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French win Ocean Globe Race at Cowes

French win Ocean Globe Race at Cowes

French Whitbread yacht L’Esprit d’Equipe sailed into Cowes on Saturday 13 April to take second place in the Ocean Globe Race. Barry Pickthall has the report.

Lionel Regnier with his crew on the veteran French Whitbread Race Yacht L’Esprit d’Equipe The Ocean Globe Race, which began in Punta del Este (Uruguay) and ended at Cowes on the 14th of April, saw the second-placed team return to Cowes on the basis of time elapsed.

The Finns aboard the Whitbread veteran Swan 61 Spirit of Helsinki The third-place finisher after 179 days at sea.

It was an outstanding performance by L’Esprit d’Equipe. Under the leadership of Lionel Pean (a fellow French skipper), the 57ft veteran won the 1985/6 Race in a clear victory. Crossing the finish line at 2027 UTC, just 21 and a half hours behind Marie Tabarly’s much larger Pen Duick VIRegnier and crew have outsailed four much larger rivals. The nearest was Spirit of Helsinki.

Regnier spoke at the end. ‘I’m exhausted but very happy to be here. It’s been a long project and we were all disappointed by our positions on the first three legs [to Cape Town, Auckland and Punta del Este]. On this final leg, we have…

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