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11 January 2005, 11:50 am
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Vendée Globe

Vincent RIOU (PRB) has grabbed back the lead once again in the past 4 hours, Jean LE CAM (Bonduelle) having dropped 16.9 miles back and Mike GOLDING (Ecover) just 4.2 miles behind him.

The top trio are currently negotiating their way through a small passage between a stormy depression on their left and a high pressure ridge extending out from the Saint Helena High on their right. The aim will be to avoid being slowed by either system.

Behind them Dominique WAVRE and Sébastien JOSSE should be able to make a direct course across an anticyclone heading East, Wavre likely to make up some more ground on Josse during the day. Jean Pierre DICK and Nick MOLONEY are currently in the same depression, keeping a favourable South-Westerly wind until they reach Cape Horn, Nick possibly being caught up by another depression without very much of a transition zone. Behind them Joé SEETEN, Conrad HUMPHREYS, Bruce SCHWAB and Benoît PARNAUDEAU are likely to make fairly good speeds riding along unhindered eastbound in a depression, Joe covering the most ground of the fleet in the past 24 hours (347.2 miles).

In the coming days Benoît and Anne LIARDET may have to watch their backs with a phenomenon annexing Hurricane Kerry slipping down to the South-East with the possibility of a lot of wind. At the tail of the fleet conditions for Raphael DINELLI and Karen Leibodvici look decidedly favourable for once, enabling the duo to make good averages in strong South-Westerlies on a direct course.

Kate Jennings
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