Francis Joyon has beaten the world 24-hour single-handed sailing record

This afternoon, Francis Joyon on board the trimaran IDEC smashed (subject to ratification) the world record for the greatest distance covered in 24 hours by a single-handed yachtsman.

At 15H00 (GMT), the IDEC trimaran completed 543 miles over 24 hours at an average speed of 22.62 knots.

This record had been held since June 1994 by Laurent Bourgnon on board Primagaz, which covered 540 miles in 24 hours at an average speed of 22.50 knots.

The red giant has been keeping up a quick pace since yesterday morning and may well improve on this first record in the coming hours.

Joyon set sail from New York last Thursday to attempt to beat the single-handed Atlantic crossing record, held by Laurent Bourgnon. To achieve this, he must reach The Lizard before 11h 16m 8 secs GMT on 7 July.