Skip to main content

IDEC Sport Set to Round Cape of Good Hope

Though ahead of a record pace, IDEC Sport has faced a number of challenges

Though ahead of a record pace, IDEC Sport has faced a number of challenges

Francis Joyon and crew aboard the maxi-tri IDEC Sport are fast approaching the halfway point in their attempt to break the “tea route” record from Hong Kong to England. The current 36-day, 2-hour, 37-minute record was set by Giovanni Soldini aboard the 70ft trimaran, Maserati, in 2018. Joyon is projected to be a day and a half ahead of Soldini’s record pace when his crew rounds the Cape of Good Hope mid-day tomorrow, Saturday, February 1.

Despite what the crew’s breakneck pace may suggest, IDEC Sport, which departed Hong Kong on January 18, has faced challenging conditions while traveling through the Indian Ocean. “We had hoped that the Indian Ocean would resemble the North Atlantic from east to west,” says Joyon. “It wasn’t like that. The trade winds simply were not there, and since Indonesia, the small low-pressure systems have turned into transition zones with calms, so the crew and the boat are pretty tired now as these transitions and periods crossing through fronts required a lot of maneuvers and generated a lot of stress when the wind gusted. The sea never really smoothed down because of the cyclic areas and never matched the wind direction.”

Looking ahead, in the final approach to the Cape of Good Hope, the strong Agulhas Current will help pull IDEC Sport in the right direction. However, Joyon predicts headwinds will also whip up a swell making for some uncomfortable sailing. “We’re going to have to deal with two transition phases today and tomorrow, with a trough we need to cross and then something we always fear, the passage of a front with lots of gusts,“ he says.

On the plus side, crewmember Antoine Blouete optimistically notes, “After the Cape of Good Hope, we will pick up some southeasterly winds and the climb back up the coast of South Africa and Namibia is looking good. The Atlantic means we are nearing home.” The plan, Blouete says, is to stay away from the warmer shallow waters in order to avoid marine life that could get hit.

“It has been nice to sail in places that ocean racers don’t usually get to,” Blouete adds, but with a cape rounding and an ocean to cross, it’s not time to reminisce yet. “It’s a long journey and our options are still not clear for our route around the St. Helena high. We’re pleased about our lead over the record pace. This is an incredible voyage.”

For the latest on the record attempt, click here

January 2020

Related

01-LEAD-6.-After-2-years-ashore,-Nada-headsto-the-water-(3)

Sailing in the Time of Covid

In mid-August 2019, my wife, Terrie, and I laid up our Malö 46, Nada, in Falmouth, England, and flew home to Maine. We booked flights back to the UK for May 2020, anticipating a summer of cruising the Atlantic coasts of France and Spain. Then Covid struck. Remember that first ...read more

Ulysse Nardin promo photo

The Ocean Race Names Official Timekeeper

With just under one year before the start of The 2022-23 Ocean Race, Swiss watch manufacturer Ulysse Nardin has been named the official timekeeper of the race. The Ocean Race, formerly known as the Volvo Ocean Race and before that the Whitbread Round the World Race, announced ...read more

Arthur Daniel_RORC Maserati - RORC Transatlantic 2022 - Jan 15th -Social Media-4

Fast Finishes for the RORC Leaders

Over the weekend, the first finishers of the 2022 RORC Transat made landfall in Grenada, led by Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati, which was awarded line honors with a corrected time of six days, 18 hours and 51 minutes. Maserati finished ahead of Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 ...read more

Background-02

Notice to Mariners: A Blog from the SAIL Editors

As a teenager, I stumbled across a copy of Derek Lundy’s Godforsaken Sea in the back room of a used bookshop. I had never heard of the Vendée Globe and frankly found all the boat-speak in the first 50 pages a little difficult to get through. But Lundy’s storytelling and the draw ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

VIDEO: Celestial Navigation Episode 2

Celestial navigation is an invaluable tool for all kinds of sailors. In episode two of the celestial navigation series, learn the basic elements of navigation and the sight reduction process using declination and GHA to determine the Geographic Position and navigate using a ...read more

Film-poster

Cruising: Year of the Sea Shanty

Along with other timeless pursuits, like baking sourdough and gardening, singing sea shanties surged back into popularity during the recent lockdown, thanks, in part, to the app TikTok and its “duet” feature, which allows singers from around the world create music together. By ...read more

Book-Cover-9780712353700

Book Review: Sailor Song

Sailor Song is the ultimate guide to the music of working sailors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The book includes lyrics and sheet music for 50 of the most beloved sea songs with fascinating historical background on the adjoining page. Chapter introductions provide ...read more

Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 10.42.33 AM

Race Update: RORC Transat

With the fleet leaders about halfway to Grenada, the 2022 RORC Transatlantic is shaking out to be a tactically interesting one. The race, now in its 8th edition, began on Saturday with 30 teams ranging from 70-foot catamarans to a 28-foot JPK 1010. Early in the race, light winds ...read more