Michel Desjoyeaux to set a new record
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French skipper Michel Desjoyeaux will probably set a new record in the Vendée Globe round-the-world yachting race. He commands a 800-mile lead on second-place Roland Jourdain's Veolia Environnement and may arrive next week-end.
AFP - Vendee Globe leader Michel Desjoyeaux was on Thursday less than 1,000 nautical miles from the finish and on target for a record time in the gruelling solo round-the-world yachting race.
The French skipper's vessel Foncia crossed the symbolic 1,000 mile marker just before 1000GMT.
Barring any unforseen accidents the winner of the 2001 edition is expected back at the French port of Les Sables d'Olonne between 1500GMT on Saturday and 1800 on Sunday.
That would leave him with a total time at sea of between 83 and 84 days since setting out with the rest of the Vendee Globe flotilla on November 9.
The previous best time of 87 days, 10 hours and 47 minutes was established by Vincent Riou in 2005.
Riou had to drop out of this year's renewal when his PBR boat lost its mast but organisers are to award him equal third as the damage was sustained during his rescue of stricken rival Jean Le Cam off Cape Horn.
Desjoyeaux enjoys a commanding 800 mile lead on second-placed Roland Jourdain's Veolia Environnement with Armel Le Cléac'h at the helm of Brit Air in third.
The leading non French skipper is British yachtswoman Samantha Davies who has moved up a place into fourth in what has been one of the toughest Vendee Globes ever staged with only 12 of the 30 original boats still in the race.
Vendee Globe standings at 1000GMT :
1. Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA/Foncia) at 997 nautical miles from the finish
2. Roland Jourdain (FRA/Veolia Environnement) at 821.6 milles from the leader
3. Armel Le Cléac'h (FRA/Brit Air) 1,185.6
4. Samantha Davies (GBR/Roxy) 2,256.7
5. Marc Guillemot (FRA/Safran) 2,335.2
6. Brian Thompson (GBR/Bahrein Team Pindar) 2,503.0
7. Dee Caffari (GBR/Aviva) 2,650.8
8. Arnaud Boissières (FRA/Akena Verandas) 3,347.6
9. Steve White (GBR/Toe in the Water) 4,188.1
10. Rich Wilson (USA/Great America III) 5,452.7
11. Raphaël Dinelli (FRA/Fondation Océan Vital) 7,043.0
12. Norbert Sedlacek (AUT/Nauticsport-Kapsach) 7,119.2