With just 390 nautical miles left to the finish port of Les Sable d’Olonne and less than two days until the leading duo are expected to complete the solo, non-stop, around the world race, the Vendee Globe, British sailor Alex Thomson is in second place with just 40 nautical miles behind French rival Armel Le Cléac’h.
With 98% of the race complete, Thomson is racing towards the finish against his French rival in the battle for first place, sailing at a speed of 11 knots.
The leading duo, who will be duelling all the way to the finish, are now in lighter airs following a weekend of fast sailing, which allowed Thomson to break the world distance record, sailing 536.81 nautical miles in 24 hours.
Dame Ellen MacArthur, who conquered this gruelling race and finished second in the 2001 edition of the Vendee Globe, commented on Thomson’s 24 distance record:
“Great job on the 24 hour record. No mean feat so close to the finish of such a gruelling race…
The last few days will be enormously stressful, and I can remember just how exhausting those final days are. It’s all to play for till the finish – just a case of holding yourself and the boat together!”
If Thomson wins this year’s edition he will be the first Briton to claim victory in this gruelling challenge, a race which to date has been won only by French competitors.