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Vendee Globe - Small gain for Thomson

At 15:00 hrs Tuesday Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire has a 20 nm lead from Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss, both sailing at around 17 to 19 knots.

At the front of the Vendée Globe fleet this morning Thomson made back a handful of miles on leader Armel Le Cléac'h.

The British skipper Thomson was this morning around 24 miles adrift of Le Cléac'h, and at the 05:00 UTC report was travelling at 19.3 knots compared to the Frenchman's 16.8 knots.

The leading pair are sailing along the Ice Exclusion Zone, approaching the Kerguelen islands - mid-way to Australia.

The back half of the fleet was snared by the infamous anticyclone almost as soon as they entered the South Atlantic more than 10 days ago and it has refused to relinquish its grip.

Three more Vendée Globe skippers are due to pass the Cape of Good Hope Tuesday to bring the tally of those now in the Indian Ocean to nine.

Barring any issues, Jean-Pierre Dick will be the next sailor to make it past the important milestone that marks the entrance to the next phase of the solo round the world race.

LEADING POSITIONS at 15:00 hrs UTC Tuesday:

1. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII - DTG 15,632 nm - sailing at 17 knots
2. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTL 20 nm - sailing at 19 knots
3. Sebastien Josse on Edmond de Rothchild - DTL 509 nm
4. Paul Meilhat on SMA - DTL 986 nm
5. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 944 nm
6. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 1247 nm
7. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 1827 nm
8. Thomas Ruyant on Le Souffle du Nord - DTL 1933 nm
9. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 1994 nm

Fleet spread is now 4,295 nm back to Didac Costa in 25th.

Four have now retired from the race.

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