Vendee Leaders Clock 480+ Miles on 30th Race Day

Press Release
Monday, December 10, 2012
The Race Leader: Photo credit Vendee Globe

Armel Le Cléac’h, FRA (Banque Populaire) leads the standings in this epic world circumnavigation single-handed race.

As they roll seamlessly into their 30th day at sea racing, miles tumbling quickly hour by hour on the heels of strong, 25-30 kts NW’ly winds, the Vendée Globe leaders are consistently returning top speeds but also still proving how closely matched the top of the fleet is.

Holder of two 24 hours speed records Jean-Pierre Dick has been the quickest through the night, averaging 22.6kts and making 30 miles up on leader, whilst François Gabart remains the thorn in Armel Le Cléa’c’h side, constantly harrying, chasing, hunting down the leader.

Gabart, on fire at 23kts instantaneous speed, reduced his own margin to first by nine miles during last night and is just 23.1 miles behind Le Cléac’h. Somewhat remarkably the 24 hrs runs for Dick and Gabart differ by just one tenth of a nautical mile at 482.4 and 482.3 miles respectively.

Now separated from the leading duo by over 65 miles, Dick, Bernard Stamm and Alex Thomson jostle for position. Thomson has taken a slightly more northerly route, looking to partially protect himselfm medium term, from a high pressure which will develop from the south , but Dick – who has accumulated more Southern Ocean miles than any of his rivals over recent years – has been consistently the quickest.

Top Six in the Race Standings on Day 30:
1- Armel Le Cléac’h, FRA (Banque Populaire) at + 15690 miles to leader
2 - François Gabart, FRA, (Macif) at + 23.1 miles to leader
3- Jean-Pierre Dick, FRA, (Virbac Paprec 3) at + 88.1 miles to leader
4- Bernard Stamm, SUI, (Cheminées Poujoulat) at 113.6 miles to leader
5- Alex Thomson, GBR, (Hugo Boss) at + 123.1 miles to leader
6 – Mike Golding, GBR, (Gamesa) at + 508.7 miles to leader

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