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Sail-World.com : Joyon closes on Cape Horn at record pace

Joyon closes on Cape Horn at record pace

'Francis Joyon and IDEC2 - photo JM Liot/DPPI/Idec'    © IDEC

Francis Joyon is this morning less than 1,000nm from Cape Horn. Joyon has been able to maintain his average at nearly 20 knots over the last 24 hours on a direct route to the Horn.

The major problem to maintain this high speed has been the sea state. As soon as the swell grows a bit and especially continually sweeps from both sides together, IDEC lengthens her stride with disconcerting ease. If these conditions could be meet, Joyon will reach the end of his tough crossing of the Pacific as soon as Saturday morning.

At 06:50 UTC - With 7,800nm to go to the finish, Joyon is now 3,164nm ahead of Ellen MacArthur's record and covering over 460nm each 24 hours.

After 33 days at sea Joyon is reporting some fatigue - 'I am only 80% of what I can do!'

Joyon has reduced sail regularly but still IDEC was sailing at 20 knots in the 45 knots winds under storm jib only, and he admits that he has almost capsized in the confused seas. Handling the huge mainsail has been a strength sapping job for Joyon and it is this which has made him realise how tired he is. At one point, IDEC2 was under bare poles for eight hours.

But, he is upbeat about his situation now that he is moving away from the ice fields and looking forward to sunnier days to do some work on IDEC - 'The boat is in good condition because I repairs the small damage ...'

At 1,000 miles from Cape Horn, despite the difficult times, Joyon still finds the opportunity to appreciate the magic of the inhospitable lands crossed. One corner of blue skies, a light strongest among the grains, which swell and calms Francis resumes his dream, his unquenchable quest to Wonderland.




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9:52 AM Thu 27 Dec 2007 GMT






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