Sam Davies to move into third place

The French skipper currently in second place in the Vendee Globe around the world yacht race has decided to pull out of the race. Roland Jourdain will stop at Azores this afternoon.

Sam Davies, the leading Briton in the race, sailingRoxy, will move from fourth to third place in the race and, if she manages to hold her position, get a place on the podium.

After losing part of his keel last Thursday, Jourdain, the skipper ofVeolia Environnement, has done his utmost to maintain stability on his boat in difficult sea conditions. He is currently continuing towards Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel, some 50 miles away. Two members of his shore team will help him over the final miles.

Jourdain said: ‘Once the decision was taken, that was it. I would have found it more difficult to come to this decision if the forecasts had indicated light winds, but it’s the exact opposite. For February 3, they are talking about 50knot winds with a ten metre swell. I’ve been lucky to have come this far without capsizing, particularly in yesterday’s storm, so I’m not going to push my luck. I have gambled enough. It’s no use now and it would be unreasonable to continue. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it would be even harder, if 24 hours after passing a port, where I could have stopped, I capsized and had to abandon the boat.’