Sails almost as well as twelve men: Francis Joyon with "Idec"
The World Sailing Speed Record Council has ratified a new record for the one-handed passage of Francis Joyon on Columbus' exploration route from Cadiz to San Salvador.
The Frenchman actually had Steve Fossett's overall record in mind with his 95-foot-long trimaran "Idec". The American covered the 3,884 nautical miles long distance in 2003 with his 125-foot catamaran "Playstation" and a full crew in 9 days, 13 hours, 30 minutes and 18 seconds. For a long time it looked as if Joyon, who had circled the world one-handed in a fantastic 72 days a year ago, could crack this time - mind you as a single-handed sailor.
Shortly before the end of his passage, however, the Frenchman parked in a light wind zone and only reached the desired destination after 11 days, 3 hours, 17 minutes and 20 seconds. He managed an average speed of 14.53 knots.
This achievement has now been ratified by the WSSRC as the new one-hand record on the discovery route. For Joyon, however, this should ultimately only be a consolation prize. How much more would it have been worth cracking Playstation's time. That this would have been possible with a little more weather luck for the lone fighter is shown by the fact that Joyon covered almost 4,400 miles from start to finish instead of the approximately 3,900 nautical miles he was aiming for.