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Francis Joyon competing in his fifth Route du Rhum - Francis Joyon / Maxi trimaran Idec
It’s now official: in just under three months from now, on 2nd November, Francis Joyon will be setting off on his fifth Route du Rhum between St-Malo and Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe). Currently preparing for this race, the skipper of the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran is not leaving anything to chance, which is understandable, given that the standard in this tenth edition of the legendary transatlantic race looks particularly high in the star category of the Ultimate class.

Francis Joyon appears calm and is looking forward to the race as he prepares his fifth attempt at the Route du Rhum, the second on board his IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran. For the time being, the sailor is fine-tuning his boat, which is currently out of the water. No major transformations are planned, and this is a general overhaul, particularly concerning the deck hardware. The boat will be relaunched in mid-September giving him enough time to check over the choices that have been made, chiefly involving the new sails. Francis Joyon will go through some intense training off la Trinité-sur-Mer. To prepare himself psychologically, the skipper of IDEC SPORT will be making his way alone to St-Malo, where the Route du Rhum begins on 2nd November.

“I’m hopeful that I can win”

Francis will be facing some tough competition in the Ultimate category. Judge for yourself: Armel Le Cléac’h, Thomas Coville, Lionel Lemonchois, Yann Guichard, Sidney Gavignet and Sébastien Josse…”The standard in the Ultimate category is even higher than four years ago, which is quite amazing… We recently discovered that another serious contender will be competing: Yann Eliès. As a fan of multihulls, I’m bound to be pleased about such a line-up. It’s interesting, as there are some very different boat designs in this class. Each boat has some weather conditions that are favourable, and others which could be crippling. Given this context, it’s hard to say who will be finish first in Guadeloupe,” explained Francis Joyon. Among the favourites, he has the oldest boat, which was launched back in 2007, and was designed for round the world sailing, so better suited to down! wind sailing in extreme conditions. The Route du Rhum is a very different task, but Francis already showed us in the 2010 race that he can still do well, as he finished second behind Franck Cammas. “We’ll all be in with a chance. My trimaran may not be the fastest, but I have the advantage of knowing everything about her and I shall be well prepared. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m hopeful that I can win.” His rivals have been warned.

Patrice Lafargue, President of the IDEC Group: 

“I’m pleased that the IDEC Group will once again be alongside Francis Joyon as he competes in the tenth Route du Rhum. Our collaboration with this exceptional sailor started with the 2002 Rhum race. That was when this fantastic ongoing story began.”

Photo : © François Van Malleghem / DPPI / IDEC
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