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Joyon Smashes 24-Hour Solo Record

"It seemed unavoidable, and indeed it has happened," writes Javier de Muns, Latitude‘s man in Brittany. "Francis Joyon, racing around the world singlehanded aboard his 97-ft trimaran IDEC has set a new 24-hour solo record of 616 nautical miles — an average of 25.6 knots."

And it’s not it’s not like he’s doing it in lovely conditions. The outside temperature deep in the Indian Ocean is 33 degrees, and because IDEC is not equipped with a heater, it’s never more than 41 degrees inside the cabin. Joyon wears three layers of "polar wear" to keep from dying of exposure.

The previous 24-hour record was 610 miles, and was set by Yvan Bourgnon with the 60-ft ORMA trimaran Brossard in August of ’06.

Javier reports that it hadn’t been Joyon’s intention to try for a 24-hour record, "but as the weather conditions forced me, I said to myself, ‘Let’s do it.’" Following the advice of his weather router, Jean-Yves Bernot, Joyon pushed IDEC to prevent a low from catching up with him. It was sailing in 25 to 30 knots of wind, in relatively flat seas in front of the low, that allowed him to set the new record. Joyon and Bernot believe that similar conditions will last for at least 24 more hours, after which an area of lighter winds will slow his progress.

Just 19 days into his record attempt, Joyon is already nearly 2,000 miles ahead of Ellen MacArthur’s pace when she established the current solo around the world record of 71 days and 14 hours.

Is there anyone else out there who finds this record attempt as compelling as we do?

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