Armel Le Cleac'h sets world record en route to winning Vendee Globe

Second placed Alex Thomson also set a separate record days earlier

Vendee Globe, sailing, Armel Le Cleac'h

French skipper Armel Le Cleac'h waves on departure of the Vendee Globe sailing race off the Atlantic coast of the town of Les Sables d'Olonne, western France, Saturday , Nov. 10, 2012. (AP (AP Photo/ Jacques Brinon)

Frenchman Armel Le Cleac'h has broken a record in winning sailing's Vendee Globe race.

He has completed the solo round-the-world event in a provisional time of 74 days, three hours, 35 minutes and 46 seconds. 

An emotional Le Cleac'h spoke of how he had to battle for victory over the 74 days and also paid tribute to "formidable competitor" Alex Thomson.

Britain's Thomson is expected to clinch second place.

The Welshman himself set a new world record for the furthest distance travelled in a 24-hour time period on Monday as he chased the leader. 

Enda O’Coineen was the sole Irish challenger on yacht, Kilcullen Voyager.

The 60 year old Galway man saw his mast break on New Year's Day, which required his boat to be towed to safety from the southern ocean.

However, he had vowed to continue to the finish line regardless of exiting the race.

The overall leaderboard during the closing stages: