A very happy Marc Guillemot and Charles Cauledrier-Benac won the 60-foot division of the Transat Jacques Vabre in Safran today, having led the fleet for 12 of the nearly 16 days.
After the duo had battled through early Atlantic storms, the final 24 hours of the 4,730-mile race from Le Havre to Costa Rica proved the most nerve-wracking.
But they held off Kito de Pavant and François Gabart, who were just 90 miles behind, but spent the final miles fighting through unpredictable light winds, squalls and shifting.
Guillemot's win makes up for being second last time in 2007 and then having to cover the last 1,000 miles of the Vendee Globe minus his keel earlier this year after standing by the injured Yann Elies for nearly 48 hours.
Desjoyeaux, was lying fourth behind Britain's Mike Golding and his Spanish co-skipper Javier Sanso. Both boats were due in Puerto Limon overnight. Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson were lying seventh, Sam Davies and Sidney Gavignet 10th.
In Hong Kong, Pete Cumming, minus usual helmsman Chris Draper, won the Extreme 40 series for Oman, followed by Nick Moloney in BT and Thierry Barot's China team.