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British sailor aims for Vendee victory

Alex Thomson aiming high. Credit: Lloyd Images

Alex Thomson today began his bid to become the first British sailor ever to win one of the most gruelling sporting challenges on the planet, the Vendée Globe.

The Vendée Globe is a single-handed, non-stop, unassisted race around the world.

Thomson, who's from Gosport, departed from the race start line in France, today alongside 28 other sailors.

After successfully completing the 2012-2013 Vendee Globe and crossing the finishing line in third place, Thomson will this year seek to make history and become the first British sailor ever to win the iconic race. He will do so on-board his new £4.5m IMOCA 60 race boat.

So extreme is the 26,000 nautical mile Vendée Globe, that just 71 of the 138 sailors who have ever attempted to complete the race have successfully made the finish line.

Setting off from France Credit: Lloyd Images
Flying the flag for Britain Credit: Lloyd Images

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Hampshire Fire and Rescue teams are best in Europe

The firefighters from Hampshire excelled in the two-day contest Credit: Hants Fire and Rescue

The extrication and trauma teams from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service have been crowned European champions.

The skilled firefighters had to carry out a total of five scenarios at the two-day contest in Junglinster, Luxemburg.

They fought off competition from leading services from France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Spain, as well as the host nation.

The extrication experts impressed in two simulated cutting exercises where they had to rescue a casualty from a car balanced on tractor tyres - and another from a vehicle that had 'crashed' in a way which caused it to be hemmed in by concrete blocks.

Woman passes out after burglars place cloth over mouth

Police are appealing for information following an aggravated burglary in Southampton.

Between 12.30pm and 1.05pm on Sunday, August 7, two men knocked on the door of an address on Caerleon Drive, Bitterne. A woman opened the door to them and they told her they were Jehovah's Witnesses.

One of the men then put a cloth over the woman’s mouth at the front door, forcing her to pass out. They then entered the house and stole a quantity of high value gold jewellery.

When the woman came round, the men had gone. The woman received medical attention but did not suffer any ongoing symptoms.

I am appealing for anyone with information about this incident to come forward. Do you live in the area, did anyone knock at your door claiming to be Jehovah's Witnesses? Did you see two smartly dressed men wandering around the area who could be connected to this incident?

As always, we would urge residents to be vigilant when opening their door to strangers. If you're unsure of who is at your door, use a door chain and do not open the door fully until you are satisfied they are a genuine caller.

I would urge anyone with information to get in touch with us as soon as possible.

– Detective Constable Martin Brewer

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Police car of the future?

Superintendent Simon Dodds admires this exhibit at Farnborough Credit: Hants Police

Superintendent SImon Dodds has been checking out potential police vehicles at Farnborough Air Show. No chance of escaping from the long arm of the law!

Unusual festival to be held at Winchester Cathedral

Stonemasons will display their skills at the cathedral Credit: ITV

Winchester Cathedral is hosting its first ever stonemasonry festival. It will see skilled workers from across the country showing their skills while encouraging visitors to have a go themselves. On Sunday 10 July the finished works will be on display, with an opportunity to meet the masons.

First day of knife amnesty in Hampshire

People who hand in weapons will not face any action Credit: ITV

It's the first day of Hampshire Police's knife amnesty today. They're placing bins inside police stations so that people can dispose of knives and bladed items without being charged.

The bins are located inside Newport, Basingstoke, Southampton Central and Portsmouth Central police stations.

Arsonists target Hampshire allotments

Officers in Totton are investigating after a shed at the allotment site on Water Lane, Totton was set on fire between 11pm and 11.30pm on Friday, 17 June.

The allotments, which are privately owned, were entered and two sheds were broken into. One of the sheds was set on fire and destroyed. No one was injured.

PC David Barnes said: “These allotments are well maintained and the owners take great pride in tending to this land. I am appealing to anyone who saw or heard anyone suspicious around this time or leading up to this time, on Friday night, to come forward."

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