Francis JOYON and IDEC are now on a direct route to Cape Horn, now less than 1,000 from the famous landmark.
At 21:00 last night, after nearly 34 days at sea, Francis JOYON (FRA) turned his giant red trimaran to a direct course to Cape Horn, the third and final of the Great Capes he will have to round in his attempt on the solo round the world record. At this morning's 10:52 UTC poll, JOYON is less than 8,00 miles from the finish of the 26,000 mile circumnavigation and 3,200 miles ahead of Ellen MACARTHUR's record pace.
Although everything still appears to be going to plan for JOYON he described yesterday, 26 December, as "the hardest day since my departure"
. Sailing close to the centre of a vast low pressure system, through a "minefield" of icebergs, in winds reaching up to 50 knots, JOYON was tested to the absolute maximum. With seas of 6-7 metres, capsizing is a near-permanent danger, and fatigue is also taking its toll, with JOYON saying he is operating at "only 80% of what I can do!"
Today though, JOYON is again approaching average speeds of 20 knots over 24 hours, and is expecting that to increase as the swell grows, conditions in which IDEC
has proven formidable. Cape Horn awaits…
The Record To Beat
Record: Round the World, non-stop, singlehanded
Skipper: Ellen MACATHUR (GBR)
Dates: 28 November 2004-7 February 2005
Elapsed time: 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds
Distance: 21,760 nm
Average Speed: 12.66 knots
Trimaran IDEC - www.trimaran-idec.com
World Sailing Speed Record Council - www.sailspeedrecords.com