Within moments of arriving in Les Sables d'Olonne, Jean Luc Van Den Heede announced plans of his next record breaking attempt aboard Adrien


Jean Luc Van Den Heede and his crewman Jean Marie Patier aboard Adrien arrived in Les Sables d’Olonne on Tuesday having sailed 14,000 miles from Hobart with a make-shift mast.

Van Den Heede was attempting to break the non-stop singlehanded, east to west world record for the third time when his mast broke at 55° south after 64 days, forcing him to retire when he was 18 days ahead of Philippe Monnet’s 151 day record.

Salvaging as much of the broken mast as he physically could, he then limped on to Hobart under jury rig where he spent a month or so building a new mast. But it was no ordinary mast; he managed to get hold of galvanised high-pressure fire hydrant tubing and spliced together three sections. While it was not the most ideal set up, bearing in mind they were heading back to France via Cape Horn, it held up well and allowed Team Adrien to arrive safely in France, after 77 days at sea.

Within just a short time of arriving at Les Sables d’Olonne, Den Heede and his main sponsors announced plans for another attempt at the record starting in the Autumn. Shouting from the boat, Den Heede said: “I shall have another go!” He then when on to add: “Adrien will return to the Gamelin boatyard in La Rochelle for repair, to have fittings dismantled and have a complete structural check-up. Next week, I am off to Denmark to see my new mast which is being built by Nordic Mast. I shall use the trip to go and see suppliers on the way. After that, I shall take a week off.”

And a well earned one it will be.