Joyon's latest epic voyage

Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI/ IDEC
Ace router Jean-Yves Bernot talks us through Joyon's west to east solo transatlantic record
Distracted by La Solitaire du Figaro last week, we didn’t provide suitable homage to the latest momentous entry in the maritime history books, from French singlehanded sailing legend, Francis Joyon. In crossing the North Atlantic west to east singlehanded in 5 days 2 hours 56 minutes and 10 seconds, Joyon recovered the record he last set in 2005. On that occasion he became the first person to better Laurent Bourgnon’s epic 1994 record. On this latest occasion Joyon and his valiant 97ft long Irens-Cabaret-designed trimaran IDEC lopped 16 hours 34 minutes and 30 seconds off the previous New York to the Lizard passage record of 5 days, 19 hours, 30 minutes and 40 seconds. The previous record was set in 2008 by Thomas Coville aboard IDEC’s slightly larger sistership, Sodebo (read more about the boats here). In his normal manner, Joyon doesn’t going in for ‘slightly’ breaking records and his latest time for the west to east North Atlantic crossing represents a 12% reduction on Coville’s, so not quite the 20% with which he decimated Ellen MacArthur’s outright solo non-stop around the world record back in 2008, but nonetheless a significant reduction. Impressively with his latest ultra-quick Atlantic passage, Joyon now holds what his team is touting as the complete ‘Grand Slam’ of solo offshore record breaking. With the Transatlantic most recently, this includes non-stop around the world, the Route of Discovery from Cadiz to San Salvador in the Bahamas and the singlehanded 24 hour record of 666.2 nautical miles (27.75 knots) which out of the blue Joyon went off and broke last year sailing out of IDEC’s homeport of La Trinite sur Mer. As he has for all his record attempts over the last 12 or