Solo to Mauritius
Route du Rhum winner Lionel Lemonchois is due to set off tomorrow midday aboard his 80ft trimaran Prince de Bretagne to attempt on 'La Mauricienne' record from Port Louis harbour in Lorient around the Cape of Good Hope to Port Louis in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.
This somewhat dubious record was established by Francis Joyon and his maxi-trimaran IDEC in 2009, setting a time of 26 days 44 minutes and 29 seconds. Lemonchois is undertaking the record as part of his training for this autumn's Route du Rhum.
"Whatever the circumstances, it will be about pure speed," commented Lemonchois. "The most important thing is to choose a good weather window. For this course, as on a round the world record attempt, the goal is to reach the Equator in a week."
Prince de Bretagne's routing, given a departure tomorrow shows that she should reach the southern hemisphere in less than six days.
"It's really the last possible window for the record," Lemonchois continues, "almost the last chance, because after that the situation gets complicated in the Indian Ocean with the formation of cyclones. It is very timely, as they say. And the big plus is that it looks promising.
"The northwest wind is forecast to be very strong (between 45 and 50 knots) on Sunday off Cape Finisterre. But it looks fast too." After that, the situation should get much better allowing Prince de Bretagne to get into the trade winds off the Portugese coast and descend south at a rate of knows past Madeira and Canaries and on to the Cape Verdes.