Photo: Don Emmert / AFP / DPPI / IDEC

Monday morning blast off

Francis Joyon due to attempt solo west to east transatlantic record attempt

Sunday August 21st 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States

Francis Joyon is getting ready to set sail on his attempt on the singlehanded west to east transatlantic record between New York to the Lizard. The optimum weather window to set sail from the Ambrose Light will be between midnight and 0600 GMT. Setting off into the southwesterly wind, Joyon and his maxi-trimaran IDEC's challenge will be to better Thomas Coville's time of 5 days, 19 hours, 30 minutes and 40 seconds over the 2980 nautical mile long course.

"It is definitely worth trying" said Joyon of the weather, shortly before he was due to cast off the Gateway Marina in Brooklyn. "I hope to make a fast start in a good southwesterly. The first part of the course seems conducive to speed and the possibility of setting a record time. The season is well advanced to expect an ideal weather window and the one we have chosen is far from perfect, including a small ridge of high pressure to cross the middle of the North Atlantic...

Joyon went on standby for his record attempt on 29 June and has since then been on stand-by, waiting for the optimum weather window, working with leading French router Jean Yves Bernot. "And no perfect scenario has emerged for us," says Joyon. "Jean Yves Bernot, who who works with me on shore, and I were looking at another opportunity on 25 August, but it does not seem better."

If by chance the wind proves too fickle then by way of consolation, Joyon will instead make an attempt on singlehanded 24 hour record, again held by Thomas Coville when in December 2008 he was attempt break Joyon's solo round the world record and covered 628.5 miles covered in 24 hours at an average speed of 26.2 knots average!

"If by chance there is no longer the opportunity to beat the record for the Atlantic crossing, I reserve the option, to even divert my path, trying to go a little faster than Thomas on 24 hours..." concludes Joyon.


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