Kito de Pavant and Sebastien Audigane piloted the Groupe Bel boat to an early lead in the Barcelona World Race, a three-month voyage around the globe.
The group of 15 two-man crews set off from Barcelona's old port under an overcast sky on Friday on their way to the Strait of Gibraltar before heading south to Africa's Cape of Good Hope.
The 60-foot monohulls will then follow an eastern course around the globe that will take them past South America's Cape Horn before turning north and returning to the Mediterranean city.
This is the second edition of the 46,300-kilometer (25,000-mile) regatta. Jean-Pierre Dick and Damian Foxall, in the Paprec-Virbac 2 boat, won the inaugural race in 2007-08 in 92 days.