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Frenchman sails to victory

Michel Desjoyeaux
Michel Desjoyeaux toasts his victory with champagne  

LES SABLES-D'OLONNE, France -- Frenchman Michel Desjoyeaux has sailed into the history books setting a new solo round-the-world sailing record.

The 36-year-old native of Brittany crossed the finishing line at the Atlantic port of Les Sables-D'Olonne late on Saturday after 93 days, 3 hours and 57 minutes at sea.

His victory in the fourth edition of the 26,000-mile round-the-world Vendee Globe race for single-hull sailboats makes him the first skipper to sail solo around the world in under 100 days.

British sailor, 24-year-old Ellen MacArthur, is expected to finish in second place in her boat Kingfisher, reaching the finishing line some time on Sunday.

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Michel Desjoyeaux: The Professor
 

Desjoyeaux, who is better known as Mich Desj or The Professor, was introduced to sailing at a young age by his father who was one of the founders of the famous Glenan sailing school and who also ran a boatyard.

Michel has raced in Formula 40 regattas and has taken part in the Tour Voile as well as the renowned Solitaire du Figaro.

The previous record, set in 1998 by Frenchman Christophe Auguin was 105 days and 20 hours. Nearly 100,000 well-wishers braved the cold and rain to cheer Desjoyeaux home.

MacArthur is the only woman to have held the lead in the history of what is one of the world's toughest events.

But with just hours to go MacArthur suffered yet another setback when her rigging failed, leaving her with just one sail, rather than the handful she would have used in the final stretch of the race



RELATED STORY:
Sailor Ellen MacArthur making waves
February 9, 2001

RELATED SITE:
Vendee Globe 2000

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