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Vendee Globe - Thomson and Le Cléac’h battle for advantage

Alex Thomson has clawed back some distance on the Vendee race leader and is now 136 nm behind Armel Le Cléac’h.

The duo are still making only moderate speeds beating upwind in contrary, N'ly winds.

They are making east as they seek to connect with the E'ly trade winds which are still a further 300 miles or around 24 hours to their north.

The British and French skippers should reach the more favourable breezes at around the same time, tacking on to starboard for the long climb north towards the Doldrums.

Because Thomson is further to the east his payback should come when he reaches the trades at around the same time as his French rival.

The tension is set to continue into the North Atlantic, assuming both have a similar Doldrums crossing.

Everything is going well for the four other boats in the South Atlantic.

Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ) is firmly in third place, gaining over 100 miles on Alex Thomson, although the British sailor is still 513 miles ahead.

Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac is fourth.

He has picked up speed again 400 miles NE of the Falklands and 150 miles north of the inseparable pair, Yann Eliès and Jean Le Cam.

LEADING POSITIONS at 12:00 hrs UTC Tuesday:

1. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII - DTG 4,380 nm - sailing at 11 knots
2. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTL 165 nm - sailing at 8 knots
3. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 678 nm
4. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 1406 nm
5. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 1446 nm
6. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 1471 nm
7. Louis Burton on Bureau Vallee - DTL 2866 nm

Fleet spread is now 7,967 nm back to Sebastien Destremau in 18th.

Eleven have now retired from the race.

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