An amazing bonus for Alex Thomson

Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) is now firmly in third place in the Vendee Globe, recording a 107 nm lead at the 11:00 hrs rankings Friday over Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3).

Thompson: "I moved up into third last night when my routing a lot further to the west of the other three in this lead group paid off. It is a great feeling to be in third, especially at this stage of the race, but there are still over 5,000 miles to go so I need to stay focused on my own race and not get distracted too much by the potential excitement of a podium finish. My aim coming into this race, and my aim until the very end, is to finish. Anything else will be an amazing bonus."

"My route is not what you would call standard. It is to the western side of the near permanent front that extends from Rio to the southeast, and there are advantages and some risks. The advantages are that when I cross the front I will be close to the centre of a small low, which hopefully means I won’t get trapped in light winds for very long. Within 36 hours of me passing the front the wind is forecast to shift from the NNE to the ENE which should allow me to tack and head north so essentially I will be sailing a shorter route than the three in front."

"The disadvantages are that the models are not very good at predicting the wind close to the front so it is very possible that I will see a period of little wind as I cross it. Having punched out a long way to the east the front three boats will have a better wind angle to the doldrums and will be able to go faster. But for me the advantages outweigh the disadvantages."