Sailor Sets New Solo Around the World Record

Blowing the previous mark out of the water.

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On his fifth attempt, French sailor Thomas Coville set the record for sailing around the world in a solo mission on Monday, finishing his journey in just 49 days, 3 hours 7 minutes and 38 seconds, blowing the previous mark out of the water by nearly 8 1/2 days. Coville sailed at an average speed of 45km an hour, covering more than 52,000 km, according to sponsor Sodebo, which monitored his trip. Not only was it the quickest solo trip around the world, but the third-fastest journey by any sailing boat (the other two boats had crews of 10 and 14 people).

After celebrating his arrival at the Brittany port of Brest, France with champagne, Coville told the press his first order of business is catching up on sleep. “Right now, I want just one thing: to sleep and let my mind rest. I want to go to sleep telling myself, ‘all’s well!’”

Although he faced such obstacles as 10-meter high waves in the Indian Ocean, Coville did have internet connection to communicate with a support team, and he also benefited from exceptional weather.

Coville told Yachts and Yachting:

“It’s a very big day for me both as an athlete and as a man. I’m proud of the journey I’ve been on to get to this point. I’ve fallen, I’ve picked myself up and all that has given me this mental strength. Experience is what one does with one’s failures. I can say today that I’ve enhanced the value of them. That’s what I’m proud of.”

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