When Francis Joyon climbed the 32-meter-high mast yesterday to examine damage to the main fall, he noticed a much bigger problem the day before yesterday. On the starboard side, a bolt on the shroud suspension has come loose. In the worst case, the mast can tip over.
Francis Joyon has been rushing across the world's oceans for 52 days, and a single-handed sailor has never been faster than him. The Frenchman seems to pulverize Dame Ellen MacArthur's one-handed non-stop record. If, if he reaches the destination at the Ile de Ouessant. As he himself says, a sword of Damocles has been hovering over the French since yesterday.
The suspension on the right shroud loosens under the rough ship movements of the 97-foot Tris "Idec". He is currently sailing in the trade winds, which blow from the northeast from the coast of Morocco, on port bow and has already passed the Cape Verde Islands. The starboard wall is under tension, which should counteract any loosening of screws and bolts. However, the sea, upset by the wind, throws the tri back and forth, causing the mast-shroud connection to jerk and twitch. This dissolves over time.
When the mast went up twice in the night of Monday yesterday, Joyon even sustained an ankle injury. Anyone who knows the tough Breton knows, however, that this does not upset him. As he himself says, he tried to fix the bolt of the suspension with tape and rope. Then he allowed himself a break. Understandable.
After the difficult and nerve-wracking passage through the Kalmen, the "Idec" -Joyon team is now sailing again at a speed of 16 knots on a course of 360 °. The 51-year-old wants to circumnavigate the Azores high in order to make the final turn towards the finish line in two to three days.
Once the ship sails in calmer seas, he also wants to finally fix the temporary suspension of the want. If all goes well, he should be in Brest within the next five or six days. He would have undercut the record of Dame Ellen by around 12 days. A (beautiful) madness!