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.

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 (44.64kph).

“Mentally I had my highs and my lows but I knew where I wanted to get to,“ he told the `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.“

(Feature image source: AFP)