Groupama completed the 1802 mile course in 5 Days 21 Hours 26 minutes and 55 seconds, smashing the course record by 14 hours 3 minutes and 8 seconds (subject to ratification).
There were emotional scenes on board as Franck Cammas and his crew crossed the finish line. It was a triumphant finale for Groupama in sharp contrast to the start, when they were the last boat to cross the line, after they had been damaged on their mooring.
"I definitely preferred the finish to the start," smiled Cammas, surrounded by the media dockside after the finish. "It was difficult for us to give away five miles to Teléfonica, but very nice for all of the boats to see us charging through them in the Solent. This race has been so helpful to Groupama. The course is like a mini Volvo Ocean Race. It has all of the different conditions that we will encounter and it has been really good to race against Teléfonica. The crew has really got to know each other well and we have made some fantastic progress in our development over the last few days. Best wishes to everyone who will finish the race, it is a great achievement."
In the race for a handicap victory, Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, is halfway down the west coast of Ireland. They are power-reaching, in a stiff northwesterly breeze of over 20 knots and looking likely to take the overall prize. At 0700 BST, the Lithuanian Volvo 60, Ambersail, was rounding the southwest tip of Ireland and will be square running across the Irish Sea. The conventional pole configuration will suit this point of sail. They are lying second overall and are the biggest threat to Tonnerre de Breskens.
The British Keelboat Academy's TP52, John Merricks II have had a good night, streaking down the track at speeds of over 15 knots and have moved up the overall rankings to third place. They will be hoping for lighter weather, which will suit them more that their rivals.
The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is being tracked with OCTrackers. Each boat is supplied with an OCTracker beacon, a self contained unit that transmits the position of the boat at regular intervals using GPS. You can watch the race as it unfolds by visiting: http://sevenstar.rorc.org/tracking.html
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