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2002-03 Around Alone

Vendee Globe Report for 8 December 2000

Rhythm of the Race Challenging the Southern Ocean relentlessly at speeds of 12 knots and up.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  Aquitiane Innovations  51 South 22 :3 East
2.  PRB Michel Desjoyeaux 47:3 South 20:3 East + 104 miles 
3.  Sill Roland Jourdain 49:3 South 21 East +111 miles



Fleet round up section 

Gains and losses for the leaders have been minimal.  2nd place PRB lost 8 miles, 3rd place Sill gained 18 miles.  Current reports show PRB fastest.

4th place Sobedo and 5th Kingfisher are tied on distance to go @ 383 miles back of leader Aquitaine Innovations.  The next three boats: Active Wear, Solidaires and Gartmore are several not slower and should not post gains.

Approaching high pressure in necessitating some tactics.  PRB and Sobedo show a NE by E course.  Aquitaine Innovations and Kingfisher are on a course 70° sailing SE.  Escaping the high via sailing to the south is limited by race rules.  The next mark of the course is Heard Island at approximately 53° south and 85° east which must be kept to starboard.

Skipper Communications  

Dominique Wavre UBP "It~Rs simple to negociate these low pressure systems. The low cathes us up coming in from the East. As it passes to our South the wind strength rises and then erally blows gard. Then you have to gybe and stay with it for as long as possible."

Didier Munduteguy DDP 60° Sud "Last night I had 10 nights of wind coming from behind, and now it~Rs blowing across the deck. I~Rve found it hard to cover 200 miles in 24 hours."

Patrice Carpentier VM Matériaux "I crossed the GMT this morning. It was 0330 GMT. Weather is good, wind~Rs not too strong yet, NW 20 knots."

March Thiercelin Active Wear "I~Rm further North because I fouled up on the weather! I thought the anticyclone was under me and I gybed. I~Rm sticking to my philosophy, not to make any drastic route changes, just descend consistently. I~Rve been tearing my hair out to work out how to catch the others up - it~Rs been a real chinese puzzle! And now I~Rm up the creek, I totally stuffed up, and these words don~Rt even do justice to how I really feel."

Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "Whoever wants to go to these limits must look after their machine, and a skipper has two enemies: for him, it~Rs salt and for the boat it~Rs wear and tear. I thought about making some kind of ~Rhouse~R over the deck just as Jean-Yves Terlain did on his yellow boat a few years ago. If I ever did another circumnavigation, perhaps I~Rd do the same."

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "I awoke with a start from a short nap, I~Rm not sure what it was that brought me to. I stuck my head up and looked out of the window in the cabin. And there it was - an iceberg right by the boat. Within seconds I was on deck (I~Rve started wearing waterproof socks the whole time so I can go on deck in a hurry without getting socks wet), and I just couldn~Rt believe what I was seeing. We passed within 15 to 20 metres of a huge iceberg, we were actually sailing through the white water next to it."

Ellen's photo of the iceberg she passed
Photo: Ellen MacArthur, Kingfisher Challenges

Current weather conditions WSW at the front.

Weather Forecast High pressure ahead.  Maneuvers will be necessary to negotiate this with best speed.

What does it all mean

While sailing at bone rattling speeds, the skippers must sit at their nav stations and correctly plan a route around the next high pressure.  This could be an event that can bring boats like Active Wear closer to the leaders.