Race to save yachtsmen

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An Australian frigate was heading through gales in search of a British yachtsman and a Frenchman racing single-handed around the world after organisers feared they had foundered in the Indian Ocean. Tony Bullimore, from Plymouth, aboard Global Exide Challenger and Amnesty International, skippered by Thierry Dubois, were within 10 miles of each other when satellites showed they were only making one nautical mile an hour.

Philippe Jeantot, the Vendee Globe race organiser, said: "They should be making 10 knots even if they are sailing with bare poles [no sails up] ... There are no other competitors within 1,200 miles who could turn back to help them." An Australian Air Force plane headed for the search area, 2,055 miles from Perth, to drop rafts and supplies and at first light the frigate sailed.

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