Jean Luc VAN DEN HEEDE who set off from France on his fourth global record attempt in early November has just rounded Cape Horn.
On 7 November Van den Heede sailing his 85ft aluminium cutter Adrien crossed the imaginary start line between Lizard and Ushant and commenced his westabout solo non-stop global record attempt. His aim is to beat the current record of 151 days, 19 hours and 54 minutes, held by Philippe MONNET.
Van den Heede shot ahead of the record time during the early part of the challenge and now, having rounded Cape Horn at 12 minutes past midnight on Tuesday, is six days ahead of the record.
During a radio link on the Les Sables d'Olonne stand at the Paris Boat Show van den Heede chatted about the unusual conditions round the Horn: "The low-pressure area moved to the north, which is something that never happens, because they normally get blocked by the Andes mountain range. So, I've got some 40kt easterlies pushing Adrien along to the west at an average speed of 13 knots. I'm zooming along in the right direction, and my lead will give me some breathing space, when I need it. After three attempts, I'm being cautious. To celebrate my tenth rounding of the Horn, I've prepared a nice little dinner for myself: crab and paëlla."
For Van Den Heede break the global record he will have to cross the Ushant finish line before 07hrs.16mins.01sec on 7 April 2003.