French sailor sets new record for Route du Rhum transatlantic sailing race

© AFP - LOIC VENANCE

French sailor Charles Caudrelier won the Route du Rhum on Wednesday, setting a new record in the prestigious transatlantic solo race.

The 48-year-old skipper crossed the finish line in his boat Maxi Edmond de Rothschild having completed the course in six days, 19 hours and 47 minutes. It was his first attempt at the race.

François Gabart (SVR Lazartigue) came in second place just three hours, 15 minutes and 50 seconds behind the winner.

The previous record, set four years ago by Francis Joyon, stood at seven days, 14 hours and 21 minutes.

The Route du Rhum featured a record of 138 competitors this year, including seven women.

Bad weather delayed the start of the race, which leaves from Saint-Malo in north-west France and finishes in the French West Indies, from 6 to 9 November.

One of the pre-race favourites, Armel Le Cleac'h, saw his chances dashed a day after setting out when he had to return to Lorient in Brittany last Thursday to repair damage to his boat.

Le Cleac'h – who capsized after just two days in the previous edition four years ago – set out again after two days. The 2016/17 winner of the Vendée Globe said he was determined to finish the race.

(with wires)


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