Vendee Globe Report for 7 December 2000
Rhythm of the Race Leaders careening across the Southern Ocean at speeds near 20 knots. Those behind try to acheive the same.
1. Aquitiane Innovations 48:1 South 14 :1 East
A look at the fleet with the top 3 sailing in a line west to east. The next 3 are in more of a north south orientation. To the north are the boats slowed by high pressure.
Fleet round up section
A breakaway pack of 6 boats has been formed. They range from 1st place Aquitaine Innovations to 6th place Solidaires 426 miles back. These boats are sailing through a wind that begins at South West by South for Solidaires and shifts steadily left. Aquitaine is sailing in west by south winds, 9° shy of a straight westerly.
Speeds for this group climb the ladder from 14.9 for Solidaires to 17.6 for 3rd place Sill. Such a speed is above Parlier's recent record 24 average. Stay tuned to see if the 24 hour bar is raised.
True wind angles range from 123° to 151°. Parlier's record was set with wind angles mostly of 150° or greater. As the boats get farther east speeds could yet pick up as they are freed up to surft with a stout following wind.
The next group including EBP/Gartmore has been slowed by a high pressure. Gartmore's speed was 10.8. Fast, but not near enough the lead groups pace.
Mike Golding Group 4 "I always look at the positions and go back 8 days and 4 hours, so by my reckoning I am ahead of Yves now - more good news! It gives me something to work towards. The first boat home in this race will beat Auguin~Rs record but I want to be quicker than that."
Joe Seeten Nord Pas de Calais - Chocolats du monde
"My plans in the Southern Ocean? sleeping, reading...and try to keep a good
average speed. I am going to live my race as I should do. I am keeping a good
balance, I am keeping busy."
Roland Jourdain Sill "It~Rs just the
beginning, I am trying to find an average good rythm for the coming month. I am
observing the boat, working on the sails configuration. In single-handed sailing
the idea is to find the best compromise."
Catherine Chabaud Whirlpool "Yep, you could say I~Rve been caught in the high. I haven~Rt stopped but the winds are shifting around a lot and I haven~Rt found the exit South yet, not for want of trying, believe me."
Current weather conditions For the lead boats south and west winds that are producing top speeds.
Weather Forecast As the boats sail east, a westerly shift should occur.
What does it all mean
A top pack has emerged. Gains by speed are not as likely as gains via superior reliability.