Francis Joyon Plans Asian Voyage

French record-setter Francis Joyon is heading back out to sea. The winner of the last Route du Rhum, who still holds the crewed round-the-world record (the Jules Verne Trophy) of 40 days and 23 hours, is looking for new adventures with different horizons. In late October, he plans to set sail alone on a voyage aboard the 105-ft IDEC Sport maxi-trimaran.

IDEC Sport
Francis Joyon training on his maxi trimaran IDEC Sport with his crew, Christophe Houdet, Bertrand Delesne, Corentin Joyon and Antoine Blouet, prior to their Asian Tour, on September 18, off Belle-Ile en Mer, France.
© 2019 Francois Van Malleghem / Alea

Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot-Prévost designed the boat, built by Multiplast and launched in 2006 for Franck Cammas as Groupama 3. Sailing her under the name Banque Populaire VII, Armel Le Cléac’h smashed several solo records. Then Loïck Peyron won the 10th Route du Rhum aboard her, setting a record time for that transatlantic race in 2014.

Francis Joyon on the coffee grinder
Francis Joyon is a 63-year-old Breton. He’s been setting sailing records since 2004, both singlehanded and with crew.
© 2019 Francois Van Malleghem / Alea

This fall, Joyon will attempt to break his own solo Spice Route record from Port Louis to Port Louis. He’ll depart from Port Louis in Brittany, France, and sail to Port Louis on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. Ten years ago, Joyon set the Port Louis record, a distance of 10,300 miles, averaging 16.4 knots. The mark to beat is 26 days, 4 hours and 13 minutes.

He will then shift to crewed sailing for two brand-new records to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and then Shenzhen in China, before setting off on the clipper route between Hong Kong and London. The planned Asian Tour will cover a total distance of more than 28,000 miles — the equivalent of sailing around the world. Francis intends to reach London in March 2020.

Tour of Asia map
Lorient to London, with a few stops along the way: Joyon’s Tour of Asia.
© 2019 IDEC Sport

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