Groupama wins Volvo Ocean Race


French yacht Groupama, with Kerryman Damian Foxall on board, has been declared overall victor in the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Yacht Race.

After “15 years of work, 40,000 miles on this race and nine months with this team”, the result is “a childhood dream, an adult’s dream” and “more than I expected”, the Derrynane watch leader said.

Only minutes separated the first four in the six-boat fleet, led by Spanish/New Zealand entry Camper, as they swept up the northern shoreline of Galway Bay in inky darkness early this morning.

There to greet them off Barna was a motley flotilla of yachts, ribs, currachs and assorted craft, most of whom gleefully ignored Garda and Naval Service attempts to maintain a 150m corridor through the finishing line.

Bonfires had been lit on the Aran islands, and strobe lights flickered over the harbour, while the distinctively tall masthead lights of the circumnavigators had been visible from Furbo, further west.

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