French sailor sets new Atlantic solo record

Paris (AFP) –


French yachtsman Francis Joyon beat his own record for the solo trans-Atlantic crossing on Wednesday to set a new benchmark of five days two hours and seven minutes.

Six months after smashing the round-the-world sailing record with a five-man crew which circumnavigated the globe in 40 days, Joyon went on to beat his own Atlantic record by some 49 minutes, his team said.

Set on June 16, 2013, that crossing took five days two hours and 56 minutes.

The 61-year-old left New York on July 6 at 2330 GMT at the helm of his 30-metre (95-feet) multihull IDEC and reached the Lizard headland at the tip of Cornwall in southwestern England early on Wednesday at 0137 GMT.

The Lizard is the official point for validating Atlantic crossing time, with his arrival time confirmed by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC).

Setting the record was something of a surprise because the veteran sailor's trip was only supposed to be a return journey after an earlier crossing, and he did not receive weather routing or wait for favourable conditions.

The route between Ambrose lighthouse near New York and the Lizard headland is the competitive sailor's perfect mix of ocean, powerful weather systems and history.