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Vendee Globe - Armel Le Cléac’h opens lead on Thomson

After taking the lead Sunday evening, Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire has opened a 29 nm lead over Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss.

Since Sunday night Le Cléac’h has averaged between two and three knots faster than Thomson.

The reason for the difference in speed is that both boats are sailing on port tack, meaning Thomson is not able to use his damaged starboard foil.

Le Cléac'h however so far remains unscathed, and at 05:00 UTC was the quickest boat in the fleet at 22 knots, the 20-knot winds from the north providing prime foiling conditions.

The 09:00 hrs check show a slight slowing for Le Cléac’h.

The leading pair are due to pass north of the Kerguelen Islands in around 48 hours, by which point Le Cléac'h could have built up an even bigger margin.

Seb Josse on Edmond de Rothschild was this morning travelling east at more than 21 knots but is now 500nm off the pace having paid the price for having to transition between two weather systems.

Jérémie Beyou, despite having no weather information due to a broken satellite receiver on Maître Coq, travelled 470nm in the last 24 hours, the furthest in the fleet.

LEADING POSITIONS at 09:00 hrs UTC Monday:

1. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII - DTG 16,176 nm - sailing at 18 knots
2. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTL 29 nm - sailing at 19 knots
3. Sebastien Josse on Edmond de Rothchild - DTL 493 nm
4. Paul Meilhat on SMA - DTL 815 nm
5. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 827 nm
6. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 1171 nm
7. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 1736 nm
8. Thomas Ruyant on Le Souffle du Nord - DTL 18397 nm
9. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 19122 nm

Fleet spread is now 4,161 nm back to Didac Costa in 25th.

Four have now retired from the race.

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