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Round-the-world sailors make progress

The two Swiss skippers in the gruelling Vendée Globe solo yacht race have both moved up a place after French rival Loick Peyron had to pull out.

Dominique Wavre is now in 11th position and 233 nautical miles (432km) behind the leader, Jean-Pierre Dick of France, and Bernard Stamm is now 13th, 568 nautical miles off the pace.

Peyron, at or close to the front for much of the past month, was down below in the southern Indian Ocean when he heard a massive bang. "When I went up on deck, I noticed I no longer had a mast," he told his shore crew.

The Vendée Globe, a single-handed race for men and women without any stopovers, set off from Les Sables d'Olonne, France, on November 9 into strong winds and rough seas.

Thirty Open 60 race boats – hi-tech carbon fibre yachts built to be fast yet tough – began the race, but already seven have been forced to retire due to damage.

The two Swiss were struggling from the start, with Wavre returning to port after just a few hours because of an electrical problem and Stamm doing the same the following day after colliding with a Maltese cargo ship.

The race takes the fleet around the three great capes – the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn – marking the southern tips of Africa, Australia and America.

Jean-Pierre Dick on Paprec-Virbac 2 is currently leader, with Sebastien Josse on BT in second place. Dick has just under 16,000 nautical miles to go.


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