Francis Joyon will set sail this afternoon in pursuit of breaking the North Atlantic record

The call to arms has begun for Francis Joyon, who will be crossing the starting line for the North Atlantic record at the foot of Ambrose Light this afternoon at 6 pm GMT (2 pm local time). For the moment, IDEC is undergoing the final touches in North Cove Marina before she sets sail.

As forecast yesterday when the weather data was analysed by Jean-Yves Bernot, the weather situation is relatively favourable for an attempt to cross the North Atlantic from Ambrose Light to The Lizard.

Francis Joyon, contacted this morning at 0600 local time: “I’m finishing off the final preparations, and taking one last look at the wind charts. I should be setting sail in a northerly, once I have reached the starting line, which will take me around two hours.

“The low is centred in my path, but in theory it should be moving off fairly quickly and not holding me up. It is moving up and therefore the wind should back westerly and then south-westerly later on. Ideally, I would have liked to have started out in a south-westerly with hope to keep it throughout the crossing; which is what we have been waiting for over the past two months, but it wasn’t likely and it was time for us to make a decision!

“For the first stretch of the journey, I should be in a flow staying below 30 knots, and I think my route will take me slightly south to avoid getting stuck in the centre of the low, where the wind drops off. One positive thing is that the seas won’t be hindering the boat’s progress.

“As far as the preparation is concerned, we were still putting on strips of stratification last night, as we had a bit of a shock when I found a crack not far from the shroud plate – a boat must have hit my port floater. Even if the internal skin hasn’t been affected and the damage is only superficial, it’s never very nice? but there’s nothing to worry about. The trimaran is well and truly ready and in perfect shape, so all that’s left now is to get underway. That’s something we’re going to have to get a move on with, as the theoretical route doesn’t leave us much margin over the record we are attempting to beat.”

The Atlantic record to beat:

Route from New York – The Lizard (theoretical distance calculated by the WSSRC) : 2925 miles (5417 km)

Single-handed record: Laurent Bourgnon, Primagaz, 7 days 2 hours 34 minutes 42 seconds (June 1994)

24-hour single-handed record: Laurent Bourgnon, Primagaz, 540 miles (June 1994)