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Rhythm of the Race
With high pressure speeds are more variable and a different type of pressure is
on the sailors.
1. PRB 54 South 173 West
2. Sill 55 South 175 West + 53 miles
3. Kingfisher 54 South 179 West +217 miles
Fleet round up section
PRB is in a high pressure trap. This leaves Michel Desjoyeaux with only 7.2 knots of wind wallowing at 2.5 knots.
Sill has closed to within 53 miles. Roland Jourdain is carrying a healthy 11 knots speed.
Also gaining on the leader is Ellen Macarthur's Kingfisher, now 217 miles back and the fastest of the three at 14 knots.
All are holding similar courses, so it seems likely that all will eventually slow down.
It will take Yves Parlier a week to reach shelter where he can add to Aquitaine Innovations jury rig. He has decided to stop at Stewart Island rather than Auckland Island. Steward Island is located close to New Zealand's South Island. The main reason is so he can have a warmer climate for his epoxy to cure.
Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "My friends will have to go through as well, more or less! We have had some sun nearly all day, perfect to dry the sails. Itís good... With these phenomenons, when your max speed is 7 knots, itís useless to fight for peanuts. Yesterday, I tried to rest as much as possible, after this converstion I will go back to bed."
Thierry Dubois Solidaires "I hope the stop-over will be quick but with Christmas & the New Year everyoneís in holiday mode. I have some modifications to make on the alternator which isnít the same as the one which has broken down. I just need time to get up the mast too, and then hopefully in 48 hours I can set off with a top boat again."
Roland Jourdain Sill "more from stress
actually. The danger is to forget to stay alert and then you can really be in
risk of making big mistakes."
Marc Thiercelin Active Wear "What else is incredible is the relatively fair weather here in the Southern Ocean. I remember from the last Vendťe and the Around Alone these 36 hour long storm bursts, and we were under bare poles at times when it was really violent. Here itís rather clement since passing the Crozet Islands with 50 Ė 60 knots."
Catherine Chabaud Whirlpool "Itís
interesting to know what the others are doing, I sometimes go on the web site to
see whatís happening."
Thomas Coville Sobedo "Iíve been stuck in this hole for two days, fighting like a demon. Iíve lost 400 miles after the problems with the compass and autopilot! Iíve got 3 knots of wind, Iíve just come to a halt! But the aim is still fixed Ė Iím going to get this boat back to Les Sables díOlonne!"
Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations ". After these repairs Iíll be able to sail with my staysail under itís original setting, with a main sail at the second reef and the storm jib. I want to make a sail of 70 square metres out of my genoa and a spinnaker of 150 square metres. With that Iíll have a Mini Transat rig, with a sail area of 200m2, and in that case I will be able to get back to Les Sables without running empty on fuel and food."
Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "Today has been a day of sleeping, weather study and splicing. The weather study reveals that there is one mother of a depression heading over us around the 31st - Happy new Year!"
Current weather conditions Other than PRB winds are 15-20 knots from the NW
Weather Forecast Within 48 hours a tightly packed depression should provide heavy winds.
What does it all mean
The calm that the leaders will pass through should be replaced by storm conditions over the weekend, another Southern Ocean tester.