Brian Thompson at the end of his world-record voyage. Picture by B.Stichelbaut
SAILINGSAILOR Brian Thompson confirmed his place among the sport’s greatest achievers by helping the crew of Banque Populaire V to a new world record, as well as becoming Britain’s most travelled sailor.
Brian, 49, who is based in Southampton but has family on the IW, completed the Jules Verne Trophy challenge with the mainly-French crew of Banque Populaire V last Saturday.
They finished the round-the-world feat in an astounding 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds, three days quicker than the previous record.
Speaking to the County Press, Brian — who has 27 world records under his belt — said: "People were asking us at the start about whether we could break the record and we all thought it was impossible.
"But we had so much luck with the weather, and then we had a slingshot start as it only took us 12 days to get to Cape Town. Everything came together. We were on the fastest ocean-going yacht ever built, reaching speeds of 48 knots."
Brian, who only had a basic grasp of French, now speaks far more fluently after more than six weeks in the company of an all-French crew.
"The navigator was Spanish but he was fluent in French as well. I had schoolboy French, but now I’m much better.
"I’ve got a world record, I’ve been round the world more times than any other British sailor, and I have a French diploma," he joked.
By completing four non-stop round-the-world voyages, Brian’s achievements surpass those of other famous sailors Dee Caffari and Mike Golding.
"To be in the company of sailors like those is pretty amazing," he said.