French sailor slashes solo around-world sailing record

Updated 2017-12-18 16:00:19 Xinhua

A French sailor broke a world record for the fastest solo round-the-world voyage on Sunday.

Francois Gabart left Ouessant, a small island off the Breton coast in France, on Nov. 4 for a solo around-the-world sailing. He crossed the finishing line near the western limit of the English Channel at about 0145 GMT on Sunday.

The total time he spent on the journey is 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds, beating the previous record set by his compatriot Thomas Coville last year by six days and 10 hours.

Moments before crossing the virtual finish line, Gabart sent out a video showing his boat's progress on a computer monitor.

"The little blue is us, the red line is the finish. We should cut it soon, the computer says 30 seconds," he said in the video while wiping his eyes.

"I'm happy and proud to have made this lovely voyage around the world," said the 34-year-old sailor, who is also a father of two children.

Gabart's new record was announced by an observer from the World Sailing Speed Council, but yet to be verified by the council, which will check the ship's GPS data before confirming the result.

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