Alex Thomson: Welsh sailor breaks two race records in Vendee Globe

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Alex Thomson: Sailor 'going strong' in the Vendee Globe

Welsh sailor Alex Thomson has broken two race records as he passed the Cape of Good Hope in the Vendee Globe.

He reached the tip of South Africa 17 days, 22 hours and 58 minutes after leaving Les Sables d'Olonne, France, to break the record by over five days.

The 42-year-old sailed to the Cape of Good Hope from the equator in a record eight days, 15 hours and 56 minutes.

Thomson is aiming to be the first British skipper to win the solo non-stop round-the-world race.

Averaging 20 knots since setting off on 6 November, he has led the fleet since 12 November.

Earlier in the race Gosport-based Thomson became the fastest man to cross the equator but said the record was unimportant.

With 18 days passed since the race began, the skippers still have to reach Cape Leewin in Australia and Cape Horn at the bottom of South America before turning north and sailing through the Atlantic on the way to the finish line in western France.

The Vendee Globe is renowned for being one of the most gruelling sporting challenges, with only 71 of 138 sailors to date have finished since the first race in 1989.

Thomson finished third in the previous staging of the race in 2012-13, completing the race in 80 days, 19 hours and 23 minutes, just over one day behind winner Francois Gabart.

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