France's Francois Gabart broke the world record for the fastest solo sailing trip around the globe on Sunday, 17 December.

Zipping around the world in his high-tech sailboat, he completed the mammoth feat in just 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds, beating the previous record set by compatriot Thomas Coville by six days, 10 hours and 23 minutes.

The 34-year-old sailor set off on 4 November and crossed a virtual finish line between the northwest French island of Ushant and Lizard Point in England early on Sunday morning (1.45pm GMT), French sports newspaper L'Equipe reported.

Although an observer with the World Sailing Speed Council was present on Sunday when Gabart finished his solo race, the boat's black box and GPS data records will need to be reviewed before Gabart can officially claim the title, Deutsche Welle reported.

The father-of-two has become the fourth world record holder for sailing around the globe solo.

Fellow Frenchman Francis Joyon had set the first record in 2004, completing the journey in 72 days and 22 hours. British female sailor Ellen MacArthur then beat the record a year later by a day and a half.

MacArthur remained undefeated until 2016 when French sailor Thomas Coville set a new record of 49 days and three hours, a time that was considered to be too challenging to beat by many.

High-tech vessel

Gabart sailed on a maxi-trimaran, one of the most technically advanced yachts in the market today.

The 30-metre-long (98 feet) boat has a larger sail area and a wider frame which helps sailors navigate in lighter wind conditions, according to sailing magazine Yachting World.