Joyon claims second
Victorious Franck Cammas and his Groupama 3 trimaran, the Jules Verne Trophy record holders were followed across the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale finish line by the fastest man singlehanded non-stop around the planet who arrived in the Point a Pitre at 01:52:48 GMT last night. Francis Joyon and IDEC claimed second, 10 hours 36 minutes and 1 second after Groupama 3. IDEC's course time was 9 days 13 hours 50 minutes and 48 seconds having covered 4181 miles at an average speed of 18.19 knots.
Joyon admitted he knew would be outpaced by Cammas’s bigger, more powerful trimaran on the first day of the race, when Groupama 3 took 100 miles out of him crossing the Bay of Biscay. “When I saw him go down the Bay of Biscay two knots faster at better angles I understood that mass had been said, that Franck had made a good decision and knew how to handle his boat.”
Following the southerly route like Cammas, Joyon had managed a dramatic comeback. Monday morning’s sched had IDEC 334 miles behind the race leader, but when Groupama 3 crossed the line IDEC had closed to less than 90 miles.
Joyon has an almost fearless ability to drive his boat hard when conditions allow. He proved why he is the holder of so many solo records when he set the highest 24 hour run of the race - 568 miles (23.7 knoits average) on Saturday. This was his fifth Route du Rhum and his best result to date, following a sixth in 1998, 10th in 1990 and with two retirements.
“Obviously I would have been happier with a first place but I’m fine with a second.This race with difficult with weather hazards and risks to break things,” commented Joyon.
"We had anticipated with [weather router] Jean-Yves Bernot that we should take the southerly option to try and stay in contact with Groupama 3. It was a bit challenging early on when I was becalmed. We envisaged that at the end, not the beginning, I would be becalmed for eight hours. I was keen to push it. This option did prove extremely good but not good enough to get back to Groupama and that doesn’t take into account the eight hours stopped in a large swell and the broken batten cars.
"But I don’t feel I play a nasty trick on Thomas. I was already second when I took the southerly option. The chance was always there to stay in the same position.” However Joyon confirm that it was important for him to finish ahead of his solo record breaking rival Sodebo’s Thomas Coville. “There is rivalry between us.”
Of the trip Joyon said: “I broke many little things. It has been difficult. You really need to be full on all the time. This race it’s like being at the gym 24 hours a day and you also need to think a bit about where you need to go not to get lost! There are moments when it’s more tiring than on a record. When you’re on a record you always find time to sleep. On this race I had at least four completely sleepless nights. When the competitors are close you need to be full on.
“I’m happy with the result even though I quickly understood that Franck was steering a plane not a boat. My thoughts of victory vanished on the first day when Franck put 100 miles between him and us. I knew his boat had potential but did not think it would have such an advantage on us.”