Francis Joyon returns to the Route of Discovery
IDEC Sport to assault the Spindrift record between Cádiz and San Salvador (Bahamas)
By: Jaume Soler
Backed up by his most loyal crew members – Bertrand Delesne, Bernard Stamm, Antoine Blouet and Christophe Houdet – Francis Joyon has once again been hunting for records from the beginning of next October. His goal: to beat the benchmark time set in 2013 by Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli’s maxi trimaran Spindrift on the Route of Discovery.
It is a very familiar route for the defending champion of the Route du Rhum, who has already twice managed to beat the reference time for the same distance, between Cádiz and San Salvador in the Bahamas, alone.
Francis and his solid IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran, launched in 2006, will set sail from their home port in La Trinité-sur-mer around September 21 to make a first stop in Andalusia, in the province of Malaga, where their loyal sponsor, GROUPE IDEC, with 18 years of history in common, starts an ambitious project consisting of a logistics and industrial park with positive energy.
Francis and his team
“The boat is ready,” Francis murmurs, always attentive to every detail of his maxi trimaran. “We have worked on the appendices, which had suffered a lot during our voyages through Asia, impacting a large number of OFNIS. We are very attentive to his aging. We react to any appearance of cracks. It is true that the use of the “small” mast, without affecting performance, has considerably reduced the efforts on the platform. We are always trying to move towards greater simplicity in maneuvering and we keep finding some tricks here and there. We take advantage of the end of summer to go out regularly. My son Corentin, a regular on the boat since the 2018 season, will not be with us this time. With Antoine, Christophe, Bernard and Bertrand, I will have a great team that knows the boat perfectly ”.
A demanding record
Six days, 14 hours, 29 minutes and 53 seconds to cover 4,481 miles on the direct route. “This record is very demanding,” says Francis Joyon. “More than 25 knots average! It will take an excellent weather window to think about improving it. And a bit of luck too, because we know that the Bahamas tend to have a lot of calm. This Discovery Route is a fabulous, magical journey, full of history: it is the route that Christopher Columbus took. The islands are fascinating. I landed once after one of my solo records. The people were lovely. This tour promises to be beautiful and full of fabulous horizons.
We are working to the smallest detail on possible meteorological scenarios with Christian Dumard, because global warming is a very real phenomenon that translates into a statistical increase in the frequency of hurricanes in this area of the Antilles. The oceans heat up and provide fuel for cyclones ”.
Stand by in Cádiz at the beginning of October
Francis intends to leave Brittany around September 21, to begin his stand-by the last days of the month, thinking of a possible departure in early October, true to his reputation of being a little-loving sailor with long waits.
Before heading to the Cadiz Puerto Sherry to begin the stand-by period, the boat will moor for a few days in Algeciras, and then in Malaga, to support the public relations operation of GROUPE IDEC, involved in an ambitious logistics and industrial project in Andalusia .
1st XXL park in Europe for positive energy
GROUPE IDEC is developing a new XXL industrial and logistics zone in southern Andalusia, with an area of more than 300 hectares: Puerto Seco in Antequera. Its ideal location at the crossroads of continents and its direct access to the major transport networks make it a strategic point.
The park is conceived to allow the integration of very diverse activities and services, as well as high added value assets, creating a rich and varied space. The energy dimension is also an integral part of the project, which aims at energy autonomy and limiting its carbon footprint.
An approach much appreciated by Francis Joyon, which can also be found on board the maxi trimaran, which bears the colors of IDEC ENERGY, a subsidiary of GROUPE IDEC dedicated to creating innovative energy solutions.