Dalin first to finish Vendee Globe round-the-world race, but not yet winner

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Les Sables-d'Olonne (France) (AFP)

French sailor Charlie Dalin was the first competitor to cross the finish line in the Vendee Globe round-the-world race on Wednesday but there was no guarantee he will be crowned the winner.

Dalin, on board Apivia, completed the epic race in 80 days, six hours, 15 minutes and 47 seconds, arriving at the French port of Les Sables-d'Olonne shortly after 1935GMT.

However, Germany's Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) and France's Yannick Bestaven (Maitre coq IV) are still in the running for the title.

Both men, running third and fifth respectively, were awarded time compensations for their roles in the dramatic rescue of stricken rival Kevin Escoffier off Cape Horn earlier in the race.

Hermann has a six-hour bonus while Bestaven has a 10hr 15min compensation.

Louis Burton (Bureau Vallee 2), and running second, is expected to finish between 2330-0000GMT with Herrmann scheduled to reach the end towards 0100GMT on Thursday.

The winner will eventually be known once Bestaven crosses the line between 0230-0430GMT.

Despite the drama of the finish, the homecoming will be a subdued affair with Covid-19 regulations restricting crowd numbers to 300.

The race got under way on November 8 with 33 competitors but only 25 were still running on Wednesday.

Harsh weather conditions shattered any hopes that the race winning record time of 74 days and three hours set by Armel Le Cleac'h in 2017 would be broken.