Sunday, January 20, 2008
Joy for Joyon
Frenchman Francis Joyon reclaimed the solo round-the-world sailing record by a massive 14 days in the early hours on Sunday, his on-land team said.
Joyon, who beat the record set by Briton Ellen MacArthur in 2005, reached the finish line near Brest in the northwestern tip of France in his red trimaran IDEC in 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and six seconds.
"I have no vocation for being a hero, my vocation is for doing my job well as a sailor," Joyon told journalists after his arrival at Brest.
"I'm happy because I came back earlier than expected and I made the record more difficult to beat," he added.
The 51-year-old, whose previous record was beaten by MacArthur in February 2005 by one day, managed the feat despite being on the brink of failure during the final 10 days because of damage to his 32-metre mast.
Joyon left Brest on Nov. 23, rounded South Africa, Australia and the tip of South America before heading back for French shores.
He broke several intermediary records along the way, crossing the Indian Ocean in nine days, 12 hours and three minutes and the Pacific in just 10 days, 14 hours and 30 minutes.
"Until Cape Horn, which I reached in 35 days, the boat was sailing at 100 per cent of its potential. Up the Atlantic, it was getting more difficult and in the last few days the boat was only at 85 per cent," he said.
"However, to beat such a record, what you need above all is for the sea to let you through. As I respected the sea, as I respected my boat, as I went round the Earth without polluting it, the sea let me through."
BYM has an excellent review of his sail here.