Act 2 of the programme of records referred to as the IDEC SPORT ASIAN TOUR finished in Ho Chi Minh City on December 4 with a new reference time being set of 12 days, 20 hours, 37 minutes and 56 seconds between Mauritius and Vietnam. Act 3 of the IDEC SPORT ASIAN TOUR is coming up with another new record for Francis and his crew between Vietnam and China. They are due to start around midday local time on Saturday.
The fastest sailboat in the world, the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy with a time of 40 days and winner of the last Route du Rhum will be setting sail on a brand new route in the China Sea this time, heading for Shenzhen and then Hong Kong, where they will moor up in front of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. The voyage looks tricky because of some rough conditions for the start with 25-28 knots of wind coming straight at them, then some upwind sailing in the NE’ly monsoon, which will force IDEC SPORT to tack all the way.
The big red trimaran is expected to leave Port Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) very early on Saturday morning at around 0500hrs local time in order to take advantage of the tide going out for the 50-mile stretch down the river to the estuary and then the China Sea. This journey down the river is expected to take seven or eight hours and IDEC SPORT will then reach Vũng Tàu, the big port to the south of Ho Chi Minh City at around ten or eleven, before crossing the start line for this new record around midday local time.
Francis Joyon: “Conditions for the start look fairly rough with 25-30 knot headwinds. We are going to have to weave our way in and out for 150 miles before picking up a more favourable system and seas that are not too rough. We will be upwind and tacking all the way through this new route to Shenzhen.
“For the finish, we will have to be very cautious and watch what is happening because of all the shipping between Shenzhen, Macao and Hong Kong. The boat is ready for this new challenge and the crew pleased to be setting off together again. We expect to take around four or five days to reach Shenzhen, which means we should arrive in China between 18th and 19th December.”