Sailing: Peyron breaks Pacific record

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The Independent Online
BRUNO PEYRON and his crew shattered the record for sailing across the Pacific on Sunday, the same day that the previous record holder was forced to end his fourth bid to circle the globe in a balloon.

Sailing aboard the the 86ft catamaran The Explorer, the Frenchman and his international crew crossed under the majestic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco 14 days, 17 hours and 22 minutes after they embarked from Yokohama, Japan. The Explorer's time knocked nearly two days off the mark set by the millionaire stock options trader Steve Fossett, who in August 1995 crossed the Pacific with a crew of three in 16 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes.

Ironically, Peyron and his crew's triumph on Sunday came as Fossett, who was trying to become the first person to circle the globe nonstop in a ballon, was forced to crash-land his balloon in shark-infested waters in the South Pacific.

Members of Peyron's crew said they had received a satellite message on Friday from Fossett, whom they said had wished them luck and told them "records were meant to be broken". The American Skip Novak, the co-skipper of the Explorer, said he was looking forward to some rest and relaxation after the two-week voyage, during which crew members rarely slept for more than three hours at a time and ate mostly rice and pasta.

Fossett rescued, page 8