'In a hurry': Vendee Globe entrants happily hit the water

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Lorient (France) (AFP)

"It feels good," said English sailor Samantha Davies after her first night at sea in seven months as many of the entrants began in training for the Vendee Globe, due to start November 8.

"We all feel very happy to be back working with objectives. It's a huge motivation to have a real competition in sight," Davies told AFP on Friday, on her return to port in Lorient, Brittany, after spending 24 hours at sea for the first time since November.

"I hadn't spent a night at sea since the Transat Jacques-Vabre so this is the longest wait in my life," said Davies whose boat, Initiatives-Coeur, was launched on May 11, the day confinement ended in France.

Most of the 35 entrants in the solo round-the-world race have also been on the water and Davies described the excitement in the harbour as most of the race favourites got back behind the helms of their boats.

"Everybody's in a hurry to get back into the water, we're making up for the two months we've lost," she said.

The Vendee Globe entrants should be able to line up for a prologue, the Vendee-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne, which is still awaiting a green light for a start on 4 July.