Paul Meilhat and Yann Eliès may be battling for victory, not the second place they expect, as Thompson has been penalised.

The International Jury was immediately informed by Race Direction of the accident and it will file a protest against Alex Thomson for using his engine during the race.

Tripon’s race time was 11 days, seven hours, 32 minutes and 40 seconds and he missed the class record for the race by just two hours and 19 minutes.

This morning Pierre Antoine was 250 nautical miles east-southeast of Lalou Roucayrol, who is safe and well and spending most of the time inside the main hull of his capsized craft.

"From now on, Alex Thomson just has to look after his lead to the finish. Unless there is some serious damage, he has it in the bag."

For Joe Mele, a 55-year-old retired doctor of internal medicine in New York City and fantastical stunt diver, ocean racing is about more than the competition.

Yachts come from all over the world to compete in the race which will start on Saturday 3 August 2019.

"We know that Alex’s foils are especially designed for downwind sailing, but his performance remains remarkable."

Lalou Roucayrol is safe and well inside his boat. He made immediate contact with his shore support team to tell them of his capsize in a very sudden and violent squall.

It has been revealed that the 73-year-old's yacht pitchpoled, which caused the damage to his mast. He faces three more storms before rounding Cape Horn.

From the outset, Alex Thomson took up an attacking position with no compromises.

Tripon on board the brown trimaran Réauté Chocolat, has just under 850 nautical miles to go to the finish of the four-yearly classic and is more than 400 miles ahead of his nearest pursuer in the six-strong Multi50 class.

The first major keelboat regatta for the summer season, the SSORC is to be held over the weekend of 24-25 November, in conjunction with the Super 12 Spring Regatta and Seven Islands Race inshore.

"The more miles Alex puts between himself and his rivals by the Tête à l’Anglais island, the better it will be for him, as sailing downwind of Guadeloupe is like the famous Chinese water torture."

After leading for most of the race, François Gabart was slowed by a series of incidents including the loss of his port rudder and starboard foil.