A New Event Bringing France and Brazil Together

A New Event Bringing France and Brazil Together


The French sailor, Francis Joyon and Patrice Lafargue, President of the IDEC Group, have come up with the innovative idea of organizing 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).

France-Brazil: a record emphasizing certain values
In April, Francis Joyon will be setting sail from Bordeaux completely alone on board his 31-metre maxi-trimaran in the colors of IDEC. Ahead of the bows, 5000 nautical miles (9200 km) across the wide open space of the Atlantic before he gets to Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. In so doing, he will establish an initial reference time. This is a great opportunity to recognize the very strong links that exist between these two countries before 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? Franco-Brazilian duels are a reflection of shared values – humanism and progress – which we have also seen over the last 150 years in the arts and sciences. The Friendship Route will be a new chapter in this ongoing saga.

Maxi-Trimaran IDEC © François Van Malleghem / DPPI / IDEC (1981ko)
Maxi-Trimaran IDEC © François Van Malleghem / DPPI / IDEC (1981ko)
  Francis Joyon @ François Van Malleghem / DPPI / IDEC
Francis Joyon @ François Van Malleghem / DPPI / IDEC


A new record to support the ICM and medical research
This latest ocean crossing is a symbol expressing the friendship between the two countries. The record will also be an opportunity for Francis Joyon and the IDEC Group to publicize 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.

Prestigious ambassadors
These two personalities will not be the only ones promoting this new record. Far from it. 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.

The Sail of Hope showing the way
A huge symbol: on the headsail on the IDEC maxi trimaran, Picasso’s dove of peace will be leading the way in favor 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.

They 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, … They have already agreed to join us: 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.

Provisional program for the Friendship Route

31st March 2014: Special launch evening for the France-Brazil project in Paris in the presence of the skipper Francis Joyon, Gérard Saillant and Jean Todt (founding members of the ICM and guest sponsors for the IDEC maxi-trimaran) and the ambassadors for the project.

Friday 4th April 2014: Special operation in BORDEAUX with the Girondins football team and many celebrities.
Start of Francis Joyon’s stand-by period in BORDEAUX for his attempt at the record between Bordeaux and Rio de Janeiro.

Around 10th May 2014: The IDEC maxi-trimaran is due to arrive in Rio de Janeiro.

Late 2014: The Sail of Hope signed by all of the French and Brazilian ambassadors will be sold at a charity auction.

Reminder: Francis Joyon was the first sailor to win the Ultimate Trophy. He is the only one to have held the following four records at the same time:
- Round the world record: 57 days 13 hours 34 minutes and 6 seconds, February 2008 (still the record today)
- North Atlantic record: 5 days, 2 hours, 56 minutes and 10 seconds, June 2013 (still the record today)
- 24-hour distance record: 666.2 miles sailed in July 2012
- Columbus Route record (Cadiz – Sans Salvador): 8 days 16 hours 7 minutes and 5 seconds, February 2013



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