Blast off for solo sailor on his bid to beat Ellen's record


Francis Joyon has blasted off on his bid to break Ellen MacArthur’s solo round the world record by covering 425 miles in his first 24 hours. After starting on Saturday he is averaging over 20 knots in his trimaran IDEC and is already down by the Canary Islands and hooked into good tradewinds.

Meanwhile, commenting on my earlier piece on Joyon , Philip Walwyn emailed to say: ‘Joyon’s reliance only on solar power is great but it is not so remarkable. It might be remembered that back in the 1980’s I and others like me were going transatlantic using, say, four good solar panels which provided enough power to run the self steering, minor communication and navigation lights more or less indefinitely.

‘In my view and by way of encouraging development, it should be a rule that any power generated on board should be from renewable sources.’