Disaster for Joyon as he capsizes

Posted: Aug 22, 2011 03:02 pm EDT

(By Jon Amtrup)Francis Joyon did only get to sail 7 hours in to his transatlantic record attempt before he capzised his 30 meters long trimaran IDEC. The French sailing legend did not get hurt in the incident and will most likely stay in the inverted hull until a tug comes to tow him back.
Joyon passed the start line off the Ambrose Light at 00:08:10 GMT Monday morning. At the time of capsize IDEC had been sailing in 25 knots form the south when allegedly she was hit by a violent squall.
Joyon was not injured and has been in contact with his route Jean-Yves Bernot. This afternoon from IDEC's upturned hull Joyon, calm as usual, explained what had occurred.

"I was in my seat to watch what was going on outside the boat. I was in the process of extricate myself from a methodologically disturbed area close to the American coast. Since starting I had managed to sail about 90 miles in very irregular and highly unstable wind, shifting in direction and fluctuating between 10 and 30 knots. I went through some very intense squalls, marked by violent gusts, but it was when I thought I was leaving this area that I was hit by a massive gust that blew the boat on its side.

At the time I was sailing under triple reefed mainsail and with the small storm jib up. The violence of the squall was such that the sensor, and the anti-capsize alarm did not have time to go off. I found myself under water and beneath the nets. I tried to swim back to open air in the night and chaos. Eventually, I made it to one of the floats. I'm not sure how I reached the forward beam but I was able to climb up onto the platform. I then got inside the boat through the escape hatch.

Joyon reports that the trimaran is in relatively good shape, and that he managed to save all the electronics from the salt water. He spent the whole night sitting on top of the upturned hull signaling to boats in the shipping lane with a torch as he didnt want to get run over as well.

As soon as the tug arrives he will cut away the broken rig and try to get the boat turned back again.


Joyon capzised today just hours after starting from New York.
courtesy Don Emmert / AFP / DPPI / IDEC

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