Frenchman Thomas Coville pulverises solo round the world sailing record

The 48-year-old takes over eight days of the previous mark held by compatriot Francis Joyon which was set in 2008

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 9:23am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 9:28am

Thomas Coville slashed eight days off the record when he ended an astonishing solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world on his maxi trimaran on Sunday.

The record was once famously owned by British sailor Ellen MacArthur, but the 48-year-old Frenchman’s jaw dropping new mark of just 49 days, three hours, seven minutes and 38 seconds takes eight days, 10 hours, 26 minutes and 28 seconds off the previous record.

In that time the Colville will rarely have slept for more than 30 minutes at a time and will have been on constant alert to dangers and changing conditions.

Having set off from Brest on the Brittany coast on November 6, Coville needed to make it back by January 3 to establish a new record.

Coville crossed the open seas finish line off the French Atlantic coast at 16:57 GMT on December 25, and was due to head back to Brest.

The previous record of 57 days 13 hours, 34 minutes and six seconds was established by another Frenchman, Francis Joyon, under almost identical conditions in 2008.

Even Joyon’s record back then was a huge shock as it broke MacArthur’s noteworthy mark of 71 days, 14 hours and 18 minutes set in February 2005.