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French Sailor Peyron Sets Sailing Record

French sailor Bruno Peyron and his crew aboard the Orange-2 catamaran have set a new speed record of sailing around the world, smashing American Steve Fossett's mark from last April by more than seven and one-half days.

Peyron and his crew of 13 sailed across the finish line near the west coast of France Wednesday after circumnavigating the globe in 50 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes, four seconds.

French President Jacques Chirac hailed the achievement. French Sports Minister Jean-Francois Lamour said the success was a result of the crew's "technical mastery, formidable spirit of solidarity and a ferocious will to succeed."

Fossett said in a congratulatory letter that Peyron has made a special mark in history by breaking the around-the-world record for the third time. But the record could be short-lived. Peyron's countryman Frank Cammas is building another craft that is supposedly faster than Orange-2.

Some information for this story provided by AFP and Reuters.