Frenchman Adrien Hardy crossed the Roscoff finish line at 16.05.13hrs local time Wednesday afternoon to win the 535-nautical mile second stage of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro.
Overall Race leader Yoann Richomme finished second, six minutes and 19 seconds later, but – subject to jury – should significantly extend his overall margin.
After rounding the most eastern turning mark of the course, the Needles Fairway by the Isle of Wight, in second behind stage and race leader Richomme, Hardy took a more southerly routing on the passage westwards down the Channel.
He and Gildas Mahé were the only skippers among the leaders to pass inshore of the Cherbourg Traffic Separation Scheme exclusion zone and he was able to pass Richomme just before the Portsall mark 40 miles before the finish line.
The two finishers are subject to protest hearings.
Briton Will Harris was the top placed non-French skipper, finishing sunburned and smiling in 11th place. He is 21st overall.
The solo skipper of Hive Energy was unlucky to catch some weed in the last 30 miles in to the finish which ultimately cost him three places.
Britain’s Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) crossed the finish line in 22nd place. But the British solo racer moves up the leaderboard to 12th.
Armel Le Cléach who was 11th on the first leg and seventh Wednesday in leg two, is now second overall at two hours and 34 minutes behind runaway Richomme.