French skipper quits around-the-world solo race

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PARIS (AP) -- A former champion skipper has dropped out of the solo around-the-world sailing race because of damage to his yacht from a collision with a stray buoy.

Vincent Riou of France is the seventh of 20 skippers to quit the Vendee Globe race. He had been in third place as of Saturday and was considered a favorite. Riou won in 2004-05.

Organizers said he dropped out Sunday after he failed to repair his hull following the crash. According to the organizers' website, he called the decision to drop out "very difficult," but added "it was the most reasonable."

Skippers in the Vendee Globe circle the three great capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn -- the southernmost tips of Africa, Australia and the Americas.