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8 March 2004, 09:21 am
VDH Expected Tomorrow
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Round The World

After 121 days at sea, VDH is less than 24 hours away from returning to the tip of Brittany. Looking forward to reaching Ushant,<I> "I should, if all goes well, cross the finishing line of my round the world backwards trip early on Tuesday". </I>
Jean-Luc Van den Heede admitted that after four months of single-handed sailing against the prevailing winds and currents he was very much in demand. "Between the many phone conversations with the media and the organisation of my arrival in Les Sables d'Olonne, which is planned for Thursday at 5 p.m. with the tide, I don't have any spare time. I don't really know where to start... I only just had enough time this morning to cook my final loaf of bread and to cook myself some duck "à l'orange", which I'd reserved for my final Sunday at sea!"

For the time being, after four months of being alone, "looking forward without feeling any stress to getting back into civilisation and meeting the people I love", the yachtsman from Amiens in Adrien, his 26-m maxi aluminium monohull, described to us the sailing conditions as he approaches the Bay of Biscay. "I've got 20 knots of wind. I'm sailing at an average of 10 knots upwind on a sea that's a bit lumpy, but doesn't pose any problems and everything is fine on board".

Fully aware that the voyage is not complete Jean-Luc is keeping an eye on the radar all the time, if he pushes the imposing bow of Adrien across the finish before 8.15 a.m. on Tuesday 9 March, he will have taken less than 123 days to finish this extraordinary non-stop voyage around the world and will bring to a marvellous end. "The most beautiful single-handed sailing trip you can imagine against the elements." VDH should therefore, unless something unexpected happens, smash the record still held today by his friend, Philippe MONNET, by more than 29 days (151days 19h 54'36''), which the Cannes yachtsman achieved on the 9 June 2000 at the helm of Unet.

Adrien's full position is available on her website at the address below.
Adrien Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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