Le Cleac'h holds Vendee lead as sailors round Cape Horn

Le Cleac'h holds Vendee lead as sailors round Cape Horn

Paris (AFP) - Vendee Globe leader Armel Le Cleac'h pulled clear of pursuing British rival Alex Thomson on Friday as 132 nautical miles separate the duo in the non-stop, solo race around the world.

Thomson (Hugo Boss) had been trailing Frenchman Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire VIII) by 819nm last Friday week, but had swiftly made up ground by Monday, halving the deficit with three-quarters of the race completed.

However Thomson lost some sailing power late in the week as he became stuck in windless zone, giving Le Cleac'h some breathing space.

Jérémie Beyou is third with French trio Jean-Pierre Dick, Jean Le Cam and Yann Eliès sitting fourth to sixth, all rounding Cape Horn, the most southerly point of South America.

Vendee Globe standings on Friday at 1700GMT:

1. Armel Le Cléac'h (FRA/Banque Populaire VIII) at 5,014nm from the finish

2. Alex Thomson (GBR/Hugo Boss) at 132.55nm from the leader

3. Jérémie Beyou (FRA/Maître Coq) at 1,127.32

4. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA/StMichel-Virbac) 1,867.16

5. Jean Le Cam (FRA/Finistère Mer Vent) 1,989.21

6. Yann Eliès (FRA/Quéguiner-Leucémie Espoir) 2.011,92

7. Louis Burton (FRA/Bureau Vallée) 3,233.32

8. Nandor Fa (HUN/Spirit of Hungary) 4,241.29

9. Conrad Colman (NZL/Foresight Natural Energy) 4,603.92

10. Eric Bellion (FRA/CommeUnSeulHomme) 5,643.17