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1 December 2008, 10:44 am
JOSSE Leads As Vendée Fleet Face The 39th Step
Seb JOSSE onboard BT
Seb JOSSE holds the lead as the Vendée fleet dive south

Vendée Globe 2008-09
Les Sables d'Olonne, France

The leading trio of Seb JOSSE, Loïck PEYRON and Yann ELIES at the front of the Vendée Globe fleet now stand at 39 degrees south, on the cusp of the Forties - whilst the next four boats have plunged further south and are already there.
It's time to pull out the thermals and put on their southern ocean heads.

Those showing the way - Seb JOSSE (BT), Loïck PEYRON (Gitana Eighty) and Yann ELIES (Generali) - seem agreed on where they want to go, which is currently east. However, their tracks suggest a slightly different methodology for getting there: JOSSE's track is smooth, PEYRON's shows constant adjustment, and Generali sailed the sharpest corner.

After regaining the lead on the race on Saturday, JOSSE has consolidated his lead over past 24 hours. He is now 25.5 miles ahead over second-placed PEYRON and 44.3 from ELIES in third.

Behind them Armel LE CLEAC'H (Brit Air) and Vincent RIOU (PRB) have been matching each other virtually wave by wave, and are currently heading southeast, as is Roland JOURDAIN (Veolia Environment) - all currently averaging around 15 knots. Between the two, groups British skipper Mike GOLDING (Ecover) has been making ground to the east, and is now heading southeast, less than 100 miles behind the leaders.

After skirting close to the high yesterday, Sam DAVIES (GBR) on Roxy is now gaining miles to the south and is picking up speed again. Elsewhere there is a general movement to the east right across the fleet, following the high as it tracks north-east.

Michel DESJOYEAUX (FRA) has gained another place in this morning's (04:00 UTC) rankings. After joking about eating British skippers for breakfast yesterday, he had a Swiss sailor as an early morning snack, moving further east of Dominique WAVRE to pass him in the position reports and climb into 11th place, although Temenos is still further south.

Jean-Baptiste DEJEANTY (Groupe Maisonneuve) has also snuck south than Derek HATFIELD (Algimouss-Spirit of Canada), but so far the Canadian has held off the young pretender of the fleet in the rankings, with just 10 miles now separating the two boats for 24th place.

Having abandoned his plans to anchor off the island of Trinidade, Raphaël DINELLI (FRA) is currently about 500 miles off the coast of Brazil in Fondation Océan Vital, and is still seeking a suitable stopping point to repair his main halyard.

Vendee Globe Leadeboard - 05:00 UTC 1 December 2008

1. Seb JOSSE (FRA), BT, 19052.6 miles to the finish
2. Loïck PEYRON (FRA), Gitana Eighty, + 25.5nm
3. Yann ELIES (FRA), Generali, + 44.3nm
4. Jean-Pierre DICK (FRA), Paprec-Virbac 2, + 72.9nm
5. Roland JOURDAIN (FRA), Veolia Environment, + 76.3nm

Click here for all the news on the Vendée Globe.

Véronique Teurlay (As Amended By ISAF)
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