France’s Armel le Cleac’h won the solo round-the-world vendee globe race in a provisional record time of 74 days, three hours, 35 minutes and 46 seconds.

Le Cleac’h, who finished second in the two previous races in 2009 and 2013, is the eighth Frenchman to win the event in as many editions.

Briton Alex Thomson, aboard ‘Hugo Boss’, is set to take second place.

Thomson and Le Cleac’h established themselves together at the front of the race which began on November 6 last year.
They chased each other across the Atlantic Ocean and down the east coast of South America.

Their duel continued as they sailed east past South Africa’s cape of good hope but Thomson damaged a foil, checking his speed. In the first week of December Le Cleac’h took a more southerly route and drew away as the two passed Australia’s cape Leeuwin.

The Frenchman kept the lead past Chile’s Cape Horn and back into the Atlantic for the run back to France.