Wednesday, September 23, 1998 Published at 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Windsurfers conquer Atlantic
Surf's up: Sailor Robert Territehau after finishing at Weymouth
Windsurfers are celebrating the first crossing of the Atlantic by board.
During the seven-day race, competitors faced 30ft high waves and winds gusting to 35 knots.
Jason Gilbert, who was part of a three-man European team to complete the journey, said: "The first thing I want to do now is go for a pint.
The 24-year-old warehouseman, from Worthing in West Sussex, only learned he was taking part in the event 18 hours before the start when an Italian windsurfer dropped out after injuring himself during training.
"I have been in contact with him by satellite phone and he has been in great spirits.
"It has been a chance in a lifetime for him and I am very proud."
Competitors were supported by a group of high speed rescue boats and a mother ship, the Russian ice-breaker Kapitan Khlebnikov.
Jason, who has been windsurfing since he was 14, said: "Most of the time I coped well with the difficult conditions but on one of the days I had to be rescued.
"There were huge waves and 30-knot winds and I began to drop about seven miles back behind the ship.
"I was taken on board the mother ship where I rested and made a full recovery."
Four teams took part, with each competitor taking a three-hour stint on their boards before a fellow racer took over.
The four entries were a three-man team from Greece, the Liberty team made up of two Swedes and a Frenchman, a three-man European team and a four-strong USA team including the only female racer.
Liberty won the race, followed by the Greek team, Europe and USA.
"It took a great deal of planning and thankfully we have got through it all without any injuries or significant equipment failures.
The original plan was to cross from New York to Les Sables d'Olonnes on the west coast of France.
"But at the last minute we found there were ice floes on that route, so we had change our plans."