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Close Quarters in the Southern Ocean

After several thousand miles, the two maxi trimarans vying for the Jules Verne Trophy are now within spitting distance in the Southern Ocean.

December 16, 2015
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IDEC Sport

From IDEC Sport

On her fourth week of racing against the clock where there is a need for precision to deal with the complicated weather patterns in the South Pacific, the 31.5m maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT is entering a crucial phase, which could determine the outcome of this attempt to smash the Jules Verne Trophy record.

At the start of this 24th day, with in fact night falling for the big, red trimaran, there was an important gybe on the edge of the area of low pressure. Francis Joyon and his crew of five will be seeking out the best wind angle and strongest winds, trying not to get sucked into the light conditions to starboard.

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This low-pressure episode is the start of a sequence with contrasting conditions expected before they reach Cape Horn. Like Loïck Peyron and his maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V at this very same point in the voyage four years ago, Francis, Guénolé, Bernard, Clément, Boris and Alex are also expecting to suffer in getting through these transition zones between two systems, before dealing with a huge high they will have to round via the north or south.

More than ever they are taking advantage of the wealth of experience found in the crew selected by Francis Joyon, as they approach a tricky stretch, which could be crucial in this voyage across the South Pacific.

It’s a race against the clock, a battle against the elements and the complicated weather systems. The team’s Jules Verne Trophy attempt now involves a real rival, which is ideal for them to see how they are doing and it is giving a boost to the motivation of those on board. –

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Spindrift Racing

From Spindrift 2

At daybreak on the deck of the 40m maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2, the crew spotted, in the distance, the silhouette of the trimaran IDEC Sport. After travelling half the way around the world since leaving Ushant on November 22, racing nearly 30,000km across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the two trimarans on a quest for the Jules Verne Trophy, found themselves side by side, past New Zealand, in the Pacific Ocean.

The Spindrift 2 crew are competitors and they like this kind of race for the record. “The boats are close in performance, and there are not many possible weather options for Cape Horn,” Yann Guichard said. “It’s not impossible that our paths cross again in the coming days.”

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The unlikely scenario only adds more spice to the already extraordinary adventure of a crewed round-the-world record attempt. To a virtual competition against the record time set by Banque Populaire V, Spindrift 2‘s crew have added close-quarter sailing since the antipodes. For the route to Cape Horn, the southern option was not selected. Dona Bertarelli and Guichard’s team are currently riding along a depression, to the north.

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