Sailing: Augin's anguish ends in victory

A tired but elated Christophe Augin stepped ashore in Les Sables d'Olonne yesterday after winning the Vendee Globe single-handed, non-stop round the world race in a record time. But after winning his third such race - he already has two BOC victories - the 38-year old has also decided that enough is enough.

"Solo round the worlds are over now for me," he said. "They have taken 10 years of my life and that is a lot. I would like now to sail in a crew and I am dreaming of a Whitbread."

His 60ft Geodis recorded a time of 105 days 20 hours 31 minutes and 23 seconds, three days 12hr 17min 37sec inside the record of 109 days 8hr 49min set by Titouan Lamazou in 1989 and Augin was glad it was over.

"After nearly 106 days of solitude, I want everything I have been missing while at sea," he said. "First, to see my family, then to enjoy some good food, to see people and talk with my friends. I think you cannot come back from something like the Vendee Globe without being changed. It will take a couple of months to return to life as it was before.''

The Challenge president, Serge Oetiker, said the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron had officially accepted the Swiss entry for the America's Cup. If the Swiss were to win the Cup, any defence would be mounted at Hyeres on France's Mediterranean coast.

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