SKIPPER Alex Thomson has sailed his way into the record books by smashing a transatlantic record by more than 24 hours.
The 37-year-old, from Gosport, set sail alone from New York on July 17 in a bid to break the long-standing west-to-east record.
To snatch the title, he would have had to make it to Lizard Point, off Falmouth, by 8pm today.
But Alex triumphantly sailed over the finish line at around 6.17pm yesterday, a full day ahead of the record.
Alex told The News: ‘I feel on top of the world to have done the transatlantic from New York in less than nine days.
‘When I set off I had no idea if I was going to be able to do it and it has been hard.
‘Lack of sleep, broken instruments and constant exposure to the elements has really taken it out of me.
‘But it’s such a good feeling to have beaten it by such a great margin.
‘I have knocked more than a day off the record so that is great.
‘Hopefully I will hang on to it for another 10 years.’
The record Alex broke is officially named the ‘West to East Ambrose Lighthouse to Lizard Point Under 60ft Single-Handed Monohull Record, Male.’
It was previously held for 10 years by Swiss sailor Bernhard Stamm who did it in 10 days, 55 minutes, and 19 seconds.
Alex completed the journey across 2,800 nautical miles in eight days, 22 hours and eight minutes.
The record will need to be ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.
Today Alex and his team arrive back in Gosport in time to watch the Olympics Opening Ceremony.
But that is all the rest and relaxation he can enjoy, as Alex is hoping to become the first British sailor to win the gruelling Vendee Globe race.
He will leave from France in November on board his 60ft monohull boat, named Hugo Boss.
He is one of three British competitors taking part in the round-the-world yacht race.
His previous attempts at conquering the challenge were cut short.
Alex was forced to retire from his entry in 2004 after suffering damage.
And the next time, in 2008, his boat was struck by a French fishing vessel three weeks before the start.
Alex added: ‘This record attempt was also a training exercise for the Vendee Globe.
‘We felt this record attempt would put me under real pressure and simulate race conditions and I have felt a real value in it.’