Neither team could threaten the French, who led throughout the 2,100- mile event which started nearly four weeks ago.
The testing 450-mile final dash from Newcastle upon Tyne to Cowes, much of it sailed in strong winds, was won by Jean-Philippe Saliou, with England's Craig Nutter second and Mark Turner third. Dominic Bourgeois, the second French skipper, was fourth and that gave his team victory by 9.5 points.
Turner said it had been some of the hardest offshore racing he had done, and the tension over the final 24 hours had been intense.
The fleet of 10 Sunsail 36-footers, completed by two representatives each from Ireland and Wales, all reached Cowes yesterday.Reuse content