So he's made it at last, on his fourth attempt at the solo westabout record

Jean-Luc van den Heede, known all over France as VDH, has just pulled off a quite remarkable feat. Remarkable not just for hacking over 29 days off the previous westabout solo record, but also for his tenacity. For this was his fourth attempt at the record.

On the first his boat, an Open 60, started delaminating after rounding Cape Horn so he turned around and nursed her back to France. On the second attempt, this time sailing the new purpose built 85ft aluminium cutter Adrien, he experienced problems with the keel so again he sailed home with no outside help. The third time, again in Adrien, he was dismasted so sailed to Hobart, Tasmania, under jury rig, where he stepped some steam piping as a temporary mast and again sailed back. And now, finally, he has made it. Has anyone sailed round solo Cape Horn more times than VDH? In addition at these four attempts he has competed in several Around Alone and Vendee Globe races. Answers to: