The Front of the Vendee Globe fleet continued to separate slightly on Friday morning but Francois Gabart (Macif) had made up ten miles on the leader, Armel Le Cléac’h, (Banque Populaire), to be 45 miles behind at the 09:00hrs ranking.
But Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss), in sixth place, is still less than 100 miles behind the leader, with all six boat averaging 11-12 knots over the last 24 hours. Mike Golding (Gamesa) leading Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) and Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) further west, closer to the coast of Brazil, has, as he feared, lost some of the miles he banked in the Doldrums and is 275 miles from the front.
Javier Sansó (Acciona 100% EcoPowered) and Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives cœur), traded places overnight and on Friday morning in 10th and 11th after both lost their appeals and completed their two-hour penalty turns.
The nightmare continues for Arnaud Bossières (Akena Verandas), who is a long way out of the Doldrums but is still in a hole to the west, that Bertrand De Broc (Votre nom autour du monde) has dropped into too.
Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique), holds many incredible endurance records, but the last few days have shown that he is no slow coach. Despite having a 14-year-old boat , the oldest boat in the fleet and the only one with a fixed keel – rendering him sedate in a fleet of flying machines - he has pulled back 300 miles in three days on the leaders and 500 miles on Arnaud Bossières (Akena Verandas).
23 November 2012 9:39 GMT