Francis Joyon zet met zijn 95 voet lange trimaran IDEC een fantastisch nieuwe zeilrecord neer: 3800 zeemijl solo met een gemiddelde van 18,6 knopen over de Columbus route tussen Cádiz en San Salvador. Francis, 56 jaar, racete 3884 zeemijl tegen zichzelf en kneep zomaar eventjes 1 dag en 4 uur af van zijn eigen record uit 2008.
Francis Joyon vertrok met zijn IDEC trimaran op 4 februari in de Spaanse havenstad Cádiz en finishte op 15 februari in Sal salvador de hoofdstad El Salvador. Het nieuwe transatlantisch zeilrecord staat nu op 8 dagen, 16 uur, 7 minuten en 5 seconden.
Francis Joyon: "My immediate reaction is one of huge satisfaction… and tiredness. I haven’t yet come to terms with it, as I’m still sailing, but the pleasure of completing the voyage in less than nine days is obvious. I set off hoping to set a decent time. I got off to a quick start back in 2008, but the end was much harder. This year, it was the other way around. My biggest fear is always getting stuck in an area of calm, but that didn’t happen. The boat sailed very quickly for some time. In the first part, the heavy seas slowed us down. Then, there were some great moments honing along. I flirted with peak speeds of 30 knots, but as we face the oncoming prevailing weather systems, we often experience difficult seas, which are not favourable for very high speeds…"
"I finished in the dark of night off the island of San Salvador, where not many people live, so there were very few lights. We have to round some major headlands, which are not lit and on the GPS we were close to a coral reef. I called up Mr. Clifford Fernandez from the WSSRC, who found a little boat to take him out to see me cross the line. I furled the gennaker and he came on board. After 5-10 minutes, I hoisted the sail again to avoid drifting towards the coast. They got off and I set off again without even seeing a single tree… I’m currently on my way down towards the French West Indies."
"There are still a few minor improvements that can be made, but in general this is a good boat, which is well designed, well built and had been tried and tested. We can still work on a few details and on the sails…"
"Personally, you can’t fine-tune me as much as the boat. The years are slipping by and recently I became a grandfather. You have to avoid time taking its toll by doing lots of sporting activities between these sailing trips, in order to be able to cope with the demands of the trimaran…