Usually a steely-faced professional,
Le Cléac'h dropped his guard, choked with emotion at the huge reception and the successful culmination of 10 years spent chasing
Vendée victory. The Banque Populaire skipper finished runner-up in both the 2008-09 and
2012-13 editions, the win eluding him last time by 3 hours and 17 minutes. "I am somewhere between wanting to jump for joy and crying," he says of the finish. "I've had two good second places, but only winning is beautiful."
Thanks to the new-generation foiling designs and being able to cut the corner around the South Atlantic high, Le Cléac'h set a new race record of 74 days, 3 hours, 35
minutes and 46 seconds, nearly four days less than François Gabart's time four years ago, and a time that only multihulls were achieving a decade or so ago.