Round the World Solo: Francis Joyon shatters record by 14 days

Sunday, 20 January 2008

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An amazing feat. The IDEC trimaran crossed the finishing line off Brest on Sunday 20th January 2008 at 00h39'58 At the age of 51, Francis Joyon is once again the fastest solo yachtsman around the world having completed the voyage in 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 6 seconds. He has shattered the previous record, held since 2005 by the British yachtswoman, Ellen MacArthur by 14 days, 44 minutes and 27 seconds.

It is truly an incredible performance: while he thught it was possible to bring the time down to below 70 days (the time to beat was 71 days and 14 hours), the sailor from Locmariaquer in Southern Brittany has brought it down to below 60 days and even to below 58 days. On board IDEC, Francis Joyon has covered more than 26 400 nautical miles at the astonishing average speed of 19,09 knots.

Francis Joyon also becomes the only solo sailor in the world to have grabbed the non-stop single-handed round the world voyage record aboard a multihull on two occasions after a first record back in 2004. A feat that was has only been bettered once since then and that was when Ellen MacArthur successfully completed her voyage in 2005, which led to her being awarded the title of Dame by Queen Elizabeth II.

The second best time ever

We also should add that Francis Joyon has just achieved the second best time ever for sailing around the world, including crewed voyages! Thus, the crewed record set by Steve Fossett’s giant Cheyenne (58 days, 9 hours and 32 minutes in April 2004) has been beaten. Only the crew of Bruno Peyron’s maxi-catamaran Orange II still hold the outright record in just over 50 days.

On board his thirty foot trimaran designed by the design team of Irens/Cabaret, Francis Joyon has the additional satisfaction of sailing all the way around the world “cleanly”, without the use of any fossil fuel (no engine), generating his own energy with a wind turbine and solar panels.

After a final week that was very tough on the nerves – a shroud threatened to collapse, which would have led to IDEC dismasting - Francis Joyon will remain at sea for a few more hours after crossing the line. He will come ashore in Brest Commercial Harbour on Sunday morning at 09h00 local time.

Bénédicte Etienne:

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Image: Francis Joyon

Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 January 2008 )