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Sailor jubilant after epic journey

A British sailor has told of his jubilation after he broke the world record for the fastest circumnavigation of the world in any type of yacht.

Brian Thompson, who wrote daily blogs about his experience, said he was "quite emotional" about his achievement and is considering writing a book about his adventure.

Mr Thompson was the only British crew member on board the Banque Populaire V that completed the journey after 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.

The 14-strong crew of the 40-metre maxi-trimaran crossed the Jules Verne Trophy finish line at Brest, France, at 10.14pm on Friday, smashing the existing record of 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds by nearly three days.

Mr Thompson, 49, who is based in Southampton, chronicled the trip on an online blog on his mobile phone, attracting thousands of followers on the social networking site Twitter.

He said: "Sometimes I think it would be cool to write a book about a trip like this and you could use the blog as a basis for it. There are so many more things that happened, like conversations with people, that you want to remember."

A flotilla of boats and crowds on the dock welcomed the crew home and Mr Thompson, who has sailed more than 100,000 miles with American adventurer Steve Fossett, said that he'll miss the crew after spending so much time with them.

"It was quite emotional crossing the line and realising what a bond you made with the guys and especially the three others you're on watch with because you tend to see those people the most. You spend two thirds of 45 days together with them so that's a lot of time. You have to rely on them for your safety."

The yachtsman described his teammates, who hail from a number of countries but all share a knowledge of the French language, as "talented, industrious, dedicated, fun and welcoming to an English guy with schoolboy French".

He added: "To achieve my dream of finally holding the Trophee Jules Verne...feels absolutely fantastic. At the same time, to become the first Briton to sail around the world non-stop four times is just amazing and feels very special."


From Belfast Telegraph