Maxi round the worlder launched

Francis Joyon's new 90ft trimaran now refitted so her can sail her...singlehanded

Friday August 22nd 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: France
"Sailors much prefer to see their boat afloat than hauled out onto a dusty dockside," commented Francis Joyon. His maxi-trimaran IDEC was relaunched todya prior to embarking on an attempt on the singlehanded non-stop around the world record this winter.

"I haven't stopped since the end of July," continued Joyon who is known for being the unexpected winner of the 2000 Europe 1 New Man STAR, as well as being the multihull Round the Island Race and Rolex Fastnet Race record holder. " There was a lot of work to do and to be honest I've still got a sore back from it all".

Assisted in his task by Philippe Godefroy, a composite materials specialist, Francis has taken lots of trouble to give a facelift to the former Sport Elec, a van Péteghem-Lauriot Prévost design launched in 1986 for Olivier de Kersauson originally under the name Poulain. This is the same boat which held the Jules Verne Trophy record for five years.

In the refit Joyon's team have been adapting her so that the 90ft long maxi-trimaran can be sailed singlehanded.

"We'll be leaving Brest bound for La Trinité-sur-Mer as soon as the boat hits the water, La Trinité being the boat's home port," says Joyon. "The delivery will also be the first time I'll be sailing the trimaran, as I've never sailed on such a big multihull... But that is only one of the big novelties in this challenge, as I've never sailed the Southern Ocean either. I must admit that I can't wait to rub shoulders with the higher latitudes".

Joyon intends to get lots of sailing done on IDEC this autumn to fine tune the boat, sail plan, electronics, steering... and to get to know how she behaves in all sorts of conditions. Man and boat will then be ready to cast off from November onwards for a great leap into the unknown. The records to beat will be the singlehanded multihull round the world record of 125 days set by Olivier de Kersauson in 1989 and Michel Desjoyeaux monohull record of 93 days, set during the last Vendee Globe.

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