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5 February 2001
 

Rhythm of the Race The fastest speed is Aquarelle.com at 12.2 knots.  In contrast to the close racing at the front, Simon Bianchetti has a 2847 mile patch of ocean to himself making for peaceful high speed sailing.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB 29:2 North 33:1 West
2.  Kingfisher 27:5 North 33 West + 29 miles 
3.  Sill 25 North 35:3 West +260 miles



 
Fleet round up section

From the speeds being reported it appears that PRB has escaped the high pressure produced light winds.  These 5 knots or under winds were supposed to stretch from 29į latitude north to 31į north.  However, at 29į north, Michel Desjoyeaux is showing a speed of 11 knots.

Kingfisher at 27į is moving at only 5 knots.  This means that the light winds are farther south than expected.  

The accordion affect should now take place.  PRB's small 25 mile should go up as it is Kingfisher's turn for a case of the slow's.

Sill continues to show well in 3rd, gaining over 100 miles.  This after a weekend filled with onboard problems.

Sobedo has kept the lead over UBP.  The lead is 24 miles as both boats are in the Northern Hemisphere out of the Doldrums.

In the all British battle Gartmore again leads Group 4 by 14 miles.  Gartmore has a knot plus speed on its fellow British flagged Open 60.  Group 4 was held up by problems with her main shrouds.

Skipper Communications

Mike Golding Group 4 "At first light I climbed up the rig Ė there was more wind and sea now Ė and fed through the hands the covered Vectran Ďdo anythingí halyard, itís a 16 mil diameter rope. At the end of the deck spreader itís attached to a block which turns the cap shrouds back into the mast step, where thereís another block and then it reaches a winch with a couple of jammers. The boatís now on starboard and these cap shrouds are taking the weight. The existing one is still there, itís a good measure to see how much tension it can take. Thereís also a vectran strop and gennaker halyard supporting the mast as well. The cap shroud is as good as useless though. Iím confident that the jury rig is strong and it wonít chafe. I just have to get my head down and keep sailing the boat, Iíve no more spare parts hanging around to make another jury rig."

Josh Hall EBP/Gartmore "I helm a lot each day to get the best speed and heading out of the boat. Iím listening to loads of music to pass time, yesterday was Rolling Stones day, so I was doing some rockíníroll on deck! I have a book to read for relaxation too."

Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations "Since Stewart Island, the low pressures systems are very high in latitude. Until now weíve managed to stay North of the depression but for rounding Cape Horn, I will have to head down South...The leaders will be the first men to go round the world single handed in less than a hundred days. I would have liked to be part of them..."

Marc Thiercelin Active Wear "My ETA, is probably going to be around Monday or Tuesday next week. I donít know what the others ahead have calculated but perhaps the 12th.  Myself I am fine, of course there are highs and lows. I have personal motivations in this round the world race. I know these boats have differences but I havenít made many mistakes."

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "For now Iím just holding out, in light airs you have to live life hour by hour."

Current Weather The leaders begin to pass through a light air high pressure area.

Weather Forecast Once past the light stuff, SW winds provided by low pressure as high as 45 knots.

What does it all mean

Around 1 week left.  We don't yet know how it will end...remarkable.