Alex Thomson: Sailor closes on Vendee Globe lead after reducing big deficit

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'You're risking your life going to the toilet'

British sailor Alex Thomson has made up almost 250 miles on his main rival for victory in the Vendee Globe Trophy.

The 42-year-old, who passed the mark of Cape Horn on Christmas Day after 48 days at sea, is behind Armel Le Cleac'h but has reduced the deficit to 77 miles with under 3,000 miles remaining.

Welshman Thomson is aiming to become the first Briton to win the race.

Thomson had led for the majority of the race but was overtaken by Le Cleac'h when he suffered a damaged foil.

The skippers have begun their journey north back across the Atlantic towards the finish port at Les Sables-d'Olonne. They are expected to finish in eight days and are both picking up pace after a weekend in the Doldrums.

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

Thomson regained the lead in the round-the-world race north of the Kerguelen Islands in the Indian Ocean on 30 November, but then lost ground.

He broke two race records prior to being overtaken, as he reached the Cape of Good Hope in record time.

The Vendee Globe takes place every four years.

Since the first race in 1989, only 71 of 138 starters have completed the voyage, which is known for being one of the most gruelling sporting challenges in the world.

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