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27 December 2000
 

Rhythm of the Race A slow time for the front of the fleet as they cross a high pressure.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB 54 South 171 East
2.  Sill 53 South 167 East + 165  miles 
3.  Kingfisher 54 South 161 East +343 miles

The 5 boats above have entered the Pacific Ocean

Image Courtesy of :

Fleet round up section

After a day out of the lead, PRB, has come back to firmly hold the lead.  Michel Desjoyeaux has generally had a 100 mile advantage.  Today he has used his advantage to reach favorable winds 1st, and is sailing at 13.7 knots to Sill's 6.7.

3rd is Kingfisher 343 miles back.  Ellen Macarthur has steadily been losing ground, going from 161 miles back on Saturday, to double that today.

In addition the top 3, Active Wear and Sobedo have crossed the 150į longitude line that marks the beginning of the Pacific Ocean.

Yves Parlier sails on with they jury rigged Aquitaine Innovations.  He plans to stop at an island off New Zealand to enhance his rig.  Parlier gives this explanation of his reasons for continuing: "I have no choice to do but what Iím doing. In my head I was programmed to make it all the way round...psychologically, itís some way to keep up my moral, if Iíd abandoned, that would have been the final straw for me."

Thierry Dubois is sailing Soidaires towards New Zealand.  His main alternator is gone, and he has only 1 funtioning battery remaining.  With such an iffy electrical system he has decided to make repairs before sailing on into the Pacific.

Skipper Communications

Yves Parlier Aqutaine Innovations  "I aim to stop at Auckland Island South of New Zealand. Iíll stop off the shore and carry out the mast extending operation. With the other end of the mast that I have salvaged, I should get up to 18 metres in height and then stick up even more sail to get me home even quicker!"

Mike Golding Group 4 "It was about as out of control as it can get. I had just the storm sail up and on the surf was still hitting 20 knots!"

Catherine Chabaud Whirlpool "The investment in the race is not the same anymore. This year I am doing my own race, I am sailing my boat in the way I believe it has to be done."

Thierry Dubois Solidaires "Personally I donít think itíll be prudent to head into the Pacific and to end up helpless with some total electronics failure, as that would mean no autopilot, no weather. So now Iím heading to New Zealand and Iím using the fuel which remains because I donít want to use the second battery."

Roland Jourdain Sill "This is nothing compared to the joy of going round the world... But now, the gear is suffering a lot, when a carbon boat falls from a wave, you can imagine... itís the chaos theory: if you break only one small fitting it can leads to a major drama."

Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "The boat gets pushed into a surf by the swell behind and weíre speeding along at 20 knots when the boat was averaging 12-13. That stresses the rig. Iím inside, under autopilot, ready at any moment to jump into my wet weather gear and climb on deck... I broke the hard drive on one computer, so I have to fetch the weather with the other machine. So I canít take any risks with this machine as it has to keep going to the end. Well, I have the anenometer, barometer and two good eyes to analyse the weather overhead."

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "As I passed the islands, I saw a fishing boat, it was very weird, first boat for a long time. I went to call them up, and they beat me to it! "The Austral Leader" was the name, 32 guys onboard a huge fishing vessel for a 3 month trip."

Current weather conditions Leader is sailing in North winds, those following NW winds.

Weather Forecast As the leaders pass New Zealand a variety of weather systems could creat variations in conditions.

What does it all mean

Now, the Pacific Ocean begins.  This is the most desolate strectch of the race.  Next landfall; Cape Horn.  During this time the sailors must balance speed and reliability and become almost completely self reliant.