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French skipper Beyou pulls out of Vendee Globe

Nov. 26, 2008, 11 a.m. (ET)

LES SABLES D'OLONNE, France(AP) Rigging damage forced French skipper Jeremie Beyou to become the fifth skipper to abandon the Vendee Globe solo around-the-world yacht race on Wednesday.

Beyou had been sailing several days with damages to his Delta Dore yacht, but finally decided it would be impossible to carry out repairs without external help.

“The sea really did its work on the rigging, which had already been damaged. It would seem impossible to see her sailing again quickly and safely,” Beyou was quoted as saying on the race Web site. “The hardest part was when I discovered the damage three days ago. Being forced to retire in a contest where I was doing well breaks my heart.”

British skipper Alex Thomson, and French skippers Yannick Bestaven, Marc Thiercelin and Kito de Pavant have also quit.

French skipper Loick Peyron led ahead of countryman Sebastien Josse, with 25 yachts still competing.