HAMPSHIRE round-the-world sailor Sam Davies may miss out on a podium place in the Vendée Globe race despite finishing the race in third.
After nearly 28,000 miles and three months at sea, third-placed Davies is on course to be the next sailor to finish the race.
But due to time granted to her fourth-placed rival Marc Guillemot for his part in a rescue earlier in the race, the 33-year-old could see glory snatched from her at the last post.
After finishing Guillemot will be awarded 82 hours redress for his part in the rescue of Yann Elies who was seriously injured in the Southern Ocean.
Davies, who also diverted to help Elies, was awarded 32 hours.
Earlier this week it looked like Guillemot’s race might be over when the keel on his yacht Safran fell off – but he has amazed race organisers by clinging on to Davies while recording speeds of up to 11 knots.
Davies, from Hamble, will also fall excruciatingly short of the race record for a female competitor of 94 days and four hours, set by Dame Ellen MacArthur in 2001.
After coming second in the race Dame Ellen became a household name, a destiny that could await Davies.
She said: “Although I am starting to get excited, it is still too early to celebrate.
“This race has been a war of attrition and the most important thing now is to make it over the finish line.
“It’s looking extremely complicated for the days ahead.
“I’m trying to sail as quickly as I can at the moment to avoid getting caught by the high, but I don’t think I’m going to be lucky.
“For the moment, I’m ahead of it, but it probably will reach me.
“I’m going to be doing my best to finish as soon as I can.”
With just 500 miles left to the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne, Davies is still struggling to shake off Guillemot, who is trailing by around 100 miles.
She is expected to finish on Saturday.
Whoever takes third place will share it with Vincent Riou who was awarded an automatic podium place when his boat was badly damaged during his heroic rescue of Jean Le Cam.