Having spent the last three days floundering in no wind Jean Luc van den Heede is on the move again and still well ahead of his global record
Jean Luc van den Heede, who’s currently attempting to break the non-stop, solo westabout speed record in his 85ft monohull Adrien, has finally found wind.
Van den Heede set off on 7 November last year and has succeeded out-pacing the previous record by 24 days. Up until three days ago however, before he became stuck in the Doldrums with virtually zero wind, Den Heede was up to 26 days ahead. The last few days have been tedious but news from the boat today indicates things are starting to look up once again, and the Doldrums are now just a bad memory. Den Heede said: “I had to stick it out for three days, becalmed with a record for being slow the day before yesterday (35 miles in 24 hours). The sails flapping around from left to right, the boom swinging from one side to the other, the automatic pilot going crazy sounding its alarm every so often, unable to understand what the boat was up to at all, as she just would not obey, due to the absence of any wind.”
Fortunately I can no longer hear the sails suffering, the water is slapping up against Adrien’s hull once again, so everything is fine. I can see the latitudes slipping by, and I’m in a hurry now to pick up the north-east trade winds.”
To break the current record of 151 days, 19 hours and 54 minutes, held by Philippe Monnet, van den Heede needs to cross the Ushant finish line before 07hrs.16mins.01sec on 7 April 2003.
Day 110 position at 13008°27’N / 15°24’W
Wind12 knots from NW
Temperaturesday 30° / night 20° / sea 27°
Distance covered in the last 24 hours204 miles
Distance to the finish3,159 miles
Lead over Monnet24 days and 3 hours