Armel Le Cléac’h is holding onto his lead in the Vendee Globe solo round the world race, the toughest event of its kind with no stops and no assistance.
The Breton skipper, who has finished runner-up twice, in 2009 and 2013, saw his lead cut as he had a difficult passage through the Doldrums, and now a large atypical depression means he is not getting the high speeds from the trade winds he could have normally hoped for. His lead is now down to less than 100 miles.
In second place is the sailor who has dogged him for weeks waiting for his chance to pounce, Wales’s Alex Thomson. The final victory should belong to one of these two men, as the third-placed yacht is more than 1000 kilometres behind.
The rest of the field is still ploughing through the southern hemisphere’s waters, like the ninth-placed Eric Bellion, who on Wednesday should be the ninth member of the fleet to round Cape Horn.
The race organisers are expecting a January 19 finish at Sables d’Olonne, between Nantes and La Rochelle.