Alex Thomson: Welsh sailor sets new Vendee Globe record but dismisses importance

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Welsh sailor Alex Thomson takes on the Vendee Globe

Welsh sailor Alex Thomson has become the fastest man to cross the equator in the Vendee Globe, but says the record is unimportant.

The 42-year-old is the current race leader and is aiming to be the first British skipper to win the solo, non-stop, round-the-world race.

Thomson's time of nine days, seven hours and three minutes is a new "in race" record.

"The record is pointless really, it is just for reference," he told BBC Wales.

"To me it doesn't matter. I can only reflect on the record if I win the race. The only priority is to stay in front and win."

The previous record was set in 2004 by France's Jean Le Cam, who is currently in ninth position.

The race is historically dominated by the French and the current edition began on 6 November.

Thomson is aware that luck, as well as endurance, will now play a part.

"I am leading the race and have won the race of being the quickest to the Equator, which is a bit of a Brucey bonus," he said.

"But to be honest, the most important thing is being in the lead and trying to stay here. I want to be in a position that it makes it hard for the others to come back from.

"But it is hard to talk about winning the race. To finish first, first you have to finish.

"And this race, 50% of the people who started will not finish and that is a fact.

"It is not over until it is over. I expect the unexpected and second guess everything until the finish line.

"And if I can get to the finish line, I have a great chance of winning."