He needed to put in a gruelling shift of 48 hours without sleep to do it but Britain’s Ian Walker has won the first leg of the Volvo Round the World race.
In the last edition Walker had hardly left port in the Mediterranean when his mast was snapped in a storm on day one.
This time he took 25 days and 3 hours to sail the near 6,500 nautical miles from Alicante in Spain to Cape Town in South Africa. He just stayed ahead of China’s Dongfeng race Team, who closed to within three miles of Walker in the final 24 hours.
Walker and his crew now have two weeks rest before they and the six other yachts taking part do battle again, for the second leg to Abu Dhabi. The nine-month marathon ends in Sweden next June.