Please select your home edition
Musto 2017 728x90 Surefooted
Product Feature
Zhik Men's Short Sleeve ZhikDry Polo
Zhik Men's Short Sleeve ZhikDry Polo
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine

Full racing risks
New for old cover

Mauritius Route record - Will Francis Joyon be ahead at the Equator?

by Agence Mer & Media 25 Oct 21:07 BST
Mauritius Route: Joyon nearing the Equator © Francois Van Malleghem / Alea / IDEC SPORT

Often unfortunate when passing through the Doldrums, such as when the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone forced IDEC SPORT to abandon its attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy two years ago, Francis is currently enjoying clear skies and a decent rate of progress upwind, while expecting to be slowed soon.

He is gradually nearing the Equator, some 350 miles ahead of his bows this lunchtime and hopes to cross this imaginary line tomorrow, more than a day ahead of his Mauritius Route record from 2009. This is cheering up the skipper of IDEC SPORT, who is still 6000 miles from the finish. He can legitimately feel pleased about choosing the weather opportunity last weekend, as behind him huge areas of calm are developing around the Cape Verde Islands.

"We were right to set off last Saturday," he insisted, praising the work done by his weather consultant, Christian Dumard. "Not only are calms developing behind us, but we have also avoided the thunderstorms developing around the south of Cape Verde and found a way through during the night on what was practically the direct route to the Equator. In the past, I have often been punished in the Doldrums. I can remember sailing there with a crew in the Jules Verne Trophy, where we experienced some terrible storms, pitch black skies, winds swinging around 360 degrees and incredibly violent thunderstorms. For the moment, I'm still advancing at almost ten knots and heading into the wind. I expect to be slowed down later today and during the night."

After six days of racing, IDEC SPORT has kept a comfortable lead over the pace set by the second IDEC maxi trimaran, the Irens designed boat from 2007, aboard which Francis set the first reference time for the Mauritius Route. In 2009, Francis crossed the Equator after 8 days, 5 hours and 9 minutes of racing, after covering 3350 miles at an average speed of 17 knots. This time, six days after leaving Port Louis, he has sailed 3168 miles out on the water averaging 22 knots. "IDEC SPORT is really fast," he explained. "But my previous IDEC did well in light airs and was easier to handle with her lighter sails making manoeuvres easier."

Francis is making the most of the decent conditions as he approaches the Southern Hemisphere. This year, his wife, Virginie was in charge of fresh supplies and Francis has not had to rely on freeze-dried food yet. "With these clear skies and relatively steady winds, I have been able to take some time out to sleep and recuperate, which is a luxury in this corner of the world, where usually, the winds are unstable in direction and strength and prevent you from getting any rest. The boat is in perfect condition and that too is something I'm really pleased about after this first week of sailing."

Related Articles

Joyon beats his own record set ten years ago
An improvement of over six days on the Mauritius Route record The Mauritius Route started from Port Louis in Brittany with part of the round the world route that Francis knows so well having sailed it many times both alone and with a crew. Posted on 8 Nov
Newsflash: Francis Joyon's win in Mauritius
IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran shatters the Mauritius Route record The skipper of the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran shattered the Mauritius Route record between Port Louis (Brittany) and Port Louis (Mauritius) at 0726hrs local time (0326hrs UTC) on Friday 8th November). Posted on 8 Nov
Mauritius Route record: The final stretch
He is now on a straight line almost due north towards the finish in Port Louis IDEC SPORT has changed weather systems, with very different winds and temperatures. He can put away the fleeces and foulies and forget the violent winds and astonishing speeds. Posted on 6 Nov
Mauritius Route record: Joyon continues to speed
The huge improvement has not led Francis Joyon to ease off or modify the pace The huge improvement in the reference time between Port Louis and the Cape of Good Hope (two days and 19 hours) achieved yesterday has not led Francis Joyon to ease off or modify the pace he has set since moving away from the coast of South America. Posted on 4 Nov
Mauritius Route record: Joyon ahead of record pace
Francis Joyon rounds the Cape of Good Hope two days and 19 hours ahead of the record pace He was two days, 19 hours and 51 minutes ahead of the time he set in 2009 on his first attempt at the Mauritius Route, the start of the route to the Indies, between Port Louis (Brittany) and Port Louis (Mauritius). Posted on 3 Nov
Mauritius Route record - A day full of contrasts
Joyon's lead extended to 707 miles in comparison to the pace set in 2009 Over the past 36 hours, the skipper of IDEC SPORT has been tortured as he hears his beloved trimaran groaning and shuddering in a nasty swell in excess of five metres, coming in the opposite direction from the boat heading due east. Posted on 1 Nov
Mauritius Route: Joyon heading to Good Hope Cape
There's no changing Francis. The skipper of the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran is at the age of 63 just as keen as ever to set new records and perform well, as we have been able to see over the past 24 hours. Posted on 31 Oct
Mauritius Route: Joyon clocking up over 600 miles
What is there left to generate emotions for Francis Joyon? In spite of being some way from the direct route off Braazil, the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran is today (Monday) 266 nautical miles ahead of the record he is attempting to beat. Posted on 28 Oct
Mauritius Route: Joyon crosses first virtual mark
Joyon has been tackling the Mauritius Route record between Port Louis & Port Louis Since last Saturday, Francis Joyon has been tackling the Mauritius Route record between Port Louis (Brittany) and Port Louis (Mauritius). Posted on 26 Oct
Mauritius Route: Joyon crosses the Canaries
IDEC Sport clocking up the miles at high speed heading due south It is one of the magical things about modern multihulls. They make the distances covered seem so banal. After four days of racing in his attempt against his own Mauritius Route record, Francis Joyon sped past the Canaries. Posted on 23 Oct