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Thomson leads Vendee into the Doldrums

Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss has managed to find his way straight ahead towards the south, sailing not as far west as the others. He is at 14 knots, or in other words at least 5 knots more than the other frontrunners.

Hugo Boss has proven quickest over recent days, but Thomson will be well aware that although he leads into the Doldrums, it is important that he leads out.

The first out often gains a decent jump.

So as well as the need to stay wary and monitor changes, and look for answers, there is the need to stay awake and focused for long periods, able to make clear, concise decisions.

After an afternoon spent up to his bits in engine oil, Thomson has the engine running again and was relishing a refreshing shower.

Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII is now bck in second place with Vincent Riou on PRB in third, but the gap has widened to 90 nm to Thomson.

Sebastien Josse on Edmond de Rothchild is in fourth place Monday evening, with Paul Meilhat on SMA fifth.

No Way Back, skipper Pieter Heerema (NL) - Click image for a larger image

Routing based on current weather models suggests the equator should be passed during the night of Tuesday into Wednesday.

An elapsed time since the start of around 9.5 days. That would better Jean Le Cam's 2004 record by approximately one day.

LEADING POSITIONS at 18:00 hrs Monday:

1. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTG 21659 nm
2. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII - DTL 90 nm
3. Vincent Riou on PRB - DTL 96 nm
4. Sebastien Josse on Edmond de Rothchild - DTL 97 nm
5. Paul Meilhat on SMA - DTL 103 nm
6. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 112 nm
7. Morgan Lagraviere on Safran - DTL 137 nm
8. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 167 nm
9. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 206 nm
10. Thomas Ruyant on Le Souffle du Nord - DTL 227 nm

Fleet spread is now 1078 nm back to Sebastien Destremau.

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