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2002-03 Around Alone

Vendee Globe Report for 9 December 2000

Rhythm of the Race Fast sailing for all but the leader.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  Aquitiane Innovations  52 South 30 :1 East
2.  PRB Michel Desjoyeaux 45:5 South 29 East + 110 miles 
3.  Sill Roland Jourdain 46:3 South 26:4 East +151 miles

Fleet round up section 

By going too far South, Yves Parlier may have put his lead in jeopardy.
Current Aquitaine Innovations is at 52 south, with only 8 knots of wind.
This is because Parlier ahs been caught in a high pressure system. Parlier reports the following non typical Southern Ocean conditions: "The wind is unstable, the swell difficult and my spinnaker collapses from time to time."

His closest pursuers PRB and Sill are 7 and 6 degrees to the North respectively. They have almost double the wind of Parlier to the south.

PRB and Sill are holding NE courses sailing further north. This has two advantages.  One is to get them away from the light winds in the high pressure. Another is to move them away from the iceberg territory which seems farther north this year.

The second group of 3: Kingfisher, Sobedo and Active Wear have stayed above 50 latitude. Active Wear is the fleets fastest boat at 17.1 knots.

Whether these boats can make up the 400 miles Parlier has on them is not
certain. What is certain is that PRB and Sill have a good chance to make
up the distance they trail Parlier by which is in the 100's of miles.

Skipper Communications

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "Feeling a bit achy and tired this morning, not sure why. Its cold, but I~Rve got used to it I think. If I~Rm chilly, I just get on deck and start trimming the mainsheet with the winch grinder - I get to warm up and the boat goes surfing faster - perfect!" 

Josh Hall Gartmore "I~Rve kept to the North and the low pressure arrived yesterday. So I got back a lot of mileage and of course everyone in the South came North! Yesterday afternoon the wind rose to 44 knots from the North. Last night for 5 - 6 hours the boat was going at 20 knots and reached 29 knots at a maximum. Six hours like that is madness - I hide under the chart table!"

Mike Golding Group 4 "The Sat B~Rs working again - good news - but we don~Rt know why, which isn~Rt so good, so it~Rs fingers crossed."

Simone Bianchetti "I must read the three books I have before reaching Les Sables again. I don~Rt like thinking, it~Rs better to read. I~Rve got a book by Paolo Coelho and some poems of Neruda. The last book is one about sailing history since 1800."

Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations "The wind~Rs not strong and neither is my boat speed. I~Rm in a jam here as I predicted these light winds but not so soon. As the wind direction is South West I can~Rt really well climb North. I~Rm a little anxious now, and in 2 or 3 days it could get worse. I may even see my lead taken by Mich or Bilou (Roland) as they did well to get North."

Current weather conditions As long as you are north of Parlier life is good with West and North West winds at 18 to 20 knots.

Weather Forecast North looks much the best.

What does it all mean

The first chance at a lead change in the Southern Ocean is due to weather routing rather than boat breakdown.