Vendee Globe Report for 3 December 2000
Rhythm of the Race Double digit speeds once again appear across the fleet from 1st all the way down to 17th.
1. Aquitiane Innovations 38 South 13:4 West
Fleet round up section
In the past 24 hours 2 boats in the fleet have collided with objects. Sobedo collided with a whale according to Thomas Coville. Raphael Dinelli struck an object which did the following damage to Sogal Extenso's keel, "A section two to three metres down of the front of the keel had been ripped off. There was no other immediately obvious damage apart from that." Because of the damage Dinelli has decided, "I am very sad as I will need to stop in Cape Town to repair. I am afraid the keel is going to delaminate and I can~Rt carry on like that in the southern ocean with the vibrations when you surf up to great speeds ."
Coville dove under Sobedo to check for damage. While under the boat, "I found a skin piece on the propeller." However, he found no major damage and so stays in the race in 9th place.
Elsewhere in the fleet there are 4 boats reporting speeds over 13 knots, 7th place Active Wear (13) 11th place Voila Fr. (13.9), 13th place VM Materiaux (13.5) and 17th place Wind (13.1).
Of the 13 plussers, 'VM' and 'Wind' are 50 footers. Patrice Carpentier has sailed Pete Goss' old boat to a spot just behind Voila Fr. the boat that won the previous Vendee. Wind sailed by the cigar smoking Pasquale De Gregorio is farther back.
Thomas Coville Sobedo "I hit a whale at 10 knots...I immediately went out and saw a big dark form and red around going away... I looked at the rudder from behind, and didn~Rt see any damages but I had to repair the system which command the rudder~Rs movements which was broken. It took me four hours of work...This morning I stopped but with a wing mast it is difficult to stop completely. The solution is to keep the main sail up and put the staysail on the opposite side...There is nothing dramatic, so I decided to stay in the race!"
Raphael Dineeli Sogal Extenso "I was sailing a
long at 12 or 13 knots, the boat was advancing. I was working on the keel tackle
at the time. Suddenly there was a shock, a big shudder and the boat stopped
dead....At first thought after the shock and the noise I must have hurt an
animal, perhaps a whale. It was obviously not a container as the shock was
~Rsoft~R and the noise dull."
Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations " I am well
into the Southern latitudes! The weather starts to get cold. The temperature
falls from 21°, to 17° and then this morning to 14°."
Current weather conditions Top 5 boats sail in force 3-4 North-Northwest winds. From 10th place on force 5 northerlies prevail.
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
The leaders are farther south than the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope. They still have a ways to go to their first true Southern Ocean system. From the looks of the weather the arrival of these first Southern Ocean test could coincide with the leaders crossing 40° south latitude today.