Jean Luc VAN DEN HEEDE is still well ahead of Philippe MONNET'S record-breaking time at this stage of his west-about global challenge.
Sailing his 85ft aluminium cutter Adrien on this solo non-stop global record attempt, Van den Heede is now 18 days ahead of Monnet after 67 days at sea but over the last few days hasn't made up any significant time. commenting from the boat Den Heede said: "Philippe Monnet, was reaching the antipodal meridian on what will be tomorrow. Then, he headed far north in the Indian Ocean to get some favourable winds to the north of the high-pressure area. That was maybe a good solution, because for a few days I haven't been gaining any more over him."
According to Den Heede yesterday morning the night was rough with gusts up to 50 knots. Adrien had her little Celerant staysail up and three reefs. However, the wind is starting to abate now, and Den Heede is gradually hoisting the larger sails. Den Heede added: "I think I'll be reaching the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, the south-western tip of Australia on Thursday."
For van den Heede to break the current record of 151 days, 19 hours and 54 minutes, held by Philippe MONNET he will have to cross the Ushant finish line before 07hrs.16mins.01sec on 7 April 2003.
Position Report - 14 January 2003
Day 67. Position at 1 pm: 44°56'S / 123°08'E
Wind: 25 knots from WSW, moderate sea. Temperatures: day 14° / night 7° / sea 10°
Distance covered in the last 24 h: 213 miles. To the Cape of Good Hope 4,860 miles
Lead over Monnet: 18 days and 8 hours