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France's Thomas Coville sets new round-the-world sailing record of 49 days

Jean-Sebastien Evrard, AFP | French skipper Thomas Coville navigates aboard the Sodebo Ultim’ on October 12 off La Trinite-sur-Mer in western France.

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.

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Coville arrived at the finish line in Ushant, an island in the southwestern English Channel, at 5:57pm local time after a solo round-the-world trip that took just 49 days, 3 hours, 7 minutes and 38 seconds.

Coville slashed eight days off the world record when he ended his astonishing non-stop journey aboard the Sodebo Ultim' on Christmas Day. The previous record of 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 6 seconds was established by another Frenchman, Francis Joyon, in 2008.

Colville, who was sailing a 31-metre maxi trimaran, would rarely have slept for more than 30 minutes at a time during the race, remaining on constant alert for danger and changing conditions.

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.

In 2008, Joyon broke British sailor Ellen MacArthur's previous record of 71 days, 14 hours and 18 minutes of February 2005. Her Australian-constructed, 23-metre trimaran had been specifically designed to accomodate her diminutive stature of 5 feet, 2 inches (1.57 metres).

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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