Thomson loses lead in Vendee Globe despite breaking record

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Watch: Amazing helicopter footage of Alex Thomson in Vendee Globe race

Welsh sailor Alex Thomson has lost the lead to French rival Armel le Cleac'h in the Vendee Globe despite setting a record pace.

The 42-year-old broke two race records prior to being overtaken, as he reached the Cape of Good Hope in record time.

Thomson reached Cape Leeuwin near Australia in 29 days, five days faster than the record held by Francois Gabart, five hours behind Le Cleac'h.

Thomson now has 13,500 miles to go before the finish.

He reached the tip of South Africa in 17 days, 22 hours and 58 minutes and also sailed to the Cape of Good Hope from the equator in a record eight days, 15 hours and 56 minutes.

Thomson is aiming to be the first British skipper to win the solo non-stop round-the-world race.

Earlier in the race, Gosport-based Thomson became the fastest man to cross the equator, but said the record was unimportant.

Having rounded Cape Leeuwin, Thomson will now head through the Pacific to Cape Horn before heading back to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France.

The Vendee Globe race is renowned for being one of the most gruelling sporting challenges in the world.

Just 71 of the 138 starters since its inception in 1989 have successfully completed the race, and three have died while competing.

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