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Sailing North East West South

Published Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

 19 December 2000 Issue # 308

By Ike Stephenson

 Today's Sailing News 

Vendee Globe: Parlier the pusher

Over the first month and week of the Vendee Globe Yves Parlier had been the story.  Whether winning, or losing Parlier was on the minds of all concerned with the Vendee Globe.

He came in with a tremendous track record sailing Aquitaine Innovations.  He had won a pair of transats, plus the Round Europe and the Gold Race from New York to San Francisco.  These wins came from 1996 to 1998.

The 1999 and 2000 results were not as good, with a dismasting this summer.

From the start this Vendee Globe was his.  He led after a week, that day he head a fleet high speed of 16.2 knots.  The 2nd week he replaced a broken main halyard as he led the fleet past the equator.

On 27 November numerous skippers had Parlier on their mind.  Josh Hall said: "Slow down, Yves, slow down!"   Ellen Macarthur made this comment: "we’ve done 1/5th of the race so anything could happen still."

Next for Parlier came a new 24 hour solo speed record.  His lead was over 100 miles.

A wrong weather call cost him the lead.  He fell 100's of miles back.  His thoughts: "I could definitely see my hopes for the Vendée Globe dashed by this. "

Last Friday he had fallen over 300 miles behind.  By Saturday he had gained 105 miles.  Another 72 on Sunday.  Then Sunday nite his mast came down and with his chances of winning.

Located over 1000 miles south of Australia many would head there.  Parlier plans to continue.  For now he'll sail with a stump mast and 4 reefs.  If he can get around Cape Horn he feels he can fashion a better rig and finish the race under his own power.

Of his rival, Josh Hall said: "Yves is a real maverick sailor and pushes his boat to the extreme. This policy either wins you races or breaks the boat."  Despite being the pacesetter, Parlier did not feel he was sailing too hard.  He says, "I was well into my race and mentally on form, totally in synch with Aquitaine Innovations, she was performing brilliantly, achieving incredible speeds without pushing her."

The results were not what Parlier wanted, but the methods were his.  He sailed a great race right from the off.  Now if he can sail his Open 60 back to France he will add great seamanship to his resume.

Head to the Sailing Daily Forum and discuss sailing!

Today's Vendee Globe Report:   Parlier loses mast

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