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French super sailor seeks another world record

JULY 1 — Francis Joyon, the French sailor who shattered the single-handed round-the-world record, set off yesterday on his latest adventure. Joyon departed New York City aboard his 90-foot trimaran, IDEC, in an attempt to make the fastest single-handed passage across the Atlantic.

The 48-year-old Joyon crossed the start line at Ambrose Light just after 4:42 a.m. Wednesday. To beat the current record, held by fellow Frenchman Laurent Bourgnon, Joyon will need to reach the Lizard before Thursday, July 7, just after 7:16 a.m.

Bourgnon set the fastest single-handed trans-Atlantic time in 1994 when he sailed his 60-foot trimaran, Primagaz, across the ocean in 7 days, 2 hours, 34 minutes, 42 seconds.

In 2004 Joyon obliterated the world record for circling the globe single-handed, finishing in 72 days and 22 hours — an astonishing 20 days faster than Frenchman Michel Desjoyeaux who set the record in 2001.

Joyon’s record was beaten one year later when British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur completed the voyage aboard a 75-foot trimaran in 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes, 33 seconds.

Joyon’s progress will be tracked on his Web site,

Jason Fell