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Vendee Globe - Thomson playing catch-up

Alex Thomson admitted in his video Thursday that the gybe he made to the east after Cape Finisterre was a ‘huge mistake and I have been beating myself up about it since.’

Thomson worked hard last night to use the shifting breezes as best he could on Hugo Boss.

Stepping successively west and south on the changing winds, and has managed to claw back some miles as the race course takes the IMOCA 60’s down the West coast of Africa.

Hugo Boss is now positioned as one of the most western boats. This part of the Atlantic is renowned for having a wind shadow up to 150 nautical miles west of the island Madeira.

We will have to wait and see if this plays to Alex’s advantage as he navigates past the island.

The leading boats are passing the Canaries this morning (Friday).

Jean Le Cam (Finistère Mer Vent) reported that he should pass 150 miles west of the Canaries by mid morning and that conditions were a bit hairy.

He changed the spinnaker for the big gennaker with one reef in the main after broaching.

There was a 20 knot NE’ly and sometimes there’s more in the squalls, but it isn’t that stable and we’re trying to keep away from the islands.

As of 11:40 hrs Thursday, the Vendée Globe fleet was back to a full complement of 29 solo skippers on the race course.

Catalan Didac Costa re-crossed the start line on One Planet One Ocean.

He had to return to Les Sables d’Olonne within an hour of Sunday’s start because of a flood inside his boat, which was formerly Ellen MacArthur’s Kingfisher.

LEADING POSITIONS at 22:00 hrs Friday:

1. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII - DTG 22718 nm
2. Vincent Riou on PRB - DTL 14 nm
3. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTL 37 nm
4. Paul Meilhat on SMA - DTL 52 nm
5. Morgan Lagraviere on Safran - DTL 54 nm
6. Sebastien Josse on Edmond de Rothchild - DTL 55 nm
7. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 59 nm
8. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 112 nm
9. Thomas Ruyant on Le Souffle du Nord - DTL 145 nm
10. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 151 nm
11. Tanguy de Lamotte on Initiatives Couer - DTL 155 nm

Fleet spread is now 664 nm back to Sebastien Destremau.

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