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Sailing into history again.

The crew of the catamaran Cheyenne was on terra firma today after sailing round the world and into the record books.

A small crowd clapped and cheered as the 125ft boat was towed into Plymouth just after 10pm yesterday before the sailors were reunited with loved ones.

American adventurer Steve Fossett and his 12-strong crew smashed the round-the-world sailing record by six days with a time of 58 days, nine hours, 32 minutes and 45 seconds although it has yet to be officially ratified. Mr Fossett, 59, said: "There is a great romance to doing something around the world, and it is a great challenge to try and do it faster than anyone else."

There were three points at which equipment broke and he thought the record attempt would fail, he said, but on every occasion the crew overcame the problem.

Mr Fossett and his crew crossed the finish line at Le Stiff lighthouse on the French island of Ouessant just before 4pm yesterday to complete their 28,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe.

British yachtsman Brian Thompson, 42, from Southampton, was one of the Cheyenne's watch captains.

He said: "It is great to have so many people here to greet us late on a cold spring night.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet we have just been doing it."

His wife Nathalie, who was waiting on the jetty to meet him, said the record attempt had been "a dream".

Fellow crew member Mark Featherstone, 43, from Salcombe, Devon, said the sailors had been working seven-day weeks for many months in preparation for the successful record bid.

He added: "It has all been worthwhile. We had a lot of problems to overcome, but I never thought we wouldn't do it."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 6, 2004
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