Briton Brian Thompson breaks round the world record

Brian Thompson
Thompson has has set 25 records while racing over the past two decades

British sailor Brian Thompson has broken the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the world in a yacht as a member of the crew on board Banque Populaire V.

The 14-man crew clocked 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds, more than two days inside the old mark.

Thompson became the first Briton to circle the globe non-stop four times.

"This has been an incredible trip, almost a dream ride," he said after crossing the line in Brest, France.

Praising a crew that had already set four world records during the journey, the 49-year-old, who is based in Southampton, described his fellow sailors as "talented, industrious, dedicated, fun and welcoming to an English guy with schoolboy French".

Banque Populaire V, a 40-metre maxi-trimaran skippered by Loick Peyron, crossed the Jules Verne trophy finish line at 2214 GMT on Friday to easily beat the former record, despite losing almost two days on the journey because of bad weather.

Thompson, who has sailed more than 100,000 miles with the late American adventurer Steve Fossett, admitted the delay was one of the low points of the voyage, as was missing Christmas and the New Year with family and friends.

However, after finishing a journey that included seeing a comet on Christmas Day and an iceberg "half as big as the Isle of Wight", he added: "To achieve my dream of finally holding the Jules Verne trophy feels absolutely fantastic.

"At the same time, to become the first Briton to sail around the world non-stop four times is just amazing and feels very special."