Groupe IDEC. The boat already pleases me a lot, aesthetically, it’s now down to me to sail it and show that the simplicity of its deck plan and its functionality are synonymous with performance.”

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