Vendee Globe Report for 1 December 2000
Rhythm of the Race Steady as the entire fleet has wind, just different relations to it. Overall a bit slower as today's top speed is 12 knots by Kingfisher and Sill.
1. Aquitiane Innovations 33:3 south 18:2 West
Fleet round up section
Yves Parlier has jybed Aquitaine Innovations onto starboard. He is the first of the leaders to do so. He appears to have reached the westerlies, as his wind is 262° or west by south. Despite these apparent positive signs, he lead over 2nd place PRB is 68 miles. PRB has gained 77 miles in 24 hours.
Parlier is still farthest south, close to big westerly winds brought on by Southern Ocean depressions. He says, "I think I~Rll get into the Westerlies in 36 hours and head off with a low pressure system towards the Southern latitudes." Sill has chosen to head south earlier perhaps cutting the high pressure at a narrower point and getting to the westerlies first.
Modern University for the Humanities has become the 18th boat to cross the equator. This is skipper Fedor Konioukhov's 7th crossing of the equator under sail.
Josh Hall EBP-Gartmore "The wind has been veering NNW / NNE and changes every 40 minutes by 30 - 40 degrees. I~Rve had the spinnaker up, then the gennaker."
Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations "Right now I~Rm ahead of my own record, one and a half days in fact over the record four years ago, and one day ahead in terms of a 99 day circumnavigation."
Bernard Gallay Voila Fr. "Yesterday I got through a lot of jobs. I climbed to the top of the mast to install an independent halyard from the other two in case the others break."
Simone Bianchetti Aquarelle.com "My boat & I are in perfect harmony - she~Rs french and I~Rm Italian but we understand each other now!"
Fedor Konioukhov Modern University for the Humanities
"I crossed the Equator - 7th time in my life. I am pleased that all
crossing I done by the sails. Now we are in Southern hemisphere. All is
different here: unusual clouds, new stars, different season, a mystic place for
Didier Munduteguy "Every mile I sail is new to me. I have never sailed in these latitudes and I try to understand what is happening."
Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "I have played well, gybing twice, so I~Rm happy. I~Rve seen the positions, a couple of boats have gybed South. Sill has really gone for it down South, Mich a bit, and Aquitaine too, but Yves has touched the front and slowed down, he missed his chance."
Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "I have come back in terms of distance to go because Yves has gone off on starboard and dove South too early. I~Rm content not to have done the same as he has inevitably slowed down. He must be doing 9 knots average against my average of 11.2 knots, so I did okay not to gybe too early. I am looking back and seeing that no-one has tried to dive South."
Thomas Coville Sobedo "The leaders have shot
off now, and I felt a little down, but said to myself: eat, drink and sleep, and
then I~Rll feel better!"
Current weather conditions For the top 5 winds range from 037° (NE by N) to 338° (NNW) force 3 to force 4. NE to ENE for the next group of boats.
Weather Forecast It will be tough and go with likely periods of light winds as the leaders are in between conflicting weather systems. Once through them the wind will go west.
What does it all mean
For the leaders the race is to the westerlies that roar through the Southern Ocean. As projected when to gybe is proving the key factor. Some have gone early, some wait. The goal is the same to gain the speed provided by following winds. Stay tune to see who gets there first.