French sailor Francois Gabart has broken the record for sailing around the world alone after circumnavigating the planet in 42 days and 16 hours.

That is more than six days faster than the record set by fellow Frenchman Thomas Coville last year.

The organisers, tracking his journey by satellite, tweeted that the 34-year-old reached the finish line near Ouessant island off France’s western coast on his trimaran called Macif before dawn on Sunday.

Dozens of vessels swarmed around the boat, accompanying Mr Gabart as he waved torches.

Francois Gabart celebrates his world record with his team (Thibault Camus/AP)Francois Gabart celebrates his world record with his team (Thibault Camus/AP)

Supporters waited to fete him in nearby Brest, a historic port city and sailing capital from where he departed on November 4 and where residents have been following his travels.

“It’s a crazy pleasure… all this human energy,” Mr Gabart said later. “I’m a solitary sailor but this is a pleasure.”