Jules Verne would have been proud, but also amazed, at the new world record for a sailing (or any) voyage around the world, done by a Frenchman. Yes, it's official. The crew of the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V, skippered by Frenchman Loïck Peyron, completed the journey of 29,002 nautical miles around the world in a time of just 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.
Banque Populaire V in action
The record has been confirmed by the World Records Academy (www.worldrecordsacademy.org). The world record was previously held by France's Franck Cammas who travelled the globe in 2010 in 48 days seven hours and 44 minutes aboard the Groupama III.
The Guinness world record for the Fastest circumnavigation by a powered boat was set by Earthrace, which was granted the Union International Motonautique (UIM) record for the fastest circumnavigation by powered boat. Its journey was slower - 60 days 23 hrs 49 mins.
The fact that they also won the Jules Verne Trophy at an average speed of 26.51 knots is almost incidental.
'There was a time when one couldn't imagine doing it in less than 80 days. It was thought a crazy thing,' Mr Peyron, 52, said after completing the journey.
Banque Populaire V crew
'Now, a few years later, it's 45 days, and in a few years it'll be less. Even this boat is capable of doing it in less, with slightly better weather conditions to shorten the distance.'
Helped by onshore weather forecasters using satellite imagery, and the development of lightweight multihull boats that travel as fast as petrol-driven speedboats but use only the wind, sailors such as Mr Peyron have sharply reduced the time taken to go around the world by sea in recent years.
Mr Peyron called the voyage '45 days of beautiful adventure' despite his worries about the risk of hitting an iceberg.
'To sail around the world in 45 days you've got to be at your limits very often,' Peyron, 52, told reporters. 'It's liberating. You feel emotion, the satisfaction of a job well done,' he added.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the Fastest circumnavigation by passenger aircraft was set by by an Air France Concorde (Capts. Michel Dupont and Claude Hetru) who flew from JFK airport in New York, USA eastbound via Toulouse, Dubai, Bangkok, Guam, Honolulu and Acapulco in 31 hrs 27 mins 49 secs.
Watch their triumphant arrival here:
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