Jean Luc van den Heede is making good progress in his third attempt to break the round the world, non-stop, singlehanded sailing record
Jean Luc van den Heede is making good progress in his third attempt to break the round the world, non-stop, singlehanded sailing record of 151 days, 19 hour and 54 minutes which was set by Philippe Monnet in 2000.
Van den Heede, who started his challenge a month ago, is now four days clear of where Monnet was at this stage of the challenge two years ago. However, with some of the world’s worst conditions just around the corner, Van den Heede is keen not to get too optimistic. He’s now heading for Cape Horn down the South American coast and is already noticing the change in temperature. “I have reached the forties and what a change in temperature!” commented Van den Heede from the boat yesterday. “What’s more the wind is from the south which is really cold.
“The most spectacular change is the temperature of the water which has gone down by eight degrees in two days. It’s the end of wearing just a bit of light clothing. Of course, my first albatrosses are circling Adrien. Yesterday I watched them carefully and I can’t understand, physically, how they can glide and then move up wind for such a long time without flapping their wings. And how do they sleep?
“Apart from that, the conditions are very changeable. I have been close hauled for two days on the best course possible (that’s why I’m jealous of the albatrosses!) and I have tacked several times. I always give preference to the west, but it will have to change or I shall end up in Argentina.”