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Vendee Globe - Race is on for podium place

With the two Vendee Globe leaders rested and relaxed and busy dealing with the media in Les Sables d'Olonne, 3rd place Jérémie Beyou is making painfully slow progress to claim his podium place.Yann Elies -

Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq with some 225 miles or so still to sail to finish his first Vendee Globe, is expected to cross the finish line on Monday evening (23 January).

Beyou, who has been sailing 'blind' without weather information for much of the race, said he faced a tricky last few days to the line, compounded by problems with his wind instruments.

“When those ahead of you start to finish, you want to be there too,” the Maitre CoQ skipper said.

“Plus the wind instruments aren't working properly so I need to be at the helm all the time. I've been steering since yesterday and I'm a bit fed up.”

Making around six knots, the third place should be his, but the three way tussle for fourth place continues to remain open.

Jean-Pierre Dick, Yann Eliès and Jean Le Cam are engaged in the closest three way battle in the history of the solo round the world race.

They are passing the Azores archipelago between Graciosa and Florès, within 25 miles of each other, on the heels of a vigorous depression giving them 30kts southerly winds.

LEADING POSITIONS at 05:00 hrs UTC Monday:

1st Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire - Finished 15:37 hrs UTC 19 Jan 2017
2nd Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss -Finished at 07:37hrs UTC 20 Jan 2017

3. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTF 145 nm - sailing at 7 knots
4. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 632 nm
5. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 679 nm
6. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 714 nm
7. Louis Burton on Bureau Vallee - DTL 2,475 nm

Fleet spread is now 8,435 nm back to Sebastien Destremau in 18th.

Eleven have now retired from the race.

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