200 miles south of the Azores, IDEC SPORT is starting the final stretch of her round the world voyage in favourable winds, which they have managed to pick up, getting the timing just right ahead of a front associated with a low-pressure system. With the speedo firmly stuck at thirty knots, Francis Joyon, Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella, Sebastien Audigane, Clement Surtel and Gwenole Gahinet are on the home strait at the pace they set in the Southern ocean, maintaining high speeds, while remaining vigilant as they face the elements. With 1300 miles to go to the finish, they are now expected on Thursday morning in Brest after forty days of racing against the clock, as they enter the final phase of the Jules Verne Trophy attempt.
The record to beat: 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes, 53 seconds.
"We're very lucky, as the weather is slotting into place. I think Francis must have spoken to the isobars," joked Bernard Stamm, who has every right to be pleased, with IDEC SPORT sailing smoothly on the North Atlantic swell under mainsail and gennaker in a 25-knot SSW'ly air stream. Approaching the Azores, everything is falling into place to allow them to continue to keep up the pace all the way to the coast of Brittany, as they sail practically on the direct route.
"We are entering a SW'ly air stream. It's more or less a straight line at full speed to Ushant in strong winds. It's up to us now to ensure we don't make any mistakes. We won't be putting our foot down like we did in the Indian. We want to preserve what we have built up, but it is great to finish at such high speeds. We're all remaining focused not to take excessive risks with the gear, which needs to work properly until the finish. We are remaining very upbeat about this incredible weather opportunity," added the Swiss skipper, who is about to finish his sixth round the world voyage.
Francis Joyon and the IDEC SPORT Team aboard the maxi-trimaran IDEC SPORT is about to achieve an incredible feat in the Jules Verne Trophy.
They are due to finish and cross the line off Ushant on Thursday 26th January 2017.