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January 19, 2008

Special Edition: Joyon Reclaims Solo Record

Francis Joyon has absolutely crushed the record for a non-stop, singlehanded circumnavigation. Joyon sailed his 97-ft trimaran IDEC across the finish line off the Brest inlet in 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 6 seconds — not only was it the fastest non-stop, solo lap around the world, but the second-fastest circumnavigation . . . ever!

Joyon finished just after midnight Sunday (which was this afternoon on the West Coast), bettering the pace of previous solo record-holder Ellen MacArthur by 14 days and change. In the process he also bettered the 2004 run of the late Steve Fosset’s fully-crewed Cheyenne. Only Bruno Peyron’s fully-crewed Orange II has done a faster lap of the planet at just over 50 days. Covering the nominal distance of 26,400 miles at an average speed of 19.09 knots, Joyon had to fight light air in the South Atlantic, a restless cap-shroud terminal and a badly-chafed mainsail halyard in the final third of his attempt to achieve this remarkable feat.

Bravo, Francis!

We’ll have an update in Monday’s ‘Lectronic, as well as a more thorough report in February’s Latitude 38.

If you’re a frugal cruiser, it’s great to cruise on a boat that used to race as a class or whose sail dimensions are the same as a one design or popular racing class.
The Corinthian Midwinter Series is the biggie of the Bay. Not only do these two full weekends of racing, raft-ups and partying fun in January (19-20) and February (16-17) attract the largest fleets of any midwinter races (140-150 boats are anticipated this year), they can also boast the fourth largest fleet of any event all year long (behind the Three Bridge Fiasco, Vallejo Race and Great Pumpkin, in that order).
"I was a bit surprised last week when one morning I had three new emails from ladies I didn’t know," writes Marc Hachey of the Auburn-based Peterson 44 Sea Angel which is now in Dominica.
We’re writing a report on January 4’s whopper of a storm for the February issue of Latitude, including some amazing photos taken in the midst of the mayhem.