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3 February 2001
 

Rhythm of the Race Tension and strain at the front of the fleet, balanced by frustration for the boats in the Doldrums with happiness near the back.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB 22:1 North 33:2 West
2.  Kingfisher 20:4 North 32:5 West + 71 miles 
3.  Sill 16:1 North 36 West +378 miles



 
Fleet round up section

Another day down.  For PRB this means another day in the lead and a total of 2103 miles to sail.  An effective day for Michel Desjoyeaux as he lost only 7 miles of his lead.  Combine that with his current 1 knot speed advantage on 2nd, and a good covering position he must be a happy sailor.

Kingfisher remains 2nd.  Ellen Macarthur's course is 354į, only 2 į off of PRB's.  For now Kingfisher must gain on speed as routing options are not there.

Sill now leads Active Wear by 135 miles.  For now Roland Jourdain has the best of Active Wear in the upwind sailing.

Sobedo has a 37 mile lead on UBP.  Despite this Thomas Coville is frustrated.  The Doldrums are bigger for this pair something quite out of their control.  They are both under 3 knots and wondering when steady conditions will return.

Group 4 has maintained a slim lead on Gartmore, 5 miles.  The closeness of this pair is seen in their speeds- Group 4 8.73, Gartmore 8.75.

The fastest boat in the fleet is Aquarelle.com sailed by the poet sailor Simone Bianchetti.  He has rounded Cape Horn and is sailing at 13.4 knots.  Next at Cape Horn will be Aquitaine Innovations.

Skipper Communications

March Thiercelin Active Wear "I push to the maximum but it doesnít pay much...Sill is closer to the wind than me, and he is faster. I have lost faith. I donít understand how he can manage that. But I saw him during the English transat, he has a good upwind boat. I knew it but I dindít think it would be that noticable. I think weíll be in the same system until next tuesday/wednesday , when we should get something else. The game might start again."

Josh Hall EBP-Gartmore "Mike and I are going at the same speed, but heís 60 miles to the East. Itís a real war!  . The Easterly breeze will remain with us for 3 Ė 4 days until we reach the Equator, so itís upwind until then."

Bernard Gallay Voila Fr. "I am in a kind of routine obviously. I have been very angry when I was in no wind, and was feeling very enthusiastic when the wind was shifting and was steadier. I laughed a lot when a friend of mine sent me some jokes"

Thomas Coville Sobedo "We are in the same place where the others reached the Dolrums very South and now itís climbing North with us!...I spoke to Dominique Wavre last night on the phone. At the end of the day we were both going at 2 knots!.... I must have gybed 40 odd times last night! Iíve gone 40 miles in more than 2 days! Iím averaging less than a knot."

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher ""Iím still totally knackered because Iíve just had so much work to do to get the boat back up to speed after the collision...Things are stable for the next 24 hours but after that weíre going to tack to negotiate our way upwind out of the Azores anticyclone, which is nearby."

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

Weather Forecast In a day a confrontation with the Azores High.

What does it all mean

The leaders are in a boat speed contest.  Over the weekend tactical options may be presented.