Rolex Fastnet race: Azzam takes Volvo Open 70 honours

Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker) is the first Volvo 70 home in the Rolex Fastnet Race

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam won the three-way battle of Volvo Open 70s in the Rolex Fastnet Race on Day 3 on Tuesday, finishing four minutes ahead of Groupama 4. Team Sanya were still on the course at 0730 GMT.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by Ian Walker, finished first in a time of one day 18 hours 39 minutes and 0 seconds. That was well inside the monohull record for the race. Groupama's time was one day 18 hours 43 minutes and 42 seconds.

And immediately we have reaction from Groupama 4 skipper Franck Cammas on Twitter: 'Groupama 4 finish second... Bravo to the team and bravo to Abu Dhabi!'

At 0600 GMT, Abu Dhabi and Groupama had just around 15 nautical miles to go to the finish, with Azzam still just slightly ahead.

At 0430 GMT: Groupama 4 rounded the Fastnet Rock a fraction ahead of Azzam late on Monday and the two boats remained close to one another, with around 30 miles to the finish line. Team Sanya are 20 miles further back.

Groupama had earlier rounded Bishop Rock first at approximately 0100 GM, with Abu Dhabi 13 minutes later and Sanya another hour behind. At the time they were doing a healthy 22 knots.

Groupama 4 at the start of the 44th Rolex Fastnet Race - Rolex Fastnet Race 2011

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by Ian Walker from the UK, at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by Ian Walker from the UK, at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by Ian Walker from the UK, at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Groupama Sailing Team skippered by Franck Cammas from France, at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Groupama Sailing Team skippered by Franck Cammas from France, at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by Ian Walker from the UK, at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by Ian Walker from the UK, at the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

UK, Solent. 14th August 2011. Groupama Sailing Team skippered by Franck Cammas from France approaching The Needles at the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

UK, Solent. 14th August 2011. Team Sanya skippered by Mike Sanderson from New Zealand approaching The Needles at the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

UK, Solent. 14th August 2011. Groupama Sailing Team skippered by Franck Cammas from France approaching The Needles at the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

UK, Solent. 14th August 2011. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skippered by Ian Walker from the UK passes the Cardinal mark at the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race.