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9 February 2001
 

Rhythm of the Race Last minute drama at the front!

Standings table 

Top 3

1. PRB 44 North 10:2 West 
2. Kingfisher 43:4 North 17:4 West 285 miles
3. Sill 35 South 30:1 West 1047 Miles

Fleet round up section

More bad news has been announced by Ellen Macarthur from onboard Kingfisher.  Late Wednesday her forestay failed.  It is now held on only by lashing.  Although she can continue she must do so gingerly.  Reduced sail the preservation order, a double reefed main and a solent.  

So, for 36 hours PRB has had a great advantage.  Michel Desjoyeaux has sailed hard pushing his lead to 285 miles.  He has 404 miles remaining to finish.  This means he could cross the line in 24 to 36 hours.

3rd place Sill has gotten going again sailing at double digit speeds.  4th place Active Wear is 466 miles back, with a 1.7 knot speed advantage.  Marc Thiercelin will have to maintain this advantage constantly if he wants another podium finish.

UBP has overtaken Sobedo.  Typically of this duo the lead is only 9 miles, and Sobedo is actually 1.3 knots faster.

Group 4 maintains a 141 mile edge in the British flagged battle for 8th and 9th place.  Mike Golding maybe beginning to feel the Doldrums as he is down to 1.6 knots.

Skipper Communications

Dominque Wavre UBP "I think Michel won this race pretty early on, in the descent between the Canaries and the Doldrums. Heís had all the right cards to win this race over and above his talent....With Thomas (Coville), weíre sparring partners and we call each other for a debrief on how weíve analysed the conditions."

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher ". I now have to just focus on finishing in the top 3, its a long hard way to the finish still, and its been a difficult 10 days. Iím ready to finish...Unfortunately yesterday afternoon when the wind died I decided it was time to pull out the genoa [large foresail], and I bore away as I always do and unfurled the sail, sheeted in, and luffed up with the pilot, and just as the boat was luffing up there was a horrendous bang...In just these last three weeks Iíve hit a container, broken a rudder, and now the stayÖ! Michel has sailed faultlessly in terms of his weather analysis."

Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "Iím fine. I can see that Ií back in my waters! Itís grey, itís raining, and I am sailing at 17knots...80% of the result was done before the start. On the technical point of view, in the preparation of PRB, in my knowledge of the boat even if I could have sailed much better.

Mike Golding Group 4 "The weather is slowly moderating and the sea flattening out and at the moment we have trade winds and cloud, which is good news. Yesterday I got a bit of a shock - a couple of squalls and the sky looking very similar to the ITCZ tropical conversion zone - very Doldrumy - quite amazing as I was at 7 South."

Current Weather High speed tailwinds for the leaders.

Weather Forecast Mostly good winds from low pressure, with a possibility of some calm before the finish.

What does it all mean

Desjoyeaux looks set to take his victory tomorrow.  Then Macarthur Sunday or perhaps Monday.