Joyon, the six times master sixth and Rhum rookie Elies seventh
The final order of the Ultime fleet ends to reflect a certain pattern as the master of solo multihull round the world sailing Francis Joyon passed solo Transatlanti rookie Yann Elies in the final 50 miles of the 3542 miles course. And that is it, the Ultime fleet is complete in Pointe a PitreFrancis Joyon (IDEC Sport) sixth in Guadeloupe
This Tuesday November 11 at 17h 42 min 04 s, Francis Joyon crossed the finish line of the 10th Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe in sixth place. The skipper of IDEC Sport took 9 d 4h 42m 4s to complete the course of 3542 miles at an average speed of 16.05 knots. He actually traveled 4664 miles at 21.13 knots. The delta between winner Loick Peyron and Joyon, is 1d 13h 33m 32s.
Joyon, 58, is the pre-eminent specialist in solo maxi multihull sailing and collects records. This was his sixth Route du Rhum. But with a heavier and less powerful multi than his rivals he struggled for power and top speed at times, needing higher average wind speeds. His boat is more optimised for racing in the Southern Oceans than trade winds sprinting. He gradually dropped back. But he fought to the end and in the last 50 miles round Guadeloupe, he passed Yann Elies.
Francis Joyon, 6th Ultimes: “ You can never look forward to a simple finish, but going around Guadeloupe was really tough. You had to really work hard. I must have done three loops in the water before managing to round the Basse-Terre buoy. It was particularly hard. In this final stretch, the weather was more suited to a light boat rather than a heavy one like IDEC. I had little hope of getting by Yann in these light conditions. But I managed it.
Right at the start I dropped something heavy on my computer screen: the screen comleted exploded and could not be used. I had a spare computer, but there was a huge bug, as it would switch itself off every couple of minutes. So I could see the charts for two or three minutes, but I couldn’t establish my waypoints, so that was a problem. I did have a portable GPS with me, so it wasn’t hard pinpointing where I was. So it wasn’t really like in the old days with a sextant! I made abit of a comeback off Portugal but it cost me a lot, as my central rudder hit something. The time it took for me to realise what had happened, the lines at the helm had become wrongly set. By the morning it was hard to steer my boat.”
Tuesday Tuesday, November 11 at 18:48:15hrs Yann Elies crossed the finish line of the 10th Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe. The skipper of the Multi 70 Paprec Recycling took 9d 5h 48m 15s to complete the 3542 miles course at an average of 15.97kts. He really sailed 4538 miles at 20.46 knots average. His delta to the winning time of Loick Peyron, is 1d 14h 39m 43s.
It was a double first for Yann Elies, his first ever Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe and his first solo race aboard a 70-foot multihull. He only started preparing three months before the start but he sailed a good, strong race and finished properly.
“It was a super good Transat.. I have never been so fast on the water. It needs a lot of commitment, and a lot of trouble too, but on balance the good times outweigh the bad. When you are sailing at 30-35kts the boat is on the foils and it is just smoking. It is for those times that you do the Route du Rhum, especially on a multihull. But the mission is complete. The boat is here safely. I did not capsize. And I am not so far from the old veteran Francis Joyon. To beat him would have been the icing on the cake. But it’s a good first time shot. It hurts at times. The first two days were tough and I am so glad that bit did not last three days because I don’t think I would have coped. I had some technical glitches and so I struggled a bit to start with, to find the right pace. I finish with a better time than Groupama last time with a smaller boat this time. And for me that shows how hard we push these machines. I would love to come back with a good, well prepared boat. And the most beautiful thing is to arrive at 30kts, perched on the foils, what a feeling!”