Francis JOYON and his trimaran IDEC are in the southern hemisphere and over 800 miles up on the Ellen MACARTHUR's record time, after crossing the equator in less than seven days.
Less than a week after his departure of Brest, Francis JOYON (FRA) crossed the equator on Friday and has since extended his lead over the record pace in his quest to reclaim the solo round the world record.
crossed the equator at 03:03 UTC on Friday morning, 6 days, 16 hours and 58 minutes. JOYON was faster to the equator than Orange II
when Bruno PEYRON (FRA) and his crew set the outright round the world record back in 2005 (their time was 7 days and 3 hours), and over two days quicker than current solo record holder Ellen MACARTHUR (GBR).
"Neptune has graciously let the trimaran pass the equator at 3:03 UTC,"
said JOYON on Friday night. JOYON's initial aim in this opening part of his 21,760 mile circumnavigation was, "to lose as little time as possible on the time of Ellen to the Equator"
. However, despite a slight slowdown when he entered the doldrums on Thursday, JOYON has continually gained on MACARTHUR's time and set an incredible time to the equator.
Over the weekend JOYON continued to make cracking progress, in an easterly trade winds of 10 to 15 knots, with IDEC
posting average speeds around 17-20 knots through Saturday and Sunday. JOYON is currently focussing on playing the western edge of the St Helen anticyclone, avoiding the massive wind holes, whilst trying to maintain as direct a route to the tip of Africa as possible. Today, while sailing at the latitude of Rio de Janeiro, IDEC
has slowed to around 15 knots.
At 07:00 UTC this morning, JOYON had already covered over 3,700nm (ie nearing a fifth of the total distance), was recording 13.9 knots and his lead over MACATHUR's time was up to 813nm. However whilst his advantage over the record pace has never been higher, JOYON's average speed has dropped below the MACARTHUR's equivalent for the first time.
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