IDEC in New York, two weeks ago
I absolutely do not follow yachting news. Well, at least not since I lived in the old, "undeveloped" Newport and enjoyed the regular visits to that sleepy town of hunky crewmen from around the world seeking to wrest the Americas Cup from the New York Yacht Club.
But the yachts can be extraordinarily beautiful themselves, even if today their design may sometimes approach the grotesque in the hands of skilled engineers and mathematicians.
A little over two weeks ago I saw the great tricolor trimaran IDEC moored in the basin below the Winter Garden in the World and casually snapped the picture above. I decided it wasn't a bit grotesque, but rather resembled a giant water strider. The vessel looked shockingly purposeful, even if I was ignorant of its mission.
While going through my photo library this evening looking for something else I decided the IDEC shot was worth uploading for the image alone. Since I wanted to identify the craft I Googled the name and discovered that after leaving New York the vessel and her skipper, Francis Joyon, had broken the 24-hour world speed record when they clocked up 543 miles and, on arriving in France six days out of New York, the transatlantic record for a single sailor as well. The French landfall occurred just three days ago.
Just a few hours after breaking the outright singlehanded transatlantic record yesterday (see news story here) Francis Joyon was involved in a collision which has totally destroyed his 90ft trimaran IDEC.The skipper survived unscathed.
Having crossed the finish line off the Lizard, Joyon - still unaccompanied - did a quick u-turn to head back to his home port in La Trinite, France but fell asleep and hit the rocks at Pte de Marc'h at 0100 this morning.