<
>

Loick Peyron sets Jules Verne record

BREST, France -- French skipper Loick Peyron set an around-the-world sailing record in the Jules Verne Trophy, breaking the old mark by nearly three days to win the race for the first time.

Peyron and his jubilant Banque Populaire V crew arrived late Friday night in Brest in a time of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes, 53 seconds.

"It's liberating. You feel emotion, the satisfaction of a job well done," Peyron said. "We're all proud, but we've accumulated a lot of fatigue because of the speed. We're going to make the most of a bed that doesn't move about and hit a few pillows."

French president Nicolas Sarkozy spoke to Peyron by telephone to congratulate him as he approached shore.

Peyron's brother, Bruno Peyron, won the Jules Verne three times in his illustrious sailing career.

French skipper Franck Cammas set the previous record of 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes, 52 seconds two years ago aboard his multihull vessel Groupama 3.

Frederic Le Peutrec was in Peyron's crew after also being onboard Groupama 3 in 2010.

The Jules Verne Trophy is a prize for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew.

The crew was welcomed by flotilla of boats and waving crowds on the dock.

"This has been an incredible trip around the planet, almost a dream ride," crew member Brian Thompson said. "I am very fortunate to have sailed with Loick, the best all around multihull sailor there is, and the rest of the team that are so talented, industrious, dedicated, fun and welcoming to an English guy with schoolboy French.

"At the same time, to become the first Briton to sail around the world nonstop four times, is just amazing."

Thompson listed his highlights at sea as "seeing an iceberg as big as half of the Isle of Wight, (and) seeing a new comet on Christmas Day."