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2 February 2001

Rhythm of the Race Never a let up in the tension and stress

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB 17:4 North 32:5 West
2.  Kingfisher 16 North 32:4 West + 78 miles 
3.  Sill 11:4 North 36 West +389 miles

From Virtual Spectator: Michel Desjoyeaux's covering position on PRB.  The east west between 3rd and 4th

Courtesy of:
Fleet round up section

News of a dramatic setback over come by Ellen Macarthur has come out.  Late Tuesday nite Kingfisher collided with a submerged object, perhaps a container.  The port dagger board was destroyed, the port rudder damaged.

Ellen switched dagger boards and repaired the rudder.  After working from Tuesday to Wednesday nite on this unexpected project, she comments: "For sure with the problems we've had there is a loss of performance, but very much in my own mind, the race is still on."

During this situation PRB did gain 30 miles and remains in the lead by 78 miles.  Currently PRB sails at 10.9 knots, Kingfisher at 10.6.  Who knows what affect the damage to Kingfisher plays in this.

Sill is still 3rd 66 miles ahead of Active Wear still to the east of Sill.

Sobedo has overtaken UBP as they approach the equator.  Sobedo's lead is a tiny 4 miles.

The fleet's other British boats have done their daily position swap.  Group 4 now shows up 3 miles ahead, but Gartmore is nearly a knot faster.  Likely more changes ahead.

Skipper Communications

Mike Golding Group 4 "We were reaching quite fast when I noticed that one of the car slides on the luff of the mainsail had broken I stepped up to the mast to fix it, just as another one broke right in front of my eyes. I now have a reef in and webbing round the mast. It’s not ideal, but it could have been a lot
worse if I hadn’t fixed it right away"

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher ": I was sailing along, the sun was starting to set, and everything was fine, conditions were quite stable, and then all of a sudden there was the most almighty crunching sound and the boat felt like she had hit land. As I glanced behind the boat to see what I had hit I saw part of the rudder and the daggerboard floating away.  Nothing is ever an impossible situation, because if you think like that then you will be defeated instantly and we've had, in some people's mind, many impossible situations in the race, but if you think like that then you've failed. We always try and see the solutions not the problems.  I know the board which is down now isn't working 100% because it is the wrong way, and thats pretty hard

Roland Jourdain Sill "With PRB & Kingfisher, we’re the best boats upwind. Thiercelin will find it harder but none of us can escape the fact that our boats have sailed more than 20000 miles and we’re all paranoid about something breaking. I’m sure it’s not as bad as I make it out to be!"

Partice Carpentier VM Matériaux "I don’t feel good in light winds. I haven’t got any headmast spinnaker, so I have to do with my kite! If I was doing the course in 111 days like Alain Gautier during the second Vendée Globe it would be amazing!”

Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "Since yesterday morning, nothing much has happened. PRB continues to plunge her bow into the waves, the sea state still not so smooth..... I prefer for the moment to get myself to the right, to protect my right side. I definitely prefer the Southern Ocean in terms of navigation. You constantly ask yourself what the best rout to take is, there are more manoeuvres, more tactics and decisions to play out. Here you have your hands tied, it’s simply a question of going upwind."

Josh Hall EBP-Gartmore ". We have passed from the winter style weather of the southern ocean to the sub-tropical heat of the south Atlantic in just 10 days.... Changing charts is always when I realise just how far we have sailed... My next letter will be from the North Atlantic - home waters!!!"

Current Weather For the leaders east and north east winds put them on starboard tack on the wind.

Weather Forecast According to Michel Desjoyeaux NE winds switching to the east as his pairing nears the Azores islands.

What does it all mean

Ellen Macarthur is down to one daggerboard, a bad situation when you are sailing on the wind.  However, as she says you just don't know what is going to happen in this Vendee Globe.