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Joyon breaks round-the-world mark

  • Story Highlights
  • Francis Joyon regains the title of fastest round-the-world sailor
  • He arrives in Brest after a trip of 57 days 13 hours 34 minutes and 6 seconds.
  • He betters Ellen MacArthur's previous record by 14 days.
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BREST, France -- Francis Joyon has regained the title of fastest round-the-world sailor by arriving in Brest at the end of a 57 days 13 hours 34 minutes and 6 seconds journey.


Joyon cut 14 days off Ellen MacArthur's previous record round-the-world trip.

He recaptured the honor from Britain's Ellen MacArthur after a trip of 21,600 nautical miles (38,900 kilometers).

The 51-year-old Joyon said: "57 days, I don't dare believe it. I now hope I can sleep more than one or two hours a night.

"Right up to the end, I was worried about damage. In the night I almost hit a container ship and I had a fishing boat across from me. It has been a constant struggle."

In 2004 he became the first sailor to circumnavigate the world solo in less than the 80 days in Jules Verne's famous story.

His time then was 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds but a year later MacArthur reduced this by more than a day.

In July 2005 the Frenchman broke the world record for the crossing of the North Atlantic by a solo yachtsman in 6 days 4 hours 1 minute and 37 seconds.

He left Brest on November 23 last year aiming to retake the round-the-world title and reached the Cape of Good Hope only 15 days and seven hours after his departure - four days and two hours faster than MacArthur in 2005 - with an average speed of 20.12 knots.

He was well on target going across the Indian Ocean setting records for that distance, for crossing the Pacific Ocean and the Equator.

His objective was threatened in the home stretch as he battled strong trade winds that reached 35 knots as he began battling back up the North Atlantic where he risked dismasting in rough seas and a series of squalls.

MacArthur, who was in Brittany on board a boat welcoming Joyon home, said that hearing updates of Joyon's progress made her want to take to sea again.

"Records are set to be broken," she said, adding that an attempt would not be launched in the next year because she was already committed to other projects.

"I know it's been hard for him, that he's had to suffer," said MacArthur. "He took different options and benefited from good weather down to the Horn.

"His boat is bigger so it's normal that he goes quicker but he deserves the record and I'm happy for him."

Jean-Luc Van den Heede, holder of the record for navigating the world westabout against the winds and currents, praised Joyon's achievement.

"It really is an extraordinary performance," Van den Heede said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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