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13 December 2000

Rhythm of the Race A trying phase as they navigate the Southern Ocean is search of strong following winds.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB  46:3 South 55 East
2.  Sill 47:4 South 52:1 East + 101 miles 
3.  Aquitaine Innovations 50:1 South 51:3 East +141 miles


The leaders in the Southern Ocean:  PRB to the left, Sill in the middle heading south.  PRB
still the farthest south.  The next pack led by Kingfisher are much closer together.

Image Courtesy:

Fleet round up section 

PRB maintains the lead.  Reporting 19.9 knots of wind it looks like PRB has steered away from any lead crushing calms.

Farther back is a close race between boats that completed the race in 96-97.  Bernard Gallay's Open 60, Voila Fr. leads Patrice Carpentier VM Matťriaux by 29 miles.  They are on the same longitude, with Voila Fr. slightly more north.  Speeds are 9.07 for Gallay and 8.52 for Carpentier in his 50 footer.

Fastest boat in the fleet is Mike Golding on Group 4 at 14.3 knots.  He has crossed into the eastern hemisphere.

Skipper Communications

Catherine Chabaud Whirlpool "I work 3/4 hours a day on the weather and I have time to do other things like sleeping, eating, repairing bits and pieces. I cooked some pancakes yesterday. It was nice. Today I might do some bread. I can sleep well as the autopilot is working really well."

Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations "There are loads of small, perturbed low pressure bubbles and an anticyclone ahead. In fact, three systems are stacking up one behind the other but they should sort themselves out.... Iíve never known such a period of calm weather to last for 24 hours in the South."

Rolain Jourdain Sill "Yesterday evening I nearly came to a halt on the Crozet Island. I decided to pass by the South of the island but there were rocks there which forced me to go further South than expected. I was sailing upwind last night then."

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "Its been a frustrating 24 hours, variable winds down to as little as 5 knots....this morning I had another boat in view - very weird to see, first time since the North Atlantic - I was hoping it was Marc Thiercelin, but it wasn't it was Toma (Sodebo)...I expect to see the first effects of the next depressions this afternoon."

Simone Bianchetti Aquarelle.com "Right now Iíve 33 knots from the West North West. Not speeding, Iíve just put up the staysail and am resting up a bit."

Thierry Dubois Solidaires " I was becalmed a little last night, really an odd thing at 48 degrees South, and a little annoying. For 2 or 3 hours this morning it was calmer too, really strange, a group of little low pressure centres, but now the windís back up."

Thomas Coville Sobedo ". Ever since having hit the whale last week, I have been tense and I get cross much more quickly than I normally do. These are the sorts of situations you pay for dearly. You need to spend an incredible amount of energy to gain just a few miles".

Josh Hall EBP/Gartmore "Just as the sun was coming up this morning I put my head down and was woken 30 minutes later , not by my clock alarm but by the radar alarm.......panic stations ......grabbing my jacket ( I sleep in the trousers and my seaboots) I hustled onto deck. The sun was low but screaming sunlight under a heavy squall cloud up ahead, and sparkling below it was .....well at first I thought it looked like an aircraft carrier ( quickly dismissed thought), then I thought it must be an island, but the nearest one is some 300 miles north......it was the absolute grandmother of all icebergs."


Current weather conditions SW winds strengthening to Force 4 as the fleet sails east.

Weather Forecast The periodic calms will be replaced by a Southern Ocean low pressure system in the next 24 hours, increasing the winds.

What does it all mean

With the next windy depression on deck, questions like will there be a 3rd 24 hour record, and will a boat suffer damaged return.