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20 December 2000

Rhythm of the Race All the top boats sustaining double digit speeds.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB  48 South 114 East
2.  Sill 49 South 112 East + 25 miles 
3.  Sobedo 51:2 South 101:4 East +314 miles

Fleet round up section

The top two boats are nearing match race distance in the Southern Ocean.  PRB is just 25 miles ahead of Sill.  There reported speeds (12.2) are identical.  Skippers Michel Desjoyeaux know each other well having sailed a Whitbread race together.

They have their own weather, with Southerly winds.  Combined with their course, this puts them near a beam reach.

3rd place is held by Sobedo 314 miles back.  Thomas Coville is sailing in an area of lower pressure, allowing him to sail freed up.  This gives him a knot of speed on the top 2.

Farther back Voila Fr. has put some distance on VM Materiaux, 28 miles.  Both are sailing over 13 knots.

Yves Parlier and Aquitaine Innovations are up to 6.5 knots under jury rig.

Skipper Communications

Simone Bianchetti Aquarelle.com "Last night it was quite rough and I capsized three times. Itís really messy inside, I have broken some battens & there is plenty of diesel everywhere."

Dominique Wavre UBP ""Iím missing the sun and itís raining, a real grey downpour with a moderate wind. Iíd like to be a bit lower to have some more wind, but well."

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "Now that Parlier has dismasted the race is a bit different but Michel Desjoyeaux and Roland Jourdain are still far ahead and as they are together they are still racing and pushing."

Roland Jourdain Sill "Iíve really come back on Michel (PRB). Itís hard going and been quite exhausting for the last two days. The storm clouds are rolling over. Iím not sure how best to dress myself or the boat."

Bernard Gallay Voila Fr. "Everythingís fine. The last 24 hours were not as fast going as the day before. Iíve covered 325 miles in 24 hours. I think I achieved the best speed of the fleet yesterday."

Marc Thiercelin Active Wear "Today is haute couture. I must repair the gennaker which has torn along 15 metres of the leech. Some tough sewing work. It happened last night, the wind hit 30 knots and I wanted to get the best of it so I stepped on the accelerator all night but it didnít really pay."

Thomas Coville Sobedo "Iím sleeping a lot, getting in more than four hours sleep in 24 hours. I am eating a lot and have decided to finish all the trays of food off. They weigh much more than the freeze-dried food ! I even had paella for breakfast this morning ! ".

Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations "I have just come down from the top of the mast section, after spending 4 hours up there."

Current weather conditions For the top 2 boats southerly winds.  For other West and NW winds. 

Weather Forecast A strong system showing westerly winds approaches from behind.

What does it all mean

Could a tight race for the lead cause a mistake by one of the two in this match race for the lead?