Competition remains fierce in Vendée

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The Independent Online

Competition between the leaders of the Vendée Globe solo round the world race remains fierce with the 2000 winner Michel Desjoyeaux in Foncia fighting to hold off Roland Jourdain in Véolia, Sébastien Josse in BT, and Jean le Cam in VM Materiaux.

Sam Davies moves up to ninth as the previous leader, Jean-Pierre Dick, heads further north as he tries to mend the rudder mechanism on Paprec-Virbac. Davies, who has now passed the south-west Australia ice gate, is still ahead of Brian Thompson in Bahrain Team Pindar with Dee Caffari's Aviva a further place behind.

Steve White in the 10-year old Toe in the Water (Spirit of Weymouth) continues, despite pain from an injured elbow, to head Jonny Malbon, now over 2,000 miles behind Desjoyeaux, as Mike Golding makes slow progress in this dismasted Ecover towards Fremantle.

Also making slower progress than they would want are the eight yachts in the Volvo round the world race, hoping to make the finish of leg three in Singapore before Christmas.

Bouwe Bekking has put Spain's Telefonica Blue into the lead, but there are many tricky miles to complete as overall leader Torben Grael in Ericsson 4 is second by less than 20 miles and Grael's team-mate Anders Lewander, in Ericsson 3, is third. Ian Walker, skipper of the Irish-backed Green Dragon hopes to improve on sixth.

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