After more than six weeks of racing, French skipper Yannick Bestaven took the lead in the solo round-the-world Vendee Globe on Wednesday as he heads towards the Pacific Ocean.
Early Wednesday morning, Bestaven's boat Maitre Coq IV eased clear of Thomas Ruyant's LinkedOut which had only held the lead since overhauling long-time leader Charlie Dalin who ran into problems with his port foil.
By 1700GMT, Bestaven held a narrow lead of 15 nautical miles over Ruyant with Dalin back in action but 153nm off the lead.
"Today (Wednesday) I still have to recover from all my efforts but it's going better," Dalin told AFP.
"I feel re-motivated, I'm happy to be racing again, certainly with a foil that I can no longer use, but... with a boat in seaworthy condition."
Veteran Jean Le Cam in Yes We Cam! is fourth, 468nm behind Bestaven, and heads a group of five boats separated by just 52nm.
Bestaven received further good news in the shape of a 10hr 15min compensation for the time he spent going to the rescue of fellow competitor, Kevin Escoffier whose race ended when his boat was folded in two by the high seas.
Le Cam (16hr 15min) and Boris Hermann (6hr) were also awarded compensations -- as was Sebastien Simon who has since retired from the race -- which will only come into effect once they have passed the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne.
The race leaders are now approximately halfway through the race which began in Les Sables d'Olonne on November 8.
It is Bestaven's second attempt at the race -- his previous foray in 2008 ended with a mast dismantling just two days after the start.
Classification at 1700GMT Wednesday:
1. Yannick Bestaven (FRA/Maitre Coq IV) 12,179.8 nautical miles from finish, 2. Thomas Ruyant (FRA/LinkedOut) at 15.9nm, 3. Charlie Dalin (FRA/Apivia) 153.6nm, 4. Jean Le Cam (FRA/Yes we Cam!) 468.7nm, 5. Damien Seguin (FRA/Groupe Apicil) 485.5nm, 6. Benjamin Dutreux (FRA/OMIA-Water Family) 488.7nm, 7. Boris Herrmann (GER/Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) 495.5nm, 8. Louis Burton (FRA/Bureau Vallee 2) 520.2nm, 9. Isabelle Joschke (GER/MACSF) 630.3nm, 10. Giancarlo Pedote (ITA/Prysmian Group) 657.6nm