The IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran sailed by Francis Joyon, Bertrand Delesne, Christophe Houdet, Antoine Blouet and Corentin Joyon completed the Tea Route voyage between Hong Kong and London this morning (Wednesday 19th February).
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 conditions.
The China Sea, the Indian Ocean, The South and North Atlantic together represent a voyage halfway around the world. A voyage that the five sailors accomplished in record time, pushing back the boundaries in terms of performance, while at the same time showing tender love and affection to their venerable boat launched back in 2006.
She has won the Route du Rhum three times and is the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy. This has been a voyage back in time with memories of the big clippers of the past, a voyage of discovery with sea routes not often sailed by modern ocean racers, a human adventure and an opportunity to feel at one with the vast, open, natural spaces.
The Tea Route has brought together everything that Francis Joyon, the most exceptional sailor, loves to achieve and out on the water revealed some magnificent seascapes with champagne sailing conditions encouraging the crew to show respect as they contemplated the seas and skies.