France. New IDEC trimaran is launched for Francis Joyon

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

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Francis Joyon is an exceptional man. There are more famous sailors, maybe more successful sailors, but I cannot think of one other sailor about whom nobody has ever said a bad word. To coin an old fashioned term, everyone agrees that Francis Joyon is “a gentleman”.

Olivier de Kersauson gave Francis Joyon the trimaran Sport Electric, in which he had taken the Jules Verne Trophy, for the fastest round-the-world voyage. De Kersauson, with a full crew, had gone round the world in 71 days, to take that trophy. Francis Joyon took that old boat round in 72 days, single handed, to take the solo round the world record. What’s more, Joyon had no weather router, which makes his achievement even more staggering.

That has to be one of the most remarkable and admirable ocean sailing records of recent years, but Joyon went on to take the solo trans-Atlantic and 24 hour records. Needless to say, Joyon had no shore team, ready to leap on the boat and take over, once a record run was done. He was his own delivery crew and that led to the loss of his beloved IDEC, when the exhausted sailor fell asleep on the way home from that victorious Transat.

IDEC was a loyal sponsor, but not one with a bottomless purse. It took effort and a lot of people pulling together to replace the old IDEC with a new boat, but today it was done and a remarkable sailor and gentleman has a new trimaran IDEC, this time with new sails; a boat designed for single handing and about to be readied for an attempt to take back the record that Ellen MacArthur’s new B&Q Castorama took from the venerable Sport Electric.

If ever a man deserved the entire sailing world to wish him luck, it is Francis Joyon.

More about the new IDEC.

Marian Martin

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 June 2007 )