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Dodging the Challenge Boats


RACE POSITIONS 0930 GMT: SKANDIA 7th, dropping back to just under 700 miles from VIRBAC in light patch, before next breeze comes in later today.

Nick’s quote of the day: ‘Hardest thing for me is not being able to go down below, get my oilskins off and get in my bunk knowing that everything is ok on deck with the other guys up there, and go to sleep. I can never shut my eyes and think everything is under control, that makes life tough and very limiting!‘

And a special New Year party one: ‘The good thing about having New Year’s Eve in the middle of the ocean is that the cops can’t chuck me in jail!’

RACE UPDATE DAY GOING IN TO 55th DAY

SKANDIA IN TRANSITION MODE: Lighter winds, that have also forced Nick on a less favourable direction to the north of east, should evolve in to better northerlies during the next 12 hours as the next weather system approaches further south as well. Right now SKANDIA is wedged between an anticyclone to the north east and the same old New Zealand depression to the west, which is about to shoot south east towards Antarctica – and potentially then be the same system that will help propel Nick eastwards towards Cape Horn! These depressions have amazing lives and trajectories, this one formed off Tasmania a week ago, chased Nick across to New Zealand, stalled and swallowed PROFORM, then started to move south east and swallowed ARCELOR last night and is now off again…

LEADERS EXPECT TO BE AT CAPE HORN MONDAY: BONDUELLE increasing his lead now out to 243 miles as the depression rolls through, BONDUELLE being the last to fall off the back of it. ECOVER back to being over 300 miles from the leader, but still in touch…

THE PITSTOP UPDATE: VM MATERIAUX finished his repairs to his boom and set off again in the race overnight, and PROFORM has dropped her anchor in a bay on the east of South Island New Zealand, rest and reflection on job list first on the menu for Marc Thiercelin. It is currently expected to take Marc 10 days to make all his repairs and set off again. with outside assistance.

RENDEZ-VOUS WITH GLOBAL CHALLENGE FLEET: Nick has been dodging Global Challenge raceboats all day and night…and did a live link up with the Skipper of Spirit of Sark (also supporting Nick’s favourite charity, Sail4Cancer – if you haven’t made your donation yet in the fundraising race against Nick’s track, click http://www.sail4cancer.org/vendee to do it!)

EXTRACTS OF AUDIO CONFERENCE WITH NICK courtesy of Geolink/Iridium:
[partly taken from conversation with Spirit of Sark, full audio file available below]

‘Crossed the dateline, so my New Year is tomorrow! New Year’s Eve, not got much planned…I’ve got a bottle of champagne for Cape Horn though.

Think I can still catch some of the boats ahead of me, but its likely to be a procession to Cape Horn, and then we’ll see what happens in the Atlantic.

It has surprised me every day that I have got this far to be honest. Pretty hard work. A lot harder than I thought it was going be. Only 40 more days of eating of Go bars, and then never again in my life!

Hardest thing for me is not being able to go down below, get my oilskins off and get in my bunk knowing that everything is ok on deck with the other guys up there, and go to sleep. I can never shut my eyes and think everything is under control, that makes life tough and very limiting!’

The good thing about having new year in the middle of the ocean is that the cops can’t chuck me in jail. It’s really good to be approaching the new year and I really hope that 2005 has in store for me a fantastic memory of the finish and a fantastic memory of a large portion of this adventure, and I hope 2005 brings for everybody else a lot of happiness and a lot less world grief . My thoughts a primarily with people in desperation or heartbreak from the effects of the tidal wave’

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 31st, 2004 at 9:41 am and is filed under Vendee Globe. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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