Armel Le Cleac’h paid tribute to Alex Thomson after their Vendee Globe battle
“He made a great run – he is a formidable competitor,” said Le Cleac’h, the pre-race favourite who beat the old mark by almost four days.
Thomson had been cutting into his lead as they headed towards Les Sables d’Olonne, only for issues with the wind instruments on his 60ft race boat Hugo Boss to disable his autopilot and leave him dangerously tired.
“This is a dream come true,” Le Cleac’h added. “I hoped to win this race 10 years ago but I finished second.
Alex Thomson suffered wind issues heading towards Les Sables d’Olonne
“Today is a perfect day. My team have been amazing they’re the dream team, and this is their day too.
“I’m very happy for Alex, it’s a great second place. It has been very difficult with him behind me, he gave me a really hard time in this Vendee Globe.”
Thomson was expected to cross the finish line in the early hours of this morning – but would have to spend several more hours on board Hugo Boss before the tide would allow him into port.
Of the 29 sailors at the start of the non-stop race at Les Sables d’Olonne on November 6, 11 have had to abandon.