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Vendee Globe - Duel for third place is over

The long time duel for third place on the Vendée Globe podium, between sparring partners Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ) and Paul Meilhat (SMA) is over for the meantime.

As rookie Meilhat heads slowly north to deal with a keel ram issue, Beyou has continued east at speed.

From being only five or six miles apart and sharing VHF conversations, the two training partners from Port La Forêt's Pôle Finistère racing the Pacific solo for the first time have now separated.

Beyou is alone and Meilhat must deal with his hydraulic ram issue.

Thomas Ruyant has made it to the port of Bluff in the south of New Zealand.

In a 25 knot SW’ly wind, race leader Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire VIII) continues his dash towards Cape Horn.

Le Cleac'h is expected to pass the Horn on Friday.

He maintains his lead of over 500 miles over Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss).

Things are set to improve for Thomson as the wind is forecast to shift later today allowing him to sail on the starboard tack and use the foil that is still intact on his IMOCA.

LEADING POSITIONS at 05:00 hrs UTC Wednesday:

1. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII - DTG 7,8726 nm - sailing at 18 knots
2. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTL 508 nm - sailing at 19 knots
3. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 1436 nm
4. Paul Meilhat on SMA - DTL 1720 nm
5. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 1861 nm
6. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 2125 nm
7. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 2162 nm

Fleet spread is now 7360 nm back to Sebastien Destremau in 21st.

Eight have now retired from the race.

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