French yachtsman breaks round-the-world record

Yachtsman Francis Joyon’s record-breaking solo round-the-world voyage in just 73 days was today hailed as “incredible” by the first person to sail the globe non-stop.

Yachtsman Francis Joyon’s record-breaking solo round-the-world voyage in just 73 days was today hailed as “incredible” by the first person to sail the globe non-stop.

Father-of-four Mr Joyon, from Brittany, France, crossed the finishing line off Brest this morning at 6.54am Irish time to conclude the 26,000-mile course.

The epic voyage officially took 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds.

Robin Knox-Johnston completed the challenge in 1968-69 in 312 days.

He said it was extraordinary that Mr Joyon had managed to take 20 days off the previous record.

“Francis Joyon has reduced the solo non-stop record by some 20%. That is a quite incredible achievement,” he said.

“Records usually go with a very small percentage margin, but this is quite extraordinary. It is a magnificent achievement, not just of stamina and strength, but of mental determination. As records go I doubt anyone can take such a large margin ever again.”

Mr Joyon, 47, has sailed his 90ft trimaran IDEC to the limit since he set off last November, battling Cape Horn, the Southern Ocean and exhaustion along the way.

To put his achievement into perspective, it would normally take a crew of 10 to sail the trimaran.

Mr Joyon smashed the single hull record of 93 days held by fellow Frenchman Michel Desjoyeaux set in the 2001 Vendee Globe and Olivier de Kersauzon’s multi-hull record of 125 days.

The world of sailng today joined together to pay tribute to the yachtsman.

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