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Vendee Globe - Thomson halves deficit on race leader

The time and distance that separates Alex Thomson from Vendee Globe race leader Armel Le Cléac’h has more than halved in 24 hours.

The track of the depression has altered enough to force the French skipper to gybe and move back to the north-east.

As he slants back towards the course of his British rival, Le Cléac’h’s margin has reduced again, from a comfortable 195 miles last night to 80 miles this Sunday afternoon.

Conventional routing based on equal speed potential places the two leaders almost equal after several days of racing in the NW'ly breezes they will have.

But that does not account for Thomson's evident speed deficit due to his damaged foil.

After a relatively benign spell around midnight UTC, making 6 - 10 kts Armel Le Cléac'h was just over 70 miles ahead of Alex Thomson this morning.

Sunday evening it was third placed Paul Meilhat’s turn to enter the Pacific and early this morning Jérémie Beyou did the same, crossing the longitude of South East Cape, Tasmania.

LEADING POSITIONS at 12:00 hrs UTC Monday:

1. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII - DTG 10,738 nm - sailing at 11 knots
2. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTL 121 nm - sailing at 4 knots
3. Paul Meilhat on SMA - DTL 1308 nm
4. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 1427 nm
5. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 1926 nm
6. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 2064 nm
7. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 2305 nm
8. Thomas Ruyant on Le Souffle du Nord - DTL 2943 nm

Fleet spread is now 6,660 nm back to Sebastien Destremau in 22nd.

Seven have now retired from the race.

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