Mike Golding prepares to take on Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam who are currently battling for the lead of the Vendee Globe

Jean le Cam (Bonduelle) snatched back the lead briefly from Vincent Riou (PRB) but the latest reports (1030 this morning) show Riou is back in pole position. Mike Golding has re-threaded a new main halyard and is now back in action, still retaining third position just 20 miles astern of Le Cam.

Having dropped back 16.9 miles Le Cam has, in the last four hours, returned to the top of the fleet. 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.

Chatting this morning about replacing his main halyard Mike Golding said: “I have had better days. It´s annoying that everything seemed to be on plan and then having to deal with this broken halyard wasn´t the belated birthday present I had planned on giving Riou.

“Going up the rig is not my favourite job and once I realised I was going to have to go up I sat down had a cup of sweet tea and a good long think before taking a deep breath and getting on with it.

“There was no other reason for the breakage apart from general fatigue. It just failed where it ran over the top of the block at the head of the mast.”

Chatting about the tactics over the following few days Golding added: “I think it will pay to stay on the left of the course in the pressure. Le Cam is too far ahead to affect my choice now so I will stick to my own strategies. All I know is that there’s going to be a lot of to-ing and fro-ing until the finish.” He concluded: “I know it was a bit of a blow to have had to slow down for the repair job but I’d rather the halyard had broken when it did rather than three days from the finish.”

Further down the fleet 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.

Further back in the fleet 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 possiblity of a lot of wind.

At the tail of the fleet conditions for Raphael Dinelli and Karen Leibovici look decidedly favourable for once, enabling the duo to make good averages in strong south-westerlies on a direct course.