Jean-Luc Van den Heede is two days ahead of the Global Challenge record

Jean-Luc Van den Heede, who set off on his Global Challenge from Ushant on 3 November in his 25m aluminium yacht, Adrien, is two days ahead of the record Philippe Monnet’s set in 2000 sailing U Unet (151 days, 19 hours, 36 seconds).

Van den Heede is currently making a fairly swift passage down the South Atlantic on his round the world ‘the wrong way’, non-stop, singlehanded challenge and reported from the boat that he is pleased with the performance so far. “What a pleasure it is with all going well. The wind is less steady now than in recent days weakening to 15 knots from the east but I’m still managing an average of 11 knots.

“Since my departure, I haven’t yet had to get the toolbox out once. It’s really lovely – like yesterday when I spent a good while with my nose in a book, lying on Adrien’s foredeck on the staysail, protected from the sun by the spinnaker.”

While Van den Heede is enjoying the tranquillity of the moment, he’s only too aware of what lies ahead. “I’m just taking advantage of the conditions because in a few days, approaching the roaring forties, it’ll all change and things will become much more difficult!”

In the next few days Van den Heede will be preparing himself for some of the toughest conditions of his voyage as he heads down the South American coast towards Cape Horn.