France's Bestaven wins Vendee Globe round-the-world yacht race

Les Sables-d'Olonne (France) (AFP) –


France's Yannick Bestaven won a dramatic Vendee Globe round-the-world yacht race on Thursday after an epic, 28,000-mile solo voyage.

Bestaven, in Maitre Coq IV, was the third across the line in 80 days, three hours, 44 minutes and 46 seconds, but won because of his 10hr 15min time bonus for helping rescue a competitor.

Charlie Dalin (Apivia) was the first to finish, followed by fellow Frenchman Louis Burton in Bureau Vallee 2, but they were placed second and third owing to Bestaven's time bonus.

But there was heartbreak for German sailor Boris Herrmann, who was carrying a six-hour time compensation but ran into a fishing trawler in the final stretch.

"I'm really gutted and I'm sorry for everyone that supports us that this happened. It's certainly the worst nightmare that happened to me so far," said Herrmann.

Bestaven and Herrmann were among four yachtsmen to come to the rescue of Kevin Escoffier, whose boat was folded in two by a giant wave 600 nautical miles off the Cape of Good Hope at the end of November.