HAMPSHIRE round-the-world sailor Sam Davies has this morning moved into a podium position in the Vendée Globe race.

The Hamble sailor shot into third place after Frenchman Rolain Jourdain called an end to his campaign having been struck with keel problems.

If the 33-year-old can hold off nearest rival Marc Guillemot, she will secure her place in the history books as one of the best female solo sailors in the world.

Dam Ellen MacArthur shot to fame after coming second in the Vendée Globe in 2001.

Currently in the north Atlantic off the coast of west Africa, Davies has around 2,400 miles to go to the finish line.

All being well, she is expected to finish around the end of this week.

Yesterday French solo sailor and Vendée Globe veteran Michel Desjoyeaux crossed the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, for an historic second race victory.

Speaking of Desjoyeaux’s win, Davies said: “Every time I have been asked who my sailing hero is, I answered Mich Desjoyeaux.

“I now think that many more people will understand why.

“Roxy and I have a special connection with him because my old lady is no other than the boat he won the race in for the first time eight years ago.

“He has inspired me and I always try my best in his wake.

“Mich has just showed again what the sailing world already knew, he is one of the world’s best sailors of all time.”

Lymington’s Brian Thompson is currently in sixth place while Dee Caffari from Titchfield is in seventh.

Eighteen of the original 30 skippers have been forced to retire from the race, including Hampshire sailors Alex Thomson, Mike Golding and Jonny Malbon.