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Thomson smashes race record to join Le Cléac'h

Alex Thomson has become the second Vendée Globe skipper to pass the Equator back into the northern hemisphere, setting a new race record in the process.

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Thomson's passage from Cape Horn has taken 13 days, five hours and 30 minutes.

Smashing 2012-13 Vendée Globe winner François Gabart's existing record for the passage by 14 hours.

Entering the Doldrums, the skipper of Banque Populaire VIII decided to move slightly further east.

In spite of the Canaries low-pressure system upsetting the usual weather patterns in the North Atlantic, to keep his opponent in check, Armel Le Cléac’h moved 55 miles to the east to get in front of Alex Thomson who was more lifted.

See latest positions below

Third-placed Jérémie Beyou is still making the most of the south-easterly trade wind.

The French skipper of Maître CoQ has clawed back 300 nm on the leading duo in the last 24 hours.

LEADING POSITIONS at 22:00 hrs UTC Sunday:

1. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire 2,903 nm - sailing at 7 knots
2. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTL 98 nm - sailing at 14 knots
3. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 612 nm - sailing at 12 knots
4. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 1,450 nm
5. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 1,514 nm
6. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 1,515 nm
7. Louis Burton on Bureau Vallee - DTL 2,604 nm

Fleet spread is now 9,121 nm back to Sebastien Destremau in 18th.

Eleven have now retired from the race.

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Gerald New - Sailweb
8 January 2017 9:23 GMT


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