At 0654 GMT this morning, Francis JOYON (FRA) aboard the 90 ft Trimaran IDEC crossed the line from which he started just under 73 days ago, to set the fastest single-handed circumnavigation of the globe at 72 days, 22 hours and 55 minutes.
The previous solo record, set during the 2000 - 2001 Vendee Globe by winner, and Joyon's fellow countryman Michel DESJOYEAUX stood at a little over 93 days in his Open 60 "PRB" and Joyon, in an incomparable boat, hammered that record by over 20 days. Remarkably Joyon's time is less than 10 days off the fully crewed, Jules Verne record set by another Frenchman, Bruno PEYRON in Orange in 2002.
More amazingly, from 1997 until 2002 Olivier de KERSAUSON and a full crew on Sport Elec held the Jules Verne Trophy in a record time of 71 days 14 hours and 22 minutes, Joyon's trimaran IDEC is the same boat and sailing solo he took only 32 hours longer.
In the closing stages of Joyon's epic adventure, a collision with an unidentified object which punched a hole in the port float could have easily ended his record attempt, but in a strong wind finish, Joyon sailed into Brest this morning under a heavily reefed main, and storm jib.
Credit and praise for his feat has been rolling in from some of the world's best-known sailors and adventurers. Joyon's record is the first single-handed, sub-80 day circumnavigation, and as Bruno PEYRON himself commented. "You can't imagine at what point I'd be jealous….I would have liked to have been the first to go below 80 days but it is not to be me but him, and that is fantastic! He has shown us a physical demonstration of common sense, economy, and brilliant sailing"
Further details on Joyon's new record are available on his website at the address below. The record is subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.