France’s Thomas Coville set a new round-the-world solo sailing record of just 49 days on Sunday, beating the previous world record by more than eight days.
The 48-year-old finished in 49 days, 3 hours, 7 minutes and 38 seconds. The previous record of 57 days 13hr 34min and 6sec was set by fellow Frenchman Francis Joyon.
Coville set off from Brest on the Brittany coast on November 6. He needed to make it back by January 3 to set a new record.
Francis Joyon, currently attempting a Jules Verne Trophy record, was keen to congratulate Coville: “Thomas has produced an incredible time over a perfectly handled course. Bravo to him. Bravo for his performance and his perseverance. With his boat that is larger and more heavily sailed than my trimaran Idec was, he raises the bar very high. A great deal of mastery will be necessary in the future to beat this time and to handle a succession of different weather systems with no transition in the way that Thomas has managed to. Only three of us, including Ellen, have completed this world tour in multihulls without stops, and we are aware of the utter commitment that Thomas needed to carry off this magnificent performance.”
“Thomas has set a superb record after a perfectly executed circumnavigation. Well done to him for his performance and perseverance,” Joyon said in a press release. “He’s set a really high standard.”