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Vendee Globe - Le Cléac’h breaks 1000 nm barrier

Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire has just 700 nm to the Vendee Globe finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France.

But a glance over his shoulder and there looming ever closer is the black hull of Alex Thomson's Hugo Boss.

Thomson today smashed the world record for the greatest distance sailed solo in 24 hours notching up 536.8 miles on his 60ft racing yacht.

An elated Thomson had reduced the Frenchman's lead to 71 nm at the 05:00 report this morning as the two leaders match speeds at 22 to 23 knots.

Thomson is aiming to become the first Briton ever to win the race in its 27-year history.

If he can continue to eat into Le Cléac'h's lead there is a chance he could realise his goal.

Le Cléac'h, meanwhile, is hell-bent on ensuring he scores his first ever Vendée Globe win after posting runner's-up finishes in the past two editions.

The anticyclone currently blocking the duo's path to Les Sables is moving towards the English Channel.

In another 24 hours the pair will be able to point their bows towards the finish line for an upwind drag race to glory.

The current ETA in Les Sables for the Vendée Globe leaders is Thursday 19 January.

LEADING POSITIONS at 22:00 hrs UTC Monday:

1. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire - DTG 700 nm - sailing at 20 knots
2. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTL 75 nm - sailing at 20 knots
3. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 849 nm - sailing at 13 knots
4. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 1,598 nm
5. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 1,781 nm
6. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 1,786 nm
7. Louis Burton on Bureau Vallee - DTL 2,905 nm

Fleet spread is now 9,309 nm back to Sebastien Destremau in 18th.

Eleven have now retired from the race.

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Gerald New - Sailweb
16 January 2017 6:06 GMT


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