Photos: François Van Malleghem / DPPI / IDEC

Summer project

Francis Joyon to establish France to Brazil record

Thursday March 27th 2014, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Francis Joyon and Patrice Lafargue, President of the IDEC Group, have come up with the innovative idea of organising a major event linking France and Brazil: the Friendship Route.

Leading up to the football World Cup which is due to be held this summer in Brazil, Francis Joyon will be tackling a new record between Bordeaux and Rio de Janeiro in April. Creating a friendly link between the two nations, this challenge will bring together some famous French and Brazilian ambassadors, offering their support to various charities including the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute (the ICM).

In April, Joyon will be setting sail from Bordeaux alone on board his 31m maxi-trimaran IDEC. Ahead of him will be the 5000 nautical mile passage across and down the Atlantic before he reaches Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. In so doing, he will establish an initial reference time.

This is a great opportunity to recognise the very strong links that exist between these two countries ahead of the World Cup, when Brazil will be welcoming the French team. Matches between France and Brazil at home or away have become part of the legend of the sport. And how could we forget the crazy F1 races between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost? Or the game within the game between Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo on the football pitch? The Friendship Route will be a new chapter in! this ongoing saga.

record will also be an opportunity for Francis Joyon and the IDEC Group to publicise the importance of medical research by offering their support once again to the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute (the ICM), which is based at the Pitié-Salpêtrière teaching hospital in Paris. The only one of its kind in the world, the ICM brings together 500 researchers and scientists working to fight illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. Its guiding principle is “to enable men to keep their freedom to move and to think.” Freedom, which is also what drives sailors like Francis Joyon… as well as being the basic philosophy for Jean Todt and Professor Gérard Saillant, the guest sponsors for the IDEC maxi-trimaran and founding members of the ICM.

These two personalities will not be the only ones promoting this new record. As Francis Joyon, the sailor, who holds two of the most prestigious solo sailing records (the round the world record and the North Atlantic record) makes his way across the ocean, the challenge will bring together celebrities from both sides of the Atlantic, with leading figures from France and Brazil coming from a wide range of backgrounds. Some big names are expected to join in with this event: footballers, racing car drivers, internationally renowned artists, personalities from the world of politics, business and the media… They will all be offering their support to this project and in so doing will be backing a large number of Franco-Brazilian charities and the ICM.

A huge symbol: on the headsail on the IDEC maxi trimaran, Picasso’s dove of peace will be leading the way in favour of the ICM. This Sail of Hope will be signed at ceremonies in France and in Brazil by all the ambassadors to this project from both countries. It will later be auctioned at the end of the year at a special gala event in Paris. All of the proceeds will be given to charities and the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute.

To date the folllwing have already signed the Sail of Hope: The 2014 French football team, the Olympique de Marseille football team, the OGC Nice, Montpellier Hérault Sport Club.

Further names will be joining in due course: PSG, the Girondins de Bordeaux, Rubens Barrichello, Jules Bianchi, Felipe Massa, Michel Platini, Alain Prost, … and leading stars from the world of music, show-business and the movies, … who will be present on 31st March during the launch event in Paris.

Joyon will go on stand-by for the record passage from 4 April after a presentation with the Girondins football team and many celebrities. The maxi-tri is due to arrive in Rio around 10 May.

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