British captain, French crew sail world in 46 days

BREST, France, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A British sailor and his mostly French crew have sailed around the world in 46 days, beating the previous record by almost three days.

The Banque Populaire V shattered four other records during its 45-day, 13-hour, 42-minute and 53-second circumnavigation, The Daily Telegraph reported. The 130-foot maxi-trimaran arrived in Brest, France, at 10:14 p.m. Friday to win the Jules Verne Trophy.


Brian Thompson of Southampton, the captain, was the only Englishman on board. He said the other 13 crew members were "talented, industrious, dedicated, fun and welcoming to an English guy with schoolboy French."

The previous record was 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds. Thompson and his crew also broke records for time getting to the equator, to the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa, to Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia and equator to equator.

"This has been an incredible trip around the planet, almost a dream ride," he said. "That's because of the quality of the boat, of the preparation and most of all to the incredible crew on board."

Thompson, 49, is the first Briton to win the trophy, which honors the author of "Around the World in 80 Days," since 1994. He is also the first of his countrymen to sail around the world four times.


The trip made him such a Francophile that he joined the rest of the crew Friday night in "La Marseillaise."

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