Skip to content

Joyon and IDEC Approach Cape Horn

The last several days have seen brilliant French singlehander Francis Joyon and his 97-ft trimaran IDEC face the worst conditions to date in his quest for the singlehanded around the world record. First, he was required to sail among icebergs at a 20-knot clip. You can imagine what it was like trying to rest in such circumstances. Then there have been horrific conditions in the last 1,000 miles to the Horn. As best we understand it, he even had to strike his main entirely for about half a day. Putting it back up in his already drained state was, as you might imagine, a monumental physical feat.

Joyon has had to dodge icebergs in heavy winds (the red arrows indicate 40 knots of wind speed). He’s expecting to round the Horn today.
©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Having sailed 3/4s of the way around the world, and expected to round the Horn tonight, how does Joyon measure up? At the top. Current record holder Ellen MacArthur took 45 days to cover the same distance with her 75-ft tri B&Q Castorama that Joyon and IDEC have covered in just  33.5 days. Indeed, the only person/crewed boat to have bettered Joyon’s time is Bruno Peyron and his 125-ft cat Orange II, which, with the help of a full crew, was just three days faster.

After the Horn, Joyon will face the difficult decision of how to start the last 7,000 miles up the Atlantic. It’s a place where much of his time could be lost due to areas of high pressure.

Indeed, Thomas Coville, who is chasing Joyon with his 105-ft tri Sodebo, has fallen victim to light winds in the South Atlantic and is having a tough time of it.

Leave a Comment

Former Northern California computer whiz — Vallejo, Berkeley, the Peninsula —  Roger Sturgeon and his nearly new and first-ever STP 65 Rosebud have put in an impressive performance, having finished fourth and being the corrected time leader in the 605-mile Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
. . . individuals can fund — or partially fund — America’s Cup campaigns that cost $150 million, and still have enough left to own 450-ft giga motoryachts?