Le Cléac'h on Banque Populaire VIII passed Cape Horn at 12: 34hrs UTC, Friday and established a new race reference time from Les Sables d'Olonne to Cape Horn.
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After racing 17,480 miles making an average of 15.5kts since the start, his elapsed time is 47 days and 32 minutes.
It is the first time he has led at the Horn, rounding third in 2009, and second by two and a half hours on January 1st 2013.
The pacemaker has had a relatively slow 12 hours, with boat speeds down to 4-5kts at times, apparently seeking out extra breeze closer to the land.
He has decided to pass east of the island and not through the Le Maire Straits.
Meantime Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss is on his favoured starboard gybe, since tacking Friday afternoon.
He is now in 20 kts of S'ly becoming SW'ly breeze and has been averaging 17kts.
Consequently Thomson has made back 60 miles or so on Le Cléac'h overnight and should continue to gain.
He is still on schedule to pass Cape Horn during the afternoon of the 25th.
LEADING POSITIONS at 22:00 hrs UTC Saturday:
1. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII - DTG 6,740 nm - sailing at 8 knots
2. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTL 576 nm - sailing at 19 knots
3. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 1312 nm
4. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 2033 nm
5. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 2258 nm
6. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 2351 nm
7. Louis Burton on Bureau VAllee - DTL 3518 nm
Fleet spread is now 7,593 nm back to Sebastien Destremau in 19th.
Ten have now retired from the race.
24 December 2016 9:21 GMT