Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss continued to gain on Vendee Globe leader Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire and at the Friday 22:00 report - reducing the DTL to 122 nm
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Thomson has slowed recently but Le Cléac’h has been almost stationary at times.
Thomson too will see speeds drop as he hits the dead spot, but with several days of light-wind sailing ahead before stronger south-easterlies fill in near the Azores, even the smallest of gains were welcome.
He hopes to get within 50 miles of the Frenchman by the time they reach a ridge of high pressure close to the finish line at Les Sables d'Olonne, France.
"It depends who gets across the ridge first,” Thomson said. "I certainly see us closing up."
Thomson said he expected two days of fairly light winds, then two days of fast sailing before hitting the ridge.
After dealing with ridge of high pressure, they should be able to finish in a moderate NE’ly wind along the coast of Brittany and down to Vendée.
The Vendée Globe finish line is now within 1,800 miles of Le Cléac'h, and his ETA in Les Sables remains Thursday 19 January.
LEADING POSITIONS at 22:00 hrs UTC Friday:
1. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire - DTG 1,761 nm - sailing at 5 knots
2. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTL 122 nm - sailing at 6 knots
3. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 624 nm - sailing at 13 knots
4. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 1,114 nm
5. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 1,277 nm
6. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 1,278 nm
7. Louis Burton on Bureau Vallee - DTL 2,724 nm
Fleet spread is now 8955 nm back to Sebastien Destremau in 18th.
Eleven have now retired from the race.
Gerald New - Sailweb
13 January 2017 6:04 GMT