Sam Matson leads rookies as Yann Elies clinches second leg victory in the Figaro Solo Race

Matson finished the leg the third of this year's debutants but held onto his lead while Fabien Delahaye, Jérémie Beyou and Alexis Loison fill the overall top three

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The Independent Online

Sam Matson remains top of the debutant division at the end of the second leg of the Figaro Solo Race. Of the 37 remaining competitors, he was 18 into Roscoff at the end of the 540-mile leg from his home waters of Plymouth around the Fastnet Rock off the south-west corner of Ireland and back across the Channel to Brittany.

And he was third of the ‘rookies’, having been first on the opening leg from Deauville, but so close to the two ahead of him that his cumulative time was still enough to maintain the lead.

The leg was won by Yann Elies, who had been leading the first leg when he was dismasted close to Wolf Rock, but that meant a time penalty totalling over 12 hours and the top three are now Fabien Delahaye, Jérémie Beyou and the winner of leg one, Alexis Loison.

Matson was again the top British of the eight taking part, chased home this time by his fellow Artemis Offshore Academy friend and rival, Rich Mason. Third Brit was another Artemis academician Jack Bouttell in GAC Pindar with a once again disappointed Sam Goodchild fourth of the eight in Team Plymouth.

The third leg is to Les Sables d’Olonne, home of the Vendée Globe, a target for many of the competitors in the Figaro. The final leg is to Cherbourg.