Gales cause new Vendee Globe delay

With winds in Les Sables d'Olonne first pushing 40 knots and then building to 60-plus, the start of the Vendée Globe race, already postponed from Sunday, was delayed by a further 48 hours yesterday.

With winds in Les Sables d'Olonne first pushing 40 knots and then building to 60-plus, the start of the Vendée Globe race, already postponed from Sunday, was delayed by a further 48 hours yesterday.

The 24 competitors - including four Britons, Mike Golding, Ellen MacArthur, Josh Hall and Richard Tolkien - face a solo, non-stop test of at least 100 days as they sail 25,000 miles around the world. They must now wait until 4pm on Thursday to begin.

Several competitors have asked if the start can be put back even further, until Saturday, to allow conditions to calm. But a week lost in the Antarctic summer was considered too much.

"It's exceptional weather and we clearly cannot start the race," Golding said. "I'm not happy about it but I respect the decision of the organisers. It's the right choice, I'm sure."

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