Forecast improving for Joyon
Impressively Francis Joyon and the maxi-trimaran IDEC are due to reach the mid-point of their passage between New York and the Lizard tonight.
While there remains a 100mile deficit on IDEC (that is increased rapidly as Joyon put in a hitch north this afternoon) the French solo offshore racing legend is satisfied with the first half of his record attempt. Sailing at high speed, Joyon has extracated himself from the US east coast and its potential dangers such as fog, fishing boats, fising marks, as well as erratic winds.
Almost punctuating the mid-point of his crossing, at midday Joyon gybed north briefly, during which he saw the boat speed soar to 29-30 knots. This move was in order to reposition IDEC with the centre of the depression in order to remain in the optimum wind conditions. His router, Jean-Yves Bernot, advised that this gybe would allow IDEC to remain in a stronger vein of wind.
So no longer is IDEC heading for Spain, but instead is heading for a cold wet route under a grey, inhospitable sky, albeit synonymous with north Atlantic depressions. IDEC's three red bows will, in the coming hours, slowly turn towards the British coast.
"I gone very near to the centre of the depression, less than 50 miles," explains Joyon. "I chose to gybe back toward the more active areas on the periphery."
Increasingly Joyon's mood turns to to one of optimism, as the easterly track of of the depression now looks like it should take his maxi trimaran in the direction of the British Isles. As always Joyon remains measured in his views of the outcome of thi record, but there was a slight change of tone when he spoke today.
"We left New York with a large uncertainty about the route and when we could folloethis depression. A weather model saw two routes to Ireland. But today finally all the models are indicating the same thing and that the depression is moving in the right direction..."