French legend Francis Joyon's breakneck 24-hour distance has officially been recognised

Bravo to French sailor and reluctant hero Francis Joyon, whose 24-hour sailing record – a monumental 666.2 miles – has just been recognised officially by the World Speed Sailing Record Council.

His record was set this summer in an ultra low-key run between between la Trinité-sur-Mer in Brittany and the Azores in his 29m trimaran IDEC. The run equates to an average speed of 27.75 knots.

The new distance smashes by over 37 miles the previous record set by fellow French sailor Thomas Coville in his 32m trimaran Sodeb’O.

Joyon still holds the outright solo round the world record, in my view the daddy of them all, with a time of 57 days. He set that in the same boat. This Herculean feat is likely to sit unbeaten for a long time. There is no-one presently lining up to beat it, largely because it is a massive achievement to try to better, with a high risk of failure.

Francis Joyon is one of the most extraordinary and admirable sailors ever to take to the water. He’s a bit of an enigma, but to discover a bit more about this incredible (and modest) seaman, read my profile of him here.