Sailing: Clarisse Cremer of France takes Ellen MacArthur's round-the-world record

Clarisse Cremer waves aboard her Imoca 60 monohull "Banque Populaire X" after crossing the line of the Vendee Globe round-the-world solo sailing race. PHOTO: AFP

LES SABLES-D'OLONNE, FRANCE (AFP) - French sailor Clarisse Cremer became the first woman to finish this year's Vendee Globe race on Wednesday (Feb 3) and smashed Ellen MacArthur's record time for a woman in a solo round-the-world voyage.

Cremer crossed the finish line on France's west coast in her boat Banque Populaire X after 87 days, two hours, 24 minutes and 25 seconds at sea, race organisers said, slicing seven days off the time that British yachtswoman MacArthur set in 2001.

At 31, Paris-born Cremer is seven years older than MacArthur when she achieved the feat.

In her Facebook diary of the race on Tuesday Cremer wrote she was "really, really excited at the thought of finishing".

France's Yannick Bestaven won the race last Thursday after a dramatic finish when one of his rivals hit a fishing trawler in the home stretch.

Charlie Dalin was the first to finish in 80 days, six hours, 15 minutes and 47 seconds, followed by fellow Frenchman Louis Burton, but they were placed second and third because Bestaven was awarded a time bonus for helping rescue a competitor off the Cape of Good Hope earlier in the race.

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