Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Possible weather window this weekend

Francis Joyon contemplates his W-E Transat record opportunities

Wednesday July 20th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

With IDEC tucked away in New York, Francis Joyon believes that there may be a favourable weather window to make the attempt on the record from Ambrose Light to the Lizard, eastbound across the North Atlantic this weekend.

Since going on stand-by there have been three possible weather scenario that might have come good but haven't, with either the wind strength or direction ultimately proving to be not ideal to beat the record of 5 days, 19 hours, 29 minutes and 20 seconds set in July 2008 signed by Thomas Coville aboard IDEC's sistership, Sodebo.

"I am in the school of patience," quips Joyon at the end of his third week of being on 'stand-by' after his giant red trimaran docked at the Marina Getaway in Brooklyn.

If July is traditionally the most favorable month to set records across the North Atlantic - Joyon, when he last held this record, set off on 5 July, 2005 while Coville departed on 15 July, 2008 - it is clear that 2011 is not a normal year.

"We are not finding the logic patterns that usually prevail in the development of winds between the high and the lows coming from the Canadian north," admits Joyon. The skipper of IDEC is aware of the extraordinary demands necessary to better the record set by Coville tat will require him to average 21 knots throughout the 2,980 nautical mile theoretical distance between Ambrose Light and the Lizard.

"If the solo records were established during the period of early July, the fully crewed records over the same distance such as Pascal Bidégorry in 2009 with Banque Populaire V or before him, Franck Cammas and Groupama 3, were conducted in August and late July ... "

Joyon's ideal weather conditions are very simple: stable winds of 25 to 30 knots, generated by a low pressure system from the north of Canada, on a sea not yet formed that allows IDEC to sail downwind, or in 60-80° of apparent wind.

In the meantime Joyon bides his time with his weather adviser Jean-Yves Bernot: "If the window expected this weekend does not materialise, there will be more opportunities before 26 or 27 July."

Joyon concludes: "In the meantime, I am doing two hours surfing each day to keep myself in shape ..."

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