Francis Joyon makes a good start in his challenge to Ellen Macarthur's round the world record

Earlier today Francis Joyon left in his 97ft trimaran IDEC in a bid to break Ellen MacArthur’s solo round the world record of 71 days 14 hours. Any day now rival French sailor Thomas Coville plans to follow him in a slightly larger Nigel Irens-designed trimaran.

The 51-year-old Joyon, who first set the record in 2004 in an earlier trimaran called IDEC which was later wrecked on coast of Brittany, has some very singular ideas and, unlike Coville, has rigorously kept things as simple as possible.

He is determined to show that it is possible to be fast and self-sufficient, and intends to be first record-breaker to use only power from the wind and sun.

Read more about Joyon’s ideas and his attempt on Elaine Bunting’s blog