With just a 'few' miles to go Francis Joyon is set to break the singlehanded transatlantic record
Francis Joyon is now less than 90 miles to the finish of his singlehanded transatlantic record attempt. And if all goes to plan he should cross the Lizard finish line between 1200 and 1300 today, cracking the outright record by just under a day.
Having broken the 24-hour speed record (543 miles) on Sunday and recording an average of 20kts boat speed during the six days at sea, there’s now little to stop Joyon adding another record to his long list of achievements.
He should smash the current record, which has been held for 11 years by another Frenchman, Laurent Bourgnon on board his 60ft Primagaz. In a radio report yesterday afternoon Joyon said he is finding it difficult to take it easy, even just for a few seconds away from the controls of his boat. Since a double gybe during the previous night he has been sailing on the port tack in a strong north-westerly, which remains variable in strength and direction. Having said that Joyon is in his element, facing up to the challenge of the force of a huge yacht, which is accelerating away, smashing into the seas, taking her from incredibly high speeds to the risk of coming to a sudden standstill.
Just as Jean Yves Bernot (Joyon’s weather expert) predicted the wind is looking good for the finish. Although the wind did drop off for a while overnight it’s now back up to 14-15kts from the north-west which couldn’t be better for a fast, blast across the line.