Sailing: Frenchman sets new world record

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The Independent Online
As the Frenchman Olivier de Kersauson smashed the world record and took the Jules Verne Trophy for sailing round the world yesterday, Ed Danby, one of the people who set the old record, radioed his congratulations from mid-Atlantic, writes Stuart Alexander.

Danby was with Sir Peter Blake and Sir Robin Knox Johnston when they set a time of 74 days 22hr 17min 22sec in 1994 on the 92ft catamaran Enza. De Kersauson chopped that by three days 7hr 59min 14sec, but Danby said: "All records are there to be beaten and this one could not have been taken by someone who tried harder than Olivier. I salute him and his team."

De Kersauson's new time of 71 days 14hr 18min 8sec was achieved in the 99ft trimaran Sport-Elec, but despite the huge margin of gain, he said yesterday: "You couldn't say we had the record handed to us on a plate. When the going got tough we didn't hold back."

For Danby, it also makes tougher his job of training the new all-woman crew skippered by Tracy Edwards who have taken over his old boat and renamed it Royal/SunAlliance. They are on their way to New York for an attempt on the multi-hull transatlantic record next month but plan their own tilt for the Jules Verne Trophy at the end of the year.

"Now we have an even harder record to beat," Edwards said yesterday, with Mike Jones of Royal/SunAlliance adding: "We have every confidence that Tracy and her team will rise to the challenge."