There are currently two experienced French sailors attempting to set around the world sailing records. Francis Joyon is attempting to set the record for fastest solo circumnavigation. Jean Luc Van Den Heede is making another atttempt at the solo circumnavigation record against the prevailing winds.
Joyon will sail west to east or with the prevailing winds. Van Den Heede will sail east to west or against the winds.
Van Den Heede (known as VDH) is sailing a purpose built 25 meter Aluminium monohull. Joyon is sailing the 27 meter trimaran formerly known as Sport Elec. As Sport Elec the boat once held the Jules Verne record for fastest boat around the world.
VDH crosses the equator
VDH has attempted this record course three times previously. Previous attempts have ended after striking a floating object, having keel problems and dismasting.
This is Joyon’s first attempt at the record and 1st circumnavigation. He does hold the single handed record for the east to west trans atlantic.
Joyon on board
Joyon is aiming for the time of 93 days 3 hours set by Michel Desjoyeaux in winning the last Vendee Globe. VDH is trying to break Phillipe Monnet’s record of 151 days 19 hours.
Who has the better chance to be a record setter? Joyon is sailing a boat that once circumnaviated in 71 days, albeit with a crew of 6. VDH is sailing a boat that has already failed twice on the same course.
So, maybe VDH is due to make, law of averages and all. While that maybe so I’ll take the proven record for speed of the big trimaran over VDH’s monohull which must again sail the wrong way.
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