Solo trans-At race produces first Spanish winner

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Spanish solo skipper Alex Pella wrote himself into the history books of the Route du Rhum solo trans-Atlantic race and Spanish ocean racing when he crossed the finish line of the 3,542 miles La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe race first on Wednesday.

Pella sets a new course record of 16 days, 17 hours, 47 minutes and 8 seconds, beating the 2010 mark held by Thomas Ruyant for the 40 foot Class (by 1 day, 5 hours, 23 minutes and 9 seconds.

After starting off Saint Malo, France on his 42nd birthday on Nov. 2, the Barcelona sailor took completed the course at a theroretical average speed of 8.82 knots. In reality he sailed 4,336 miles at an average of 10.79 knots.

“I feel so very happy. I am a little emotional right now because it was so important for this all-Spanish project to arrive here in the top position. The race was really hard, the rhythm is very hard, very intense,” Pella said. “It is a dream come true. I am so happy; for a Spaniard it is fantastic."

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