PARIS (AP) French skipper Francis Joyon smashed the record for the fastest sail around the world by more than four days when he won the Jules Verne Trophy on Thursday.
Joyon and teammates Clement Surtel, Alex Pella, Bernard Stamm, Gwenole Gahinet, and Sebastien Audigane crossed the finish line off the French island of Ouessant just before 9 a.m. local time, in their maxi trimaran Idec Sport.
They took 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes, 30 seconds.
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The previous record was 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes, 53 seconds in 2012 by Frenchman Loick Peyron.
Joyon averaged 26.85 knots, the equivalent of almost 50 kph, over 26,412 miles.
Relief was his first thought at the finish. He said in a radio message they spent the final night in rough sea conditions.
''It's the result of long years of work,'' Joyon said. ''The sea was very tough, the boat was being banged around, we could not rest at all. The night was very hectic.''
The 60-year-old Joyon also held the record for the fastest single-handed circumnavigation from 2008-16 before Thomas Coville improved his mark last December.
The Jules Verne Trophy is open to any type of boats without restriction, and takes skippers around the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin, and Cape Horn.