12/17/2017 10:32:50 AM

Around the world in 42 days: Frenchman smashes solo sailing record

Around the world in 42 days: Frenchman smashes solo sailing record

Brest, France: Frenchman Francois Gabart smashed the world record for the fastest non-stop solo navigation of the globe on Sunday, completing the mammoth feat in 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds.

The 34-year-old sailor crossed a virtual finish line between the island of Ushant off France's northwest tip and Lizard Point in southwest England, comfortably beating the previous record set by compatriot Thomas Coville last year by six days and 10 hours.

Moments before crossing the finish line Gabart, a father of two and engineer by trade, sent out an emotional video showing his boat's progress on a computer monitor. 

"The little blue is us, the red line is the finish. We should cut it soon, the computer says 30 seconds," he said, wiping his eyes. 

The race time was announced by an observer from the World Sailing Speed Council but will be subject to checks of the boat's black box and its GPS data before final confirmation.

Gabart becomes just the fourth title-holder for a world record of sailing the globe solo without stopping.

Huge leaps have been made in that time -- since the record was first set in 2004, nearly 30 days have been shaved off.

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