The vessel claimed victory after crossing the finish line first in Guanabara, Rio de Janeiro at 15:18 local time on Friday.

LMAX Exchange has claimed victory in the first stage of the tenth Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

The team finished approximately 100 miles ahead of its nearest competitor.

Speaking on behalf of the team Olivier Cardin, skipper, said: “I feel very good. We led the race for the past two weeks and I’m really proud of the team effort. I’m very confident in my crew who did a great job.

“I know the teams behind are really competitive so we are certainly not taking this win for granted, We will take time together to study our plan for the next race as we will be pushed us hard again, but for now it is time to celebrate a team victory that we will never forget as long as we live.”

LMAX Exchange

Round the world crew member Steven O’Connor, a former group commander in the London Firebrigade, said: “It feels absolutely fantastic. All that hard work for the past 25 or more days has been all worth it.

“I can’t quite believe that I left my family waving on a misty, overcast, damp Southend Pier and now we’re here in beautiful, sunny Rio de Janeiro. It’s quite unbelievable really.

“We’re not going to be complacent but we’re in a good position to look forward to the next race to Cape Town with our heads held high.”

Great Britain finished third place in stage one of the competition.

Pete Thornton, skipper, said: “It’s a relief to be here in Rio, very much with regards to the position we just managed to get and the third place which I am delighted with for sure. Was really really really hoping that third would come off, even when it seemed really impossible about three days ago.

In addition to its ten race points, Great Britain also claims two bonus points having been the second team to cross the Scoring Gate.

Race two, the Sormhoek Race to Cape of Storms Cape Town, South Africa, will start on Wednesday 7 October.