Solo sailing with 2 (more boats)

And yes I understand these are “fully crewed” boats but I am fascinated by the level of seamanship professionalism and prepareadness of these sailors. I will be doing more posts on this aspect of these adventures as we progress watching these men, and one woman on these voyages                                                             

Two other boats that is, albeit not solo but shanded none the less. The two Maxi Tri’s Spindrift 2 and IDEC are on green alert as of this morning, 1000z.

Both boats are loaded with the necessaries for the next 40 days or so at sea in a high-speed lap of the planet. The time to beat is 43 days and change and so they need to average over 20 knots. Both boats are in Brest close to the stating line off Ushant. As the following press release and interview reports it will be a windy start for the 105-foot tri and her 6-man (yes ladies in fact 6 guys) crew.

Remarkably this VPLP designed boat is pushing 10 years old having been launched as Groupama in 2006. Since then she has a checkered albeit fast career. As Groupama it took Franck Cammas and his crew three tries to set a record in the Jules Verne Trophy.

First a capsize of NZL, then a broken beam slowed them up, Third times a charm though

In last years Route du Rhumb sailing as Banque Populaire and in the very capable hand of Loic Peyron she won the Maxi class in this solo race. Yup, solo transatlantic in a 103 foot tri AND beating Yann Guichard on Spindrift which is 132 feet….

1400 z. CODE GREEN




This time, it’s certain. IDEC SPORT will be tackling the Jules Verne Trophy from today, Saturday 21st November. Francis Joyon has just given the green light, meaning the start is imminent. The big red trimaran will be leaving the port of Brest this afternoon to cross the start line off Ushant this evening. A few hours before the start, which looks like being very rough, Francis Joyon explained the situation.

Francis, this time it’s a green light? Will IDEC SPORT be setting off around the world today?

“Yes! We just decided to set off, as we could see there was the possibility of taking advantage of an area of low pressure in the South Atlantic, so we’ll be setting off today with that in mind. We shall be setting off on a very windy day: 30 to 35 knots of wind in Brest, a lot more over Ushant. The conditions at the start aren’t going to be easy…”

No time to sit back and look at the situation, you’re diving straight in?

WX for  UShant and the Bay of Biscay for 1800 z on Saturday 21 11 15. Breeze on. Equator in 5.5 days, or less.

WX forecast from Passage Weather (dot com) for Ushant and the Bay of Biscay for 1800 z on Saturday 21 11 15. Breeze on. Equator in 5.5 days, or less.

“Yes, we’ll be setting off with one or two reefs. We are going to have to be cautious in the Bay of Biscay where the seas is very rough with a 4-5m swell forecast and the sea may remain cross, because we had a SW’ly gale the day before yesterday and now we are in a northerly air flow. We will immediately be into the heart of the action.”

The record to the Equator is possible, does that mean you are hoping for a good time to the Equator?

“Yes indeed. We hope to beat the reference time to the Equator and it could take us fewer then five and a half days, if everything fits into place.”

How do you feel with just a few hours to go?

“We’re giving the boat one final check-up. To ensure we haven’t forgotten anything and that all the supplies are in place, that everyone has put their passport in the safety locker, lots of little details like that. The crew is happy. They are all used to such starts and are happy when they are at sea…”

Can you tell us about the weather situation?

“The trip to the Equator looks relatively simple. The weather seems settled and we don’t have any questions, apart from what happens tonight with a small area of low pressure, which could cause the wind to drop off in the Bay of Biscay. We mustn’t get caught up in that. But more importantly, we are looking further ahead down to the position of the St Helena High, the pattern of low pressure areas leaving Brazil for the Cape of Good Hope. It’s a mixture of all that that led us to take the decision to set off today.”

Are the doubts you had over the past few days, in particular concerning the situation in the South Atlantic now behind you?

“50% of the doubts have gone, and it’s still a bit of a gamble. We can’t be certain of everything, but we are gambling on a very strong likelihood. In the past, some projects had to wait for months and months to find the right weather opportunity. We have said we have to grab this opportunity.

At what time will you be casting off on IDEC SPORT to head for the start line off Ushant?

“Mid or late afternoon…”

The crew of IDEC SPORT

Francis Joyon (FRA)- Bernard Stamm (SUI)- Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA)- Alex Pella (ESP)- Clément Surtel (FRA)- Borris Herrmann (GER)

The Jules Verne Trophy in short:

The crewed voyage around the world via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin, Horn). 26,400 miles on the theoretical route. The time to beat (Loïck Peyron’s crew: 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds). Average speed required: 20 knots on the Great Circle Route.