French sailor Francois Gabart has written his name into the seafaring history books after setting a new world record for Fastest circumnavigation sailing monohull solo (male).

The 29-year-old pulled off the feat on his way to the victory last month in the 2012/13 Vendee Globe yacht race, managing to lap the globe in just 78 days, 2 hours and 16 minutes.

The time beat fellow countryman Michel Desjoyeaux's previous record of 84 days and three hours set in 2009.

When Gabart crossed the equator line on January 15 he was already more than five days quicker than Desjoyeaux in 2009.

Founded by famed French sailor Philippe Jeantot in 1989, the Vendée Globe is an around-the-world single-handed yacht race sailed non-stop and without assistance which takes place every four years.

Gabart, who also became the youngest skipper to take part in the race, was followed over the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne in western France by Frenchman Armel Le Cleac'h in second and Briton Alex Thomson in third.


During his voyage to victory, Gabart clocked up an average speed of 15.3 knots.

His journey covered a total of 24,331 nautical miles (44,450km), and saw him lead the race for 44 days and 20 hours.

Commenting on his record-breaking performance, Gabart said: 'I am extremely happy for my record to be recognised by Guinness World Records and follow in my colleague Loick Peyron's footsteps. I remember reading the Guinness World Records book when I was a teenager, so it is a huge honour for me and I look forward to the 2014 edition! "