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Euphoria and exhaustion for Vendée Globe challenger

Wavre is "full of satisfaction" after completing the round-the-world challenge

(Keystone)

Swiss sailor Dominique Wavre says he feels "full of satisfaction, a little bit euphoric and a little bit tired", after completing one of the toughest yacht races in the world, taking fifth place in the Vendée Globe round-the-world challenge.

After 105 days at sea, Wavre came in 12 days behind French winner Michel Desjoyeaux, who was one of three sailors to smash the 100-day barrier.

At the end of an incredibly fast race, Wavre himself finished the 46,000-kilometre course in a time 17 hours faster than the record set by France's Christophe Auguin at the end of the last Vendée Globe race in 1997.

Greeted by more than 1,000 spectators at the French port of Sables d'Olonne, despite arriving in darkness, Wavre said that his arrival had been the best moment of all.

"I'm happy that I've done it," he added, "and I'm also delighted with my performance."

Wavre was guarded about his immediate future plans, saying only that he was "looking forward to a rest."

"I need some time to decide if I'm going to do it again or not," he told swissinfo.

The 47-year-old Genevan said that the last 10 days of the race had been the toughest with bad wind conditions delaying his arrival by around five days.

"It's one of the hardest things you can do in your life as a seaman," he commented, "so I'm very happy to have achieved it."

The Vendée Globe's fearsome reputation stems from the competition rules which prevent participants from stepping onto dry land and receiving any outside help or medical assistance.

swissinfo with agencies


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