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15,873

Congrats to Francis Joyon and his crew of Bertrand Delesne, Christophe Houdet, Antoine Blouet and Corentin Joyon onboard IDEC Sport for setting a new reference time of 31 days, 23 hours, 36 mins and 46 seconds along the Tea Trade Route from Hong Kong to London. Sailing at an average speed of 20.7 knots over 15,873 miles sailed, the crew has knocked an impressive 4 days and 2 hours off of Giovanni Soldini and Maserati’s two-year old record along this prestigious Clipper Route that spans nearly half the globe. This is just the latest feather in the cap for a boat that holds the Trophy Jules Verne and an incredible three straight Route du Rhum victories. Bravo Francis Joyon and the entire IDEC Sport team! By lowering the record time for the Tea Route between Hong Kong and London to just over a month, Francis Joyon and his crew of four on the IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran have not only smashed Giovanni Soldini’s time by 4 days, but also divided by three the time it took the big clippers in the second half of the 19th Century to sail this route, as they fought a trade battle to be the first to bring the leaves for the revered brew back to London. Throughout the 15,873 nautical miles sailed out on the water at an average speed of 20.7 knots, the maxi trimaran went through almost all the wind, sea, sun and temperature conditions imaginable with a series of surprises and unexpected hurdles, as they sailed sometimes smoothly and sometimes in highly uncomfortable. Read on....

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tea party

Since being slowed down in the South Atlantic Ocean and when crossing the doldrums - briefly falling behind Maserati’s record pace - Francis Joyon and his crew of Christophe Houdet, Bertrand Delesne, Antoine Blouet and son Corentin Joyon have lit the afterburners onboard the 105-foot maxi trimaran IDEC Sport. Re-establishing a lead of more than 1,100 nautical miles in under a week, the crew is about to enter the River Thames and the last few miles towards establishing an impressive new record along the route from Hong Kong to London, better known as the ‘Tea Route’. A bit over 31 and a half days have elapsed as of this writing with just 70 miles left to sail. With a previous record time of 36 days 2 hours and change, it appears that IDEC Sport will knock a solid 4 and a quarter days off the existing record time established by Giovanni Soldini and Maserati just two years ago.  While it’s sure to be all champagne, smiles and celebration once across the finish line at London’s Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, this record was certainly no walk in the park and has challenged Francis and his crew up until the very end. “We are in survival mode,” Francis commented just two days ago, as he and his crew sailed along the bottom of an intense low-pressure system with big breeze and waves up to six meters tall; the latest in a series of storms to wreak havoc on western Europe. “We have to remain vigilant and focused right up to the end”, he added. “The squalls are very violent and come without warning… The wind suddenly strengthens so quickly that sometimes we find ourselves with a bit too much sail up. You then really have to hold on tight to the helm...

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go to sea

There can be few tougher tests for a new 33-footer than being thrown into the fiercely competitive Rolex Fastnet Race. To pile on the pressure, Fastrak XII, one of the new Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300s, had only been launched 10 days before the start. While Fastrak XII was in the capable hands of experienced offshore sailors Henry Bomby and Hannah Diamond, they were as new a partnership as the boat. And yet 80 hours later Bomby and Diamond had delivered an impressive performance finishing second overall in the 61-boat doublehanded fleet. But that was just the start. They were also second overall out of 84 boats in IRC3, a fleet that included fully crewed and doublehanded entries. Read on....

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you know it ain’t easy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC4WJKSLlJc&feature=youtu.be The latest on Francis Joyon's Tea Run attempt is coming to an end, but not without a rather difficult situation... IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran will enter a very tricky stretch as they enter the Thames Estuary with all its shipping, buoys and currents… a dangerous area that sailors prefer to navigate in daylight. Nothing is ever easy for Francis and this time he has run out of fuel and his batteries cannot be charged, so this zone will be particularly risky, as he will be sailing without his AIS and radar... Typical of what we have come to expect during Joyon’s adventures, you might say. The holder of the Jules Verne Trophy and winner of the last Route du Rhum has throughout his career experienced many similar unexpected situations and dealt with them successfully, with his incredible, untiring physical and mental resources making up for the technical deficiencies. Read on....

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it sucks

The 3,600dwt general cargo vessel MV Ankie has made her first voyage with two eConowind Ventifoil wings installed. The vessel sailed the North Sea from Delfzijl in the Netherlands to Hamburg and Norway and then back to Rotterdam. The modular Ventifoil units are wings with vents and an internal fan that uses boundary layer suction to double the force of the Ventifoil, while reefing when needed. Together with the Technical University of Delft and MARIN, eConoship studied several concepts of wind propulsion, concluding the suction wings studied by Jacques Cousteau were most promising. On the captain’s demand, the Ventifoils deploy automatically to the optimal angle relative to the apparent wind. The generated force is transferred into the deck, and motor power can therefore be reduced. The Ventifoils can be containerized inside a 40-foot container or fixed to a vessel. Read on....

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grease monkey

Everyone who buys a used boat knows what this Anarchist says... Protecting all the winches from corrosion by carefully packing each one with the three types of grease known to man.  Brown heavy duty machine grease, over laid by blue trailer bearing grease, topped off with some form of white grease. Love ya work. Jump in the thread....

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take over

End of the soap opera: after the Fora Marine shipyard has gone into receivership, the Bordeaux commercial court has just ruled. He ordered the takeover by the Grand Large Yachting group. After postponing his decision, it was finally Wednesday, February 12, 2020 that the news fell. The court had to decide between 2 files. The first was led by the commercial director Maxime Vedrenne associated with a financially solid industrialist Mr. Olevier, president of the company V-Motech, supplier of engineering and equipment for the automotive industry. But the court did not accept it, preferring the Grand Large Yachting group's file. Read on....

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exx rated

As part of SAP’s vision for a cleaner ocean, recently announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the company is building a digital platform to support experts and advocates SAP is partnering with eXXpedition and the initiative co-founder, ocean advocate Emily Penn, to support its commitment to a cleaner ocean by 2030. Emily and her team have invited 300 women from all walks of life to sail 38,000 nautical miles in 30 stages. The women have one mission: to explore the science of — and solutions to — ocean plastic and become ambassadors to combat ocean pollution. The need for ocean advocacy is greater than ever before. Research suggests there could be 1 million times more microplastics floating in our oceans than previously thought. But in truth, no one has a precise metric on the volume or impact of plastic polluting the oceans. Emily and team aim to raise greater awareness based on scientific data with the help of SAP. Read on....

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