Only a day and a half into his attempt on the singlehanded Route of Discovery, Francis Joyon is nearly 120 miles ahead of the current record’s pace. Charging out of Cadiz, Spain, Joyon’s 97-ft Irens/Cabaret designed trimaran IDEC covered 581 miles as he blew past Gran Canaria — the only mark of the course — in the first 24 hours of his attempt. The record Joyon is pursuing belongs to Thomas Coville and his ORMA 60 Sodeb’O that was set in 2005 at 10d, 11h, 50 min.
“I was constantly between 25 and 33 knots,” Joyon said. “I made a good distance over this first day. I haven’t slept more than one or two hours but I never sleep much the first night — I listen to the boat; I try to include and understand it; I adapt.”
In the lighter air expected toward the middle and end of the route in San Salvador, Coville’s smaller and more nimble 60-footer may still prove to have an advantage, so Joyon may need all the cushion he’s building right now. Meanwhile Coville is preparing his near-sistership to IDEC, the 105-ft Sodeb’O, for another ’round the world singlehanded record attempt. Earlier this year, Coville was forced to drop out of his first attempt with ama damage, as he chased Joyon around the planet on what ended up being the latter’s astounding 57d, 13h achievement.