Do you remember Francis Joyon’s famous trimaran Idec 2, with which the Frenchman set the record (still unbeaten) for a nonstop solo round-the-world race in 2008, with a time of 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 6 seconds? It is now called Qingdao China. His new skipper? Guo Chuan, the Chinese man who rose to prominence in 2012 by achieving the record for solo circumnavigation of the globe aboard a Class 40 (137 days, 20 hours, 1 minute and 57 seconds).
JOYON: “I’M PROUD OF HIM.”
The ambitions of the “almond-eyed skipper” are growing. Apparently, before he bought the 29.7-meter maxi trimaran, he trained extensively in France with Joyon himself, who was very pleased to see Guo’s experience (who, by the way, has already proven to be a great sailor) grow day by day.
THE AWAKENING OF THE DRAGON
The purchase came about through the sponsorship of Qingdao (site of the Olympic Sailing Games in 2008), Chuan’s hometown. China has been investing heavily in sailing since the 2008 Olympics. Sign of the new geography of money. And the Dragon is growing, especially in the Ocean. Just think of the Volvo Ocean Race, where Team Dongfeng (which has 50 percent Chinese on board) is doing very well, mast breakage aside.
WILL THE STUDENT SURPASS THE MASTER?
Chuan’s next engagements will be a sailing on the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” (i.e., an ideal route created by Chinese authorities in 2013 from China to Africa, driven by economic development interests), and a journey among Arctic ice. But we are sure he will try, sooner or later, to surpass Master Joyon by trying to snatch the world record from him. Will he succeed where Thomas Coville failed?