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Swiss skippers out of Vendée Globe

Switzerland no longer has any competitors left in the gruelling Vendée Globe round-the-world sailing race.

Bernard Stamm followed Dominique Wavre in being forced to make port in the Kerguelen Islands in the southern ocean on Sunday.

Stamm made for land after discovering a problem with his rudder bearings on Saturday. But storm winds drove his boat aground on arrival, causing further damage. It could not be refloated until Monday morning.

Wavre was forced head for the Kerguelens on Friday, after losing control of his keel.

Both Swiss had already experienced problems at the beginning of the race more than a month ago. Despite having lost time by returning to the starting port of Sables d'Olonne on the French Atlantic coast, both had been moving up the rankings.

Wavre was lying 11th when he dropped out, and Stamm was 14th. Stamm is the eighth competitor to abandon.

The Vendée Globe is a solo race which starts and ends in France. Competitors sail round the three great capes – the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn – marking the southern tips of Africa, Australia and America, and are disqualified if they set foot on land.

The race is currently being led by Frenchman Jean-Pierre Dick.


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