Francis JOYON is regaining speed following his slowest 24 hours yet, after IDEC was forced to cross a high pressure system.
Francis JOYON (FRA), who is now just over 42 days into his solo round the world record attempt, recorded a 24-hour run of just 138.1nm (compared to his best of 616nm) in the early hours of this morning, after yesterday he slowed to speeds of 2-3 knots. As JOYON climbs up the South Atlantic, he has been forced to cross a large high pressure area which has resulted in the slowdown and seen his advantage over Ellen MACARTHUR's (GBR) record pace drop 400 miles in 24 hours to just over 3,000nm. However, this morning IDEC was recording more familiar speeds of 15 knots as he skirts around the western edge of the high at 34 degrees south and 31 degrees west.
Jean-Yves BERNOT, the onshore router for JOYON, said the slowdown in speed had been predicted several days ago, "It has been three days since we knew that he would have to go through there [the high pressure system],"
he explained. "We therefore were expecting 12 hours of calm that Francis of use to rest."
BERNOT says his communication to JOYON yesterday morning was a simple instruction to take advantage of the calm conditions: "Today's programme: nap!""
Since yesterday afternoon, JOYON has been picking up speed as the high pressure system moves from west to east as had been predicted. As he heads north towards the equator, BERNOT predicts that JOYON will encounter northwesterly and then northeasterly winds in the 15-20 range with relatively flat seas. In these conditions IDEC should be able to reach speeds of 18 knots, making yesterday's slowdown a temporary blip in his record attempt.
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