Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI/ IDEC

Sunday night ETA for Joyon

IDEC still behind Sodebo's pace but with a big finish expected

Friday June 14th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Once again it was with a remarkably calm voice for a sailor at the helm of a 30m long trimaran speeding along at 25-30 knots that Francis Joyon confirmed his ETA at the finish off the Lizard at the end of his attempt on the singlehanded west to east transatlantic record, where he believes IDEC will be due on Sunday evening.

To beat the record set in July 2008 by Thomas Coville on the giant trimaran Sodebo, IDEC has to finish before 0400 UTC on Monday morning. Without wishing to celebrate too soon, with 1200 miles still to go to the finish, there remains some uncertainty, but Joyon seems more motivated than ever given the way the depression he has been tracking since leaving New York, is moving, as it should see him to the finish line on Sunday.

"If I manage to remain ahead of the depression, I should finish off The Lizard on Sunday evening," commented Joyon.

Joyon paying no attention to the current figures, which show him 130 miles behind the record pace of his virtual rival, as he is focusing on what lies ahead with his router, Jean-Yves Bernot.

The depression is still moving as forecast in the right direction and with the right strength of wind, so it is up to Joyon to make the most of it. The sailing on a knife edge that began just over three days ago in New York will continue right up to the finish.

"It’s sometimes a bit scary when IDEC takes off on a wave at more than 30 knots. I have to apply the brakes by easing the sheets, then get her going again so as not to lose the inertia…” Joyon carries out these manoeuvres constantly and this means he is doing without any rest. “That’s what makes things tricky on IDEC,” he quips. “I managed to grab an hour’s rest during the night, but that was all… “

After three days and three nights, Joyon is still managing to keep up this pace and is showing perfect lucidity when choosing his route. On two occasions yesterday, he had to carry out the long (30 minute) task of gybing, in order to ensure he remained correctly positioned in relation to the low. He is investing for the long term. “I have sailed further than you would expect from New York, but now I should be able to maintain high speeds ahead of the system, while at the same time easing northwards,” Joyon explained.

It will probably require yet another hitch north: “I shall probably have to sail for a while at 90° to the route,” Joyon continued. “That way, I should get a much better angle to the wind to sail quickly in the right direction.”

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