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World-record breaking circumnavigator arrives home in France

PARIS (Reuters) - Sailor Thomas Coville arrived in the French port of Brest on Monday morning, hours after smashing the world record for a single-handed non-stop sailing circumnavigation of the globe.

Frenchman Coville, 48, crossed a finish line off Brittany on Sunday after a voyage of 49 days three hours seven minutes and 38 seconds in his 31-metre trimaran, slashing more than eight days off the previous record, according to his sponsor Sodebo.

"I've been working on it for 10 years ... the emotion is intense," he told news channel LCI after arriving in Brest.

It was Coville's fifth attempt to beat a record set in 2008 by Francis Joyon, another Frenchman, who sailed round the world in 57 days and 13 hours. Coville's Sodebo Ultim yacht achieved an average speed of 24.1 knots.

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"Mentally I had my highs and my lows but I knew where I wanted to get to," he told Le Parisien newspaper after a voyage in which he said he did not sleep more than three hours at a stretch. "Physically I could not have gone much further."

(Reporting by Andrew Callus; editing by Amlan Chakraborty and David Clarke)

 
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