Mediterranean record: Francis Joyon and IDEC ready for an attempt

Friday, 16 May 2008

Francis Joyon is back in business! A few months after his astonishing record Round the World, of just over 57 ½ days, the Locmariaquer sailor is readying his giant trimaran IDEC for new adventures.

First on the agenda is the Mediterranean record, between Marseilles and Carthage (Tunisia), which is held by Bruno Peyron and crew in maxi-multihull Orange II. Francis doesn’t expect to rival Peyron’s 25 knot plus average, but he does want to raise the solo record as high as possible.

In September, IDEC will go to Cadiz (Spain), in readiness for an attempt at record of the "Discovery Route", between Cadiz (Spain) and San El Salvador (the Bahamas).

Top form

Francis is now well rested and the red sailing ship has been meticulously checked over by Francis, his brother Christian and Christophe Houdet, with the collaboration of local craftsmen and divers who inspected the hull underwater. The hull did show any signs of damage, but two new Cuben Fiber sails – main and jib – have been acquired and the mast has been considerably strengthened, especially in the area of the stay anchoring points, which threatened a dismasting during the Round the World record. Two new rudders have been acquired for the amas, which Francis expects will improve performance. The previous ones came from a 60 foot trimaran and suffered considerably.

At the end of this month, Francis Joyon and Christophe Houdet, accompanied by a third crew member, will bring IDEC to the Mediterranean, via Gibraltar. Francis knows that this time of year is not the most favourable for having the strong mistrale wind, which is ideal for a fast crossing of the Mediterranean. He says "I am coming to the Mediterranean to show my boat to friends and sponsors, but I will give myself about a fortnight of stand by, in the hope of strong winds."

In June 2005, Thomas Coville took Francis’ record between Cadiz and San El Salvador; he hopes to retake it and could make the attempt from September on.

Translation Marian Martin

See Joyon images: 


Last Updated ( Friday, 16 May 2008 )