72 days 22 hours 54 minutes

Francis Joyon arrives in Brest - an initial report. More follows

Tuesday February 3rd 2004, Author: James Boyd, Location: France
Red sky in the morning - shepherd's mourning, but considerable euphoria for Francis Joyon who crossed the finish line of his incredible solo non-stop round the world shortly before dawn this morning.

At 07:54:16 local time (06:54GMT) Francis Joyon and his 90ft trimaran IDEC crossed the finish line off the mouth of the Rade de Brest in northwestern France setting a new record for sailing non-stop singlehanded around the world of 72 days 22 hours and 54 minutes and 22 seconds.

This is 20 days 5 hours 3 minutes faster than the previous non-stop solo round the world record set by Michel Desjoyeaux in the last Vendee Globe.

Arriving in big breeze Joyon was sailing with understandable caution with three reefs in the main and a storm jib. The breeze and wave state was such that the large press boat didn't venture out of the Rade de Brest. In the murky light it was hard to make out the hole in the port float that potentially could have scuppered his voyage at the 11th hour.

Although the spectator fleet was small, judging from the huge number of press witnessing the finish of this amazing journey a media frenzy is about to take place. We will be part of that.

More follows (once we've spoken to the man)

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