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Playstation Status Update
Steve Fossett and his Playstation team have changed plans for a mid week departure. They are back to code red status meaning a departure is not expected as favorable weather is not seen for 4-6 days.
The low pressure system that they had hoped would get them off to a good start is heading inland to the west of New York. This would leave Playstation sailing downwind across the Atlantic, not the ideal angle on which to sail fast.
The team does not expect a positive weather window for a week, and so will likely remain Code Red.
Fujicolour a winner
Sailed by Loick Peyron and Franck Proffit the 60 foot trimaran made her 1999 Jacques Vabre Transat victory official yesterday. Fujicolour sailed the course in 15 days 17 hours 7 minutes and 4 seconds an average of 14.23 knots. Since the course was 500 miles longer due to a mid race change Fujicolour is not eligible for a race record. However, her average speed was 14.81 knots compared to the 14.13 posted by Primeval in 1997.
Upon finishing Proffitt and Peyron
talked of several attributed of their win. One, according for
Proffitt is experience, "Lo´ck and I have been racing together for
seven years. Our common knowledge at sea meant we could push the boat as
hard as if we had a full crew on board." Another he says is
intensity, "We always went on the right tack," added Franck.
"We only calmed down during the last couple of hours. The tension on
board was huge during this race."
Laurent and Yvon Bourgnon sailed Foncia to 3rd in a time of 16 days 10 hours. Their average speed of 13.62 knots was under their winning average in 1997. The brothers are happy with their race. Yvan commented, "The second part, when we caught the trade winds, has been a race based on pure speed. Downwind Groupama went at least 1knot faster than us." If Yvan can keep Foncia as his sponsor he plans to further optimize the trimaran and continue campaigning her.
Whirlpool continues to lead the monohulls by 59 miles. With 600+ miles to go the report from Whirlpool is as follows: "We're permanently on deck. It's the final home strait and we're going to give it everything." Whirlpool likely has 2 to 3 days of full on racing left. 2nd is Sobedo 21 miles ahead of 3rd place Sill Enterprises. On board Sobedo Thomas Coville feels the race is still quite changeable saying, "Since the start we've been doing our best to catch her. Sill isn't far behind either. The weather isn't easy to analyse." 4th is Group 4 60 miles from Sill. Of the top 4 Group 4 is the slowest at 7.3 knots. Group 4 is not pleased with Whirlpool's pit stop: "We are both shocked and amazed that this has been allowed. Clearly Whirlpool had blown a spinnaker - normally one pays the price. Whirlpool was being caught up by the chasing pack and now they have been allowed to board a replacement with no penalty. We are both stupefied by this unprecedented action and have protested accordingly." Next is Somewhere 30 more miles back.
Aquitaine/Kingfisher is 1224 miles from the finish with the final class I monohull being Gartmore/First Call 1382 miles out of Columbia.
Class II is led by Pindar by 147 miles over Spirit of the Race.
For the Class I monohulls the
race is still to be one. A report from Group 4 gives us an idea of
the situations all are experiencing: "The effects of the tropical
wave which passed nearby today as we passed through the gate at St Barts,
made the passage very tricky. Our forecasts indicated a wind shift to the
right, more SE than East so we positioned ourselves to the right. In the
event the breeze went left leaving us changing sails first to Genniker
then Genoa back to Spinnaker then Genoa again before we cleared the Pain
de Sucre off St Barts." Today Group 4 is 60 miles back of Sill
Enterprises rather than the 54 yesterday. Many more situations such
as the above will arise over the next days, and who handles them best will