Vendee Globe - 1230 - 7/12/00
In second, Michel Desjoyeaux (red) has slipped back a little to third placed Roland Jourdain (blue), who's made some significant inroads from his more northerly position a couple of days ago. All three have the hammer down in strong breeze and are doing solidly over 16 knots of boat speed.
While these three contest the chocolates, behind them it is a desperate struggle for fourth. Thomas Coville (orange), Ellen MacArthur (light blue) and Thierry Dubois (purple) remain in a tight group, all positioned to the south and maintaining high average speeds that are just about keeping them in touch with the leaders and out of the grasp of the high pressure. Dominique Wavre (light brown) is also in his customary position on the edge of the fleet, but this time it looks like the right edge, he's all the way south and in good shape at the moment.
It's Marc Thiercelin (light brown), Josh Hall (dark blue) and Catherine Chabaud (yellow) for whom the trap has sprung. The centre of the high pressure is sitting right over Hall in the above image, and it's forecast to move north-east towards Chabaud. Thiercelin should just about get away without haemorrhaging too many miles, but Josh and Catherine are in all sorts of trouble.