Sam now has to wait 50 hours to see if she'll hang on to third place
Sam Davies crossed the finish line of the Vendée Globe solo non-stop around the world race at 00hrs 41mins 01 secs today – the third competitor to complete the sixth edition of this epic race and return to Les Sables d’Olonne.
She will have to wait two days and two hours (50 hours) to see whether she hang on to third place, as the final result will depend on Marc Guillemot’s finishing time. Guillemot was given a time compensation for standing by injured French skipper Yann Elies, who was rescued from his Open 60 Generali on 20th December.
Sam finished after 95 days 4 hours 39 mins 01 sec (with redress) having sailed 27,470 miles at an average speed of 12.02 knots.
She is the first British competitor to complete this edition of the race and leads home fellow Brits Brian Thompson (Bahrain Team Pindar) and Dee Caffari (Aviva), who are on course to finish in fifth and sixth places respectively, and Steve White (Toes in the Water).
If Marc Guillemot does not finish before Monday morning, Sam will be the second woman on the podium in the history of the race and the third British sailor after Ellen MacArthur in 2000-2001 and Mike Golding in 2004-2005.
Whatever the result, it’s an exceptional triumph for the 34-year-old, who with her Roxy team prepared her French-designed boat which won the previous two races and is now nine years old.
Sam’s sparky enthusiasm has been one of the constants of this remarkable race. Her effervescent moods, no matter the weather or her situation, belie a steely determination and a very accomplished attack around the race course. Her ability to convey her feelings has gained a huge following and immense respect from all quarters.
She said on crossing the finish line: “It was kind of almost disbelief ?it really does just seem like yesterday when I was leaving, and I can’t believe I have sailed all the way around the world? it’s going to take a couple of days to sink in. It does not feel like 97 days, it went really, really quickly.”
On finishing third: “I never ever thought I might finish in third place, not at all, not at all, I could not even imagine being able to finish in fifth in the top five, I was kind of hoping to make the top 10, this really is a dream finish.”