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19 December 2000

Rhythm of the Race Without Parlier to push it, the rhythm could slow. 

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB  48:1 South 106:1 East
2.  Sill 49:1 South 103:3 East + 64 miles 
3.  Sobedo 50:4 South 92 East +418 miles

Fleet round up section

In the midst of the Southern Ocean, Yves Parlier's Aquitaine Innovations has been dismasted.  The incident occurred Sunday nite.  Parlier has constructed a jury rig and has begun sailing.  He located 1600 miles south of Perth, Australia and is continuing on with only 6 meters of mast remaining.

Kingfisher and UBP were diverted towards AI.  They were sent as there had been no communications from Parlier.  The reason for this is that Parlier was battling to save his boat for 18 hours.  Once it was clear that he was OK, the boats were released to return to racing.

This breakdown is not the first for Parlier.  He had to withdraw from the previous Vendee Globe when he hit an icy growler and suffered rudder damage.  This summer he was dismasted in the transat from Plymouth England to Newport Rhode Island.

The incident occurred as Parlier has sailed back into the race.  From Friday to Sunday he gained 297 miles on the leader, PRB.  

Throughout this race Parlier has pushed the pace.  Yesterday leader Michel Desjoyeaux commented, "The aim of the game is to get through this part, not to push too hard!"  

With Parlier out of contention there is a new 3rd place boat, Sobedo.  Difference being that Coville is 285 miles farther back than Parlier was.  

This makes it more of a 2 boat race as Coville is in different weather than the top 2

Skipper Communications

Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations " "Everything happened very quickly. The wind climbed very fast, and very strongly under a storm cloud. My boat took off, gybed uncontrollably and wiped out on its side. As she came back up, the shock loads were so big that the boat gybed a second time and I was thrown across the cockpit. The boat took off again on a surf, but nose dived with the water coming right up to the mast - and it was that that brought the mast down. Now all is well, and I confirm that I do not require assistance."

Josh Hall EBP-Gartmore ". It was strange to see land - the first since The Canaries...and I had not expected to see any until The Horn so it was a little treat.  The island was quite spectacular...snow covered peaks and a jagged barren coastline that was not in the least bit welcoming.I donít believe there are any inhabitants there, certainly I could see no signs of life and in the clear absence of a BurgerKing drive-thru, I decided not to stop!"

Mike Golding Group 4 "I do know exactly how Yves feels, and Iím very disappointed for him as he was sailing a good race. Choosing to carry on is an extraordinary and brave decision to make, I canít imagine doing that!"

Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "I repeat and emphasise: Iíve been saying for several days that I would not want to go so fast, and now I know why! You have to know when to put the brakes on. ĎBilouí and I donít want to push that hard, just like the others behind. Yves wanted to come back on us, and he was taking back 50 miles per day, even when he was in touch with Bilou. Itís obvious to me that he must have pushed his machine too hard. In any case, I had no intention of competing against his pace, I didnít find it at all reasonable the rate at which he was pushing his boat. I would have let him overtake me as I know that PRB isnít in this race for that kind of play."

Catherine Chabaud Whirlpool "He [Parlier] is a mad genius the way he controls his boat, but it doesnít surprise me, and Iím so glad he is unharmed."

Thomas Coville Sobedo "The boat shudders and vibrates, any of these shocks could bring the mast down! Also, the weather isnít very helpful, itís hard to know what to do."

Current weather conditions Wind backs from 286į in 5th place to 202į in 1st and increases. 

Weather Forecast Readying for more fast sailing via incoming depressions.

What does it all mean

The Southern Ocean has claimed its first contender.  The rest of the fleet seems to be filled with appropriate caution meaning there are numerous competitive boats left.