Francis Joyon of France today took line honours and set a new record time for the 3,542-nautical mile Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo transatlantic race from Saint Malo in Brittany to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe.

At the helm of the maxi-trimaran IDEC Sport, Joyon completed the singlehanded race in seven days, 14 hours and 21 minutes, beating the existing course record by just 46 minutes and 45 seconds.

The 62 year old Frenchman also won the ULTIME class which features giant trimarans. 

In a thrilling head-to-head match race to the line, the closest finish since the first race in 1978, Joyon held off his younger compatriot Francois Gabart to win by only seven minutes and eight seconds. 

Times and speeds: 7d 14h 21mn 47sec at 19.42 knots on the theoretical course of 3,542 miles

Actual distance traveled: 4,367 miles at 23.95 knots