Sport-Elec vs. ENZA
Trophy Jules Verne - Non-stop Around The World!
English language daily translations from the French web site (

Date: May, Monday 19th, 1997: 08h 59mn 39s
Olivier de Kersausson and his 90' trimaran Sport-Elec
sets new record: 71days 14hrs. 18 minutes!!!
Average Speed since Departure : 14,49 Knots
Notes by Martin Schoon (with permission) as posted to the multihulls mail list
and formatted here by Joseph Oster, Wingo Bay
Previous records:
1994: Sir Peter Blake (and here), 92' catamaran ENZA (74 days 22 hours)
1993: Bruno Peyron , 84' catamaran Commodore Explorer (79 days 6 hours)

Day 70 (Sun, 18 May 1997): Position 18:00 (GMT) - 47.20° N / 06.4° W Sport-Elec has had two days of good sailing covering 404' and 393'. OdK and his crew seems to head straight for home now. They are a lot to the east of the ENZA track and leading ENZA by 1100'. Only four days left of the record time.

Day 68 (Fri, 16 May 1997): More wind for Sport-Elec now. She covered 234' the last 24h. ENZA did better and still the web-site claims Sport-Elecs lead has increased?? My best guess is she is 492' ahead instead of the 692' claimed. Or could it be that their decision to go east of the Azores shortens the route that much?

Less than a week left of the record time now. 

Day 67: Not a good day for Sport-Elec and her crew - only 157'. The lead over ENZA is now down to 509'.

No serious trouble though, just lack of wind. 

Day 65: Sport-Elec is well onto the northern hemisphere now and is picking up speed. She covered 322' over the last 24 hour-period. The gap to ENZA is 701' or about two days.

The next hurdle to pass is the Azore's High. Right now Sport-Elec seems to head right at the anti-cyclone. She is quite a bit east of the ENZA-94 track.

The Sport-Elec team is starting to count on the possibility of bringing Trophee Jules Verne back to France: A 700' lead, some ten days sailing left -> they can afford to loose some 60'-70' a day and still break the record. ENZA did go slow days 67-70... 

Day 62 (Fri, 9 May 1997): Sport-Elec is picking up speed again and has matched ENZA's speed exactly since yesterday (7.95 knots) so the gap is still 600'.

The last three days have been a bit nervewrecking for OdK and his crew. Sport-Elec has 'inched' its way over the ocean while time has raced ahead - well that's how they describe it at least. Seeing the lead they claimed by taking risks in the southern oceans shrink quickly has also contributed. 

Day 61: Sport-Elec has slowed down even more - 6.8 knots. The lead has shrunken to 600'. Lack of wind the last night is the culprit. 
Day 60: I guess OdK and his crew found the Dolldrums after all. The average speed has halved to 8.5 knots and their lead over ENZA has shrunken to 801'. The latest report places Sport-Elec 300' north of the Equator and 27deg 20' West. 
Day 59: Sport-Elec just passed the Equator as if the Dolldrums never existed. The average speed across the equator was 16.4 knots and the lead over ENZA is now 1040'. OdK and his crew has now established a new record for sailing from Kap Horn to the Equator (11 days, 20 hours, 51 minutes). 
Day 58: Sport-Elec is blowing away from ENZA (17+ knots average). OdK and his crew have increased their lead to 1032' and they are only some 240' from the Equator. 
Day 57: Sport-Elec is maintaining her 15.76 knot pace and her lead over ENZA has been extended to 920'. 
Day 56: Sport-Elec is pulling away from ENZA. OdK and his crew has found some wind and covered 378' over the last 24 hours. As ENZA only covered 173' back in -94 this has enable OdK to increase his lead to 820'. 
Day 55 (Fri, 2 May 1997): Sport-Elec has picked up speed again - relatively to ENZA that is - and the gap as increased to 577'. OdK and his crew are plagued by light winds and calms that last for hours. Inbetween the calms they manage to do 14 knots. 
Day 54: The gap between Sport-Elec and ENZA is closing - now 474'. Sport-Elec is staying much closer to south America than ENZA did back in -94. Sport-Elec is some 1600' from the Equator. That is 6-7 days sailing at the current pace.

They have some 5000' left of their trip and Sport-Elec is showing signs of wear but OdK and his men are confident about their boat as they know it very well. The Dolldrums and the Azores High are of more concern.

Day 53: Sport-Elec has has lost some of her lead over ENZA. ENZA did some 19 knots these days in -94 while Sport-Elec has only managed speeds in the 8-12 knot range. The lead is now 623'.

OdK now hopes ENZA's poor progress during day 55 back in -94 will give them an oppurtunity to widen the gap again. 

Day 52: Sport-Elec has slowed down even more. The last day's run is only 210'. It is the high-pressure system of St. Helena that is slowing them down. The lead is still 900' though. 
Day 51: Sport-Elec is slowing down (14.9 knots average) but is extending the lead over ENZA to 900'. She has been faster than ENZA for eight consecutive days now.

OdK and his crew is experiencing fine weather and are treating themselves as well as Sport-Elec to thorough rinse. Sport-Elec is also given some 'medical' treatment.

Ahead of them looms the complex weather systems of the equator. 

Day 50: Sport-Elec is now leading ENZA by 715' (~2.5 days sailing). Well not now as the home-page has not been updated since yesterday. They are now well into the south Atlantic staying well west of ENZA's track. It is a low-pressure system to the east that gives them the opportunity to take a shorter route in good wind. 
Day 48 (Fri, 25 Apr 1997): Sport-Elec is pushing on. The lead is now 640' which means they have gained another 240' on ENZA since yesterday. The url doesn't tell but as far as I can figure out they must have covered some 460' during the last 24h period. Uhps, up-dated right now: 451'. Their web-master must have working-hours at least as wierd as mine (I am actually working on some contributions for our local multihull rag).

The weather forecast for the south Atlantic is brilliant(?) they say. Then there is a lot about ENZA's progress in -94 and the probability of staying ahead of her that I don't really fathom. If I tried to sumarize it for you I would probably be lying half the time. (Any nice frenchmen, oops read frenchwomen, out there prepared to brush up my french?)

There is a lot of Bob Rice praising and Sport-Elec's ability to keep moving in lighter stuff is high-lighted. 

Day 47: OdK and his crew is blasting away from ENZA now. Thier lead has extended to 400'. Last day's run was 361' and ENZA only did 172' back in -94. Sport Elec reached Cape Horn 46 days 16 hours and 57 minutes after starting from Ouessant. This is of course a new record time. Encouraging messages have been received both from Eric Tabarly and Peter Blake. 
Day 46: Sport Elec is extending the lead. She is 200' ahead of ENZA now. The speed has decreased and they are now down to 14.6 knots, which is less than their average since leaving Europe.

Sport Elec is now less than 24 hours from Cap Horn and the knowledge that they are ahead of ENZA has boosted spirits worn down by the rough conditions. I couldn't quite figure out what the conditions actually are only that they test crew and yacht. 

Day 45: Sport Elec is in the lead again - by 106'. They are 1 to 2 days away from Kap Horn now. The average speed is down to 15.7 knots but it is still much faster than ENZA was over this part of the southern seas. There was a lot of text published today on their web-site but I am in a hurry so the summary will have to wait. It was something about the weather ahead. 
Day 44: OK folks, I have been away for the weekend so there is a little catching up to do.

Right now Sport Elec is 40' behind ENZA. She has been forced northwards by dangerous ice-conditions (OdK and his crew has spent the weekend slaloming between ice-bergs and the on-board temp. is 2 C). This will lengthen her route and give her less favourable winds. She seems to go great guns anyways. Last day's run was some 490'. At the the end of day 41 she was even ahead of ENZA. As ENZA's progress towards the Horn was 'slow' the last few days we might see OdK in the lead again soon. 

Day 39 (Wed, 16 Apr, 1997): Sport Elec has clawed back some of the lost ground and is now 240' behind ENZA. This is not because Sport Elec went particulary fast but ENZA was slow and the next day ENZA only covered some 88' so Sport Elec might be back in the lead tomorrow. 
Day 38: ENZA is king of the hill again leading Sport Elec with 340'. Sport Elec has had two fairly slow days, 247' and 310' respectively. The progress is hampered by a massive low-pressure system between them and Kap Horn. Right now they are heading SE while ENZA was trucking on due east in -94. 
Day 36: Sport Elec has just passed New Zealand and is 137' ahead of ENZA. She has completed her seventh day of unbroken 400'+ days. Last day's run was 468'. Sport Elec is now some 540' north of ENZA's track. 
Day 34: Sport Elec has found some favourable wind. She has covered 514' the last 24h period. The distance to ENZA is now just 46' and they are almost half-way 'between' Tasmania and New Zealand (the map seems to be out of sync though). The tracks have now crossed and Sport Elec's average speed since leaving Europe is 15.24 knots. 
Day 33: Now they claim Sport Elec is 76' (no, not feet) behind ENZA. According to the map they are steadily closing in on ENZA so I guess the 35' of two days ago must have been a typo. Right now they are right south of Tasmania and have come north somewhat (~49.5 deg S). They seem to average 18+ knots pretty consistently. According to yesterday's news release the N/S difference between ENZA's and Sport Elec's tracks are due to different weather patterns rather than different tactics. Right now it looks as if the tracks will cross in the next few days as ENZA dived deep south after passing Tasmania in order to avoid an anticyclone. 
Day 31 (Wed, 9 Apr 1997): Sport Elec is only 35' behind ENZA today. She is east of Cap Leeuwin now after having covered 446' since yesterday. They are 360' south of the ENZA track. Does anyone know anything about the ice-situation down there? Is there less ice than usual or is OdK gambling? 
Day 30: Todays report claims Sport Elec is just 67' behind ENZA now. She should be 'passing' Cap Leuwin (sp???) late today. OdK still stays well south of the ENZA track. Last days-run was 409'. 
Day 27 (Sat, 5 Apr 1997): Sport Elec is closing in on ENZA's record run. 578' behind ENZA today. OdK is staying well south of ENZA's track. The gap is today 530' after the longest day's run so far: 476'. 
Day 23 (Tue, 1 Apr 1997): It might have been a typo as ENZA 'is' 640' ahead of Sport Elec today.
"This is their third attempt this winter [4th overall!]. The first was abandoned pretty soon as the weather pattern evolved in a unfavourable way. The second attempt was abandoned in the south Atlantic some 20 days into it after they had spent 48 hours becalmed."

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