Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Vendée Globe: Marc Guillemot Finishes Joint Third with Vincent Riou

Safran finishes the Vendée Globe in third place. Image copyright Jean Marie Liot/DPPI/Vendée Globe.

by Véronique Teurlay

Marc Guillemot (Safran) crossed the Les Sables d’Olonne finish line at 01h 21 36s (GMT) this morning (Monday) to clinch a hard won third place in this epic sixth edition of the Vendée Globe solo non-stop around the world race.

Safran is towed into the harbour at Les Sables d'Olonne. Image copyright Jean Marie Liot/DPPI/Vendée Globe.

To complete his first Vendée Globe the skipper has had to sail for the final 1000 miles, since he was just to the NE of the Azores, with no keel. His keel dropped out of his boat on Monday 9th February and since then the skipper from La Trinité has had to sail prudently but still managed to wrest third from Sam Davies, GBR, (Roxy) who finished yesterday. Guillemot received a time compensation of 82 hours for diverting from his course to assist in the evacuation of injured Yann Eliès 800 miles south of Australia in the Southern Ocean.

Marc Guillemot greets Yann Eliès. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/DPPI/Vendée Globe.

Accompanied by a fleet of media and spectator boats Guillemot crossed the finish line on a chilly, dark night, ending his epic race having taken a net 95 days 3 hours 19 minutes and 36 seconds to complete the course. His margin over Sam Davies, GBR, (Roxy) who gets fourth is 1h 19mins 25s.

The boys give Sam a kiss. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/DPPI/Vendée Globe.

Guillemot said : « It is an incredible moment, there have been many great moments on this course, especially the time I spend close to Yann. »

« All these emotions, all the image, everything stops when you cross the line. I have a head which is overflowing with images and emotions, it is amazing. »

« And on top of that all I am on the podium. It is incredible. The fact I had Sam beside me motivated me to go a bit faster, and I think me being with her pushed her, we pushed one another. »

« Since this morning I have been counting down the time to third place. And being surrounded by the English I did not want to let them get ahead of me. I was just focussed on my course. »

« I found like Bilou did that sailing without a keel is amazing. But I have a boat which is very stable. I would never have thought it possible to get back without a keel but I don’t want to try it again. »

« I now want to enjoy this Vendée Globe with my friends and my family. For the for a future Vendée Globe it is not something to decide like this. »

Safran is greeted by an enormous crowd in Les Sables d'Olonne. Image copyright Jean Marie Liot/DPPI/Vendée Globe.

The redress gien to Vincent Riou ties him in third place, equally with Marc Guillemot.

Vendée Globe

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