PARIS (AFP) –
British sailor Alex Thomson said Friday he had broken the record for crossing the Atlantic solo from west to east by more than 24 hours, making it from New York to Cornwall in eight days, 22 hours and eight minutes.
The previous record, which had stood for 10 years, was 10 days, 55 minutes and 19 seconds, set by Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm.
Thomson, 38, set sail in his Hugo Boss monohull from New York on July 17 just after 3:00 pm (1900 GMT) and arrived at Lizard Point, the southern tip of mainland Britain, just after 1700 GMT Friday, he said on his website.
“It has been a long few days,” Thomson said.
“When I set off I had no idea if I was going to be able to do it. And it has been hard. Lack of sleep, broken instruments on the boat and constant exposure to the elements has really taken it out of me. But it’s such a good feeling to have beaten it by such a great margin.”
The World Sailing Speed Record Council must still ratify the claim.
The record is officially known as the “West to East Ambrose Lighthouse to Lizard Point Under 60-foot Single-Handed Monohull Record, Male”. The trip covers a distance of about 2,800 nautical miles (5,200 kilometres, 3,200 miles).
Thomson said the trip was part of his training for the Vendee Globe, a solo, non-stop, round-the-world race that kicks off from France on November 10.