Francis Joyon and his crew aboard the maxi-tri IDEC Sport have set a new record for the “tea route” from Hong Kong to London of just 31 days, 23 hours, 36 minutes. In doing so they bested the previous record set by Italian skipper, Giovanni Soldini aboard the trimaran Maserati in early 2018 by just over four days.
IDEC Sport averaged an incredible 20.7 knots over the 15,873 miles it sailed. The record comes as the closing act of an “Asian Tour” the crew and boat have been on recently in which they sailed six record passages on their way to and from Asia.
Joyon and company faced tough North Atlantic conditions right up to the end of their record-setting passage
Historically, the route sailed by IDEC Sport was a commercially vital one, especially in the mid-1800s when the renowned clippers ships of the era would race to see who could be first to market in London with their cargos of tea. In the “Great Tea Race” of 1866, for example, the Taeping beat the Ariel to the dock by just 28 minutes after 99 days at sea. Passage times and races like this were closely followed by the mainstream press. In 1990, French trimaran sailor, Philippe Monnet set the first modern reference time of 67 days.
For Joyon, a sailor of almost legendary renown, the record is the latest in a long list of achievements. A winner of the Route du Rhum, Fastnet Race and Transat, Joyon has at various times held the record for fastest crewed circumnav (the Jules Verne Trophy), fasted solo 24 hours, fast solo round-the-world passage and fastest solo transatlantic passage.
For more on Joyon and his latest record, click here.