Francis Joyon has set an incredible new record, sailing 3,800 miles solo averaging 18.6 knots

One of the greatest seaman of our times has set a new record: the incomparable Francis Joyon yesterday knocked 1 day and 4 hours off the course record for the Columbus Route between Cadiz and San Salvador.

Sailing his 95ft trimaran IDEC alone – a fact that never ceases to amaze me – Joyon, 56, raced 3,884 miles at a blistering average speed of 18.66 knots. He demolished his own course record from 2008.

Typical of Joyon, he had no help to do this. In nearly all of the outright records sailors have the benefit of extensive weather and routeing information researched and sent from ashore. Not Joyon. He is the ultimate single-hander, preferring complete self-reliance.

He is a truly remarkable man, one of our time’s most modest, skilful, seamanlike sailors, a real pleasure to meet in person and quite shy. He is a great hero of mine – if you don’t know his whole history, do read my detailed profile of him here, he’s an absolute giant of the sport.