Sailing: Humphreys picks up lost time

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The Independent Online

With less than 400 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, Conrad Humphreys was holding on to seventh place in the Vendée Globe singlehanded round-the-world race yesterday, despite nursing a damaged keel.

Having had to sail back up to Cape Town earlier in the race and spend over a week replacing a damaged rudder, the Plymouth-based solo sailor has moved up from 17th place since then and hopes to finish tomorrow night. He had a 60-mile advantage over Joe Seeten.

Brian Thompson, in Doha 2006, regained a 76-mile lead over Olivier de Kersauson's Geronimo after nearly two weeks of the Oryx Trophy round-the-world race for maxi multihulls. De Kersauson said his boat was suffering a "serious split" in the forward, starboard beam and is expected to announce today whether he will continue.

Dave Scully, skippering Cheyenne, a further 250 miles behind, was 50 miles ahead of Tony Bullimore's Daedalus.

Chasing the 58 days and nine hours outright record for sailing round the world, Bruno Peyron on the giant Orange II crossed the international date line back into the western hemisphere on day 26 with nearly four days in hand and heading fast for Cape Horn.

Going into the final race of the Star class world championship in Buenos Aires, Britain's Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell were in a three-way tie for third behind the leaders Xavier Rohart and Pascal Rambeau, of France, and Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira, of Brazil.

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