But Desjoyeaux still favourite

Vendee Globe front man Michel Desjoyeaux has shed 185 miles of his lead after struggling through the Doldrums. But second placed Roland Jourdain has yet to be affected by the Doldrums and is now 315.9 miles behind.

Sam Davies, GBR, Roxy is forced to relinquish fourth place to Marc Guillemot Safran who has gained some 200 miles to her west while Roxy has been snared by light winds.

Desjoyeaux has Vincent Riou’s 2004 overall race record within his range with under 3,200 miles to complete of the course back to Les Sables d’Olonne he needs to break the finish line within 14 days.

In order to break Riou’s overall record, which was set over a course which is effectively 1160 miles shorter, Desjoyeaux now needs to be across the Vendée finish line by 23hrs 49 mins and 55 seconds on the night of Wednesday 4th February.

Jourdain remains resolute and focused. He has been consistently faster than his friend and rival from Port le Foret but has yet to really be slowed significantly by the Doldrums.

Slowed for more than 48 hours Sam Davies has had to watch helpless and frustrated as Marc Guillemot slipped through to earn fourth place. Guillemot’s western track, closer to the Brasilian coast, has allowed him to trim more than 280 miles off Roxy’s lead and this afternoon the La Trinité skipper has a lead of 15 miles over the petite English skipper. After averaging less than 6 knots since Sunday, Davies has Roxy making better speed again this afternoon, 12.4 knots in a more northerly direction. In 24 hours Davies has made just 133 miles while the grey hulled 2007 launched Safran has made 274 miles.

1500hrs HRS GMT. Rankings, Tuesday 20th January 2009

1 . Michel Desjoyeaux, Foncia, 3162.9 miles to finish
2 . Roland Jourdain, Veolia Environnement, 315.9
3 . Armel Le Cleac’h, Brit Air, 1032.8
4 . Marc Guillemot, Safran, 1910.7
5 . Sam Davies, Roxy, 1925.8
6 . Brian Thompson, Bahrain Team Pindar, 2539.8
7 . Dee Caffari, Aviva, 2624.2
8. Arnaud Boissieres, Akena Verandas, 2698.6
9. Steve White, Toe in the water, 3699.2
10. Rich Wilson, Great American III, 5157.8
11. Raphael Dinelli, Fondation Ocean Vital, 6877.5
12. Norbert Sedlacek, Nauticsport . Kapsch, 6884
RDG . Vincent Riou, PRB). 3rd equal. 30 boats started.

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