French yachtsman François Gabart beats solo round-the-world record

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The 34-year-old arrived back in north-west France in the early hours of Sunday after completing his 27,860-nautical-mile tour of the globe in a trimaran in 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds, beating the previous record by six days and recording an average speed of 27.2 knots.

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A French sailor has set a new world record for the fastest solo round-the-world navigation, beating the previous time by more than six days, reports BBC News.

François Gabart finished his circuit of the globe early on Sunday, in a time of 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds.

He completed the journey non-stop, confined to his trimaran sailing yacht since November 4th.

Gabart broke the record set by his countryman Thomas Coville last year.

The record was held at one stage by British national Dame Ellen MacArthur.

Gabart's new record has yet to be verified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, which will check the ship's GPS data before confirming the result.

He crossed the finish line near the western limit of the English Channel at about 01:45 GMT, before turning his ship homeward.

Capturing the drama just ahead of the finish, Gabart said in a video recorded in front of an on-board computer monitor: "The little blue bit is us, the red line is the finish. We should cross it any time now, the computer says 30 seconds."

Then he reported: "I've just crossed the finish line. It's pretty crazy. It's pretty unreal. I'm a bit overwhelmed. Just now I couldn't move I was at such a loss about what to do next. I'm in the dark. There are cargo ships and fishing boats around me. It's a pretty weird atmosphere and at the same time it's pretty extraordinary...

"I'm proud and happy to have made this pretty voyage around the planet."

As he arrived in the town of Brest in France's north-west several hours later, his yacht was escorted into port by a host of local boats in celebration of his accomplishment.

Gabart's success is partly down to good luck with weather, which can dramatically influence sailing speeds.

See more of this report, with video, from BBC News.

 

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