VIDEO: Building momentum

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The French crew of IDEC Sport, a 105-foot high-tech trimaran designed to break bluewater sailing speed records, is attempting to do a non-stop circumnavigation faster than anyone in history.

Now in the Pacific Ocean, the crew broke a lesser record this week, crossing the Indian Ocean from Cape Agulhas, South Africa, to Cape Leeuwin, Southwest Australia, in fewer than 5-1/2 days. No one previously had managed to do this stretch in less than six.

Take a look at some scenes aboard. You don’t have to speak French to understand the joy on the faces of the crew.

IDEC Sport gained 800 miles in four days to get back on equal footing on the evening of Dec. 10 with the current holder of the Jules Verne Trophy. That boat is Banque Populaire V, skippered by Loick Peyron, and it circled the globe in 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds in 2013.

The Jules Verne Trophy is a prize for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht, with no restrictions on the size of its crew.

“Now we’re doing 37, 39 knots … and to put it bluntly, we are sticking above 35 knots,” said IDEC Sport crewmember Clément Surtel, who was understandably thrilled to be speeding along on a trimaran that is fully realizing its potential.