Francis Joyon back in action
Francis Joyon and his red maxi trimaran IDEC are returning to the water in the build-up to the 2014 Route du Rhum, when he will line up against Armel le Cleac'h on the 2010 winner Banque Populaire (formerly Groupama 3) and Lionel Lemonchois in his 80ft trimaran Prince de Bretagne.
The French sailing legend, who is best known for setting a singlehanded non-stop around the world record of just 57 days 13 hours 34 minutes and 6 seconds back in January 2008, is focussing on the North Atlantic. While his friend and rival Thomas Coville and Sodebo are mid-way into their attempt on his Route of Discovery record of 9 days,20 hours, 35 minutes and 3 seconds between Cadiz and San Salvador in the Bahamas (more here), so Joyon is to set off on an attempt on the same course to better his own time or Sodebo's should she break his record.
However Joyon's main goal for 2013 is to attempt the solo west to east record from New York to the Lizard. In July 2005, Joyon and IDEC took a day (6 days and 4 hours) off the ancient and most famous record set by Laurent Bourgnon on the ORMA60 Primagaz, dating back to 1994. Three years later, in July 2008, Thomas Coville reduced the crossing time to 5 days, 19 hours, 29 minutes and 20 seconds, averaging 20.97 knots. So the bar has been raised and now it will be necessary to average more than 21 knots for the duration of the 2925 mile course.
Two years ago Joyon spent much of the summer on stand-by to make an attempt on the New York-Lizard record, only to capsize shortly after setting off (more here).
One hopes that Joyon and Coville might line up at some point...