Sailing: Modest Joyon takes 20 days off round the world record

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The Independent Online

With all the calm understatement for which he is renowned, Francis Joyon yesterday set a world record of 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds for sailing singlehanded, non-stop round the world.

There was a gale blowing and a big swell as he eased his 90-foot trimaran into the harbour at Brest. Hundreds were on hand to applaud an achievement which he immediately said could be bettered but which most expect to stand for many years.

Saying he needed time to understand fully what he had achieved, Joyon added: "The first thing I want to do is go home." After a 15-minute press conference that is exactly what he did, his wife, Virginie, driving him and their two children back to Locmariaquer, where he was expected to insist on a quiet evening.

"This has not been without misery or anxiety. There have been problems at times," Joyon said. He took more than 20 days off the previous record, set by Michel Desjoyeaux when winning the Vendée Globe Race in 2001, and also became the first man to sail around the world alone in less than 80 days.

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