Jean Luc Van den Heede crossed the start line of his global challenge this afternoon, 9th October

At 1251 10 sec GMT Jean Luc Van den Heede, VDH, crossed the imaginary start line between Brest and the Lizard, at the start of his attempt to break the 151 day westabout solo circumnavigation record, currently held by his fellow countryman Philippe Monnet.

VDH, sailing his 85ft aluminium boat Adrien, needs to finish by 0844 46 sec GMT on 10 March 2002 if he is to beat this time, although he hopes to knock 11 days off the record.

See November Yachting World, published on 11 October, for a full story on VDH and his boat.