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