Vendee Globe Report for 4 December 2000
Rhythm of the Race The leaders have hit heavy NW winds. Top 3 boats show speeds over 16 knots. This is the beginning of the Southern Ocean where it's one low after the other. In this hemisphere they rotate clock-wise. Stay on top or to the north of them to be able to sail downwind is the key to a fast passage.
1. Aquitiane Innovations 41:1 South 5:2 West
Fleet round up section
Roland Jourdain of Sill reports, "We~Rre here, in the heart of the race! We~Rve reached a low pressure system and since last night we~Rve opened up the throttle!" Indeed the wind and with it speeds are up. Aquitaine Innovations has once again stretched out a lead. This time its 76 miles a gain of 36 on 2nd place PRB and 85 on Sill. Aquitaine is showing the fastest speed in the fleet- 18.4 knots!
Despite a collision with a whale Thomas Coville has moved Sobedo up to 6th place. Coville is sailing at 15.9 knots no worse for his whale collision.
Ahead of Sobedo is Kingfisher which was slowed for an hour as Ellen Marcarthur collected a spinnaker that had dropped in the water and under the boat.
Bernard Gallay Voila Fr. "My boat is so much easier to handle than my last one. This is a better boat to be heading into the Southern Oceans in. I~Rm not stressed but not over-confident - you have to stay humble and respect the elements."
Marc Thiercelin Active Wear "Yesterday it was
still nice but last night it was cold and it was raining. The swell is back,
with 2 to 3 metre high waves."
Pasquale de Gregorio Wind "Pronto? Ah, everything is great here. Mentally and physically I feel great. Nothing major to report, just doing some boat maintenance."
Didier Munduteguy DDP 60° Sud "I have to admit that each time the sun sets I get enormous pleasure watching it with a cup of coffee on deck."
Roland Jourdain Sill ""Do you want me to recount the life of a bachelor on his boat? Sill is ready for the South. Everything is secure on board. Long periods of wakefulness have begun. Where a few days ago I could curl up in my bunk with my pyjamas, I now have to keep on my oilskins! A sign of what~Rs to come!"
Dominique Wavre UBP "One has to avoid damage to keep going well."
Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "Then I had the
genneker up and I had a French TV interview to do which also had Catherine on it
so I changed down to the Genoa to make sure we had no
dramas while the interview was going on."
Catherine Chabaud Whirlpool "I~Rm going at my
own pace, sail my own course. It~Rs important to not follow in the footsteps of
the others ahead."
Weather Forecast Checkign the image below, leaders positioned in a group of wind giving tight isobars that should carry them rapidly past the south tip of Africa.
image courtesy of:
What does it all mean
The race is now in phase 2. The north to south Atlantic portion with its moderate conditions is done. Now its the west to east transit of the southern ocean. The fastest and most dangerous portion of the race.