(Reuters) – Charlie Dalin became the first to cross the finish line of the Vendee Globe round-the-world sailing race on Wednesday but he is not yet guaranteed a victory.
The Frenchman aboard ‘Apivia’ arrived in Les Sables d’Olonne to finish with a time of 80 days 6 hours 15 minutes and 47 seconds in a five-boat sprint to the finish.
However, the winner will not be immediately clear until other competitors finish because of time bonuses some sailors will be awarded for their part in the rescue of French sailor Kevin Escoffier whose boat sank last month.
Escoffier, who was running third at the time and some 840 nautical miles south west of Cape Town, was rescued in heavy seas off the Cape of Good Hope when his IMOCA 60 yacht nose-dived into a wave and broke in two.
Louis Burton and Boris Herrmann are expected to finish second and third.
Germany’s Herrmann, who was among the sailors called in to help find Escoffier, is looking to become the first non-French winner of the race.
Held every four years, the Vendee Globe is an endurance race that begins and ends in Les Sables D’Olonne, France. The 2020-21 race is the ninth edition.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)