The French sailor Paul Meilhat has today won the IMOCA monohull division in the four-yearly solo Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe transatlantic sailing race.
At the helm of his non-foiling SMA, 36-year old Meilhat crossed the finish line at Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe at 20:23:18 local time (01:23:18CET) after 12 days, 11 hours 23 minutes and 18 seconds at sea.
Meilhat managed to hold off a late attack from one of the pre-race favourites Yann Eliès onboard UCAR-Saint-Michel, who is currently 20 miles behind.
His IMOCA class win comes after British skipper Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) was given a 24-hour time penalty for using his engine following an incident last night in which Thomson ran aground.
A total of 123 sailors started the race on November 4 off Saint Malo in Brittany. Meilhat is the sixth sailor to finish the 3,542-nautical mile course.
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