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18 February 2001
 

Rhythm of the Race Shifty breeze tries patience

Standings table 

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Fleet round up section

March Thiercelin should finally finish by tomorrow.  His never ending upwind pound to the finish continues.

Behind him UBP and Sobedo continue in the same bone crashing boat breaking conditions.

Whirlpool sailed by Catherine Chabaud is not quite in the same tough stuff, and is sailing at nearly 10 knots.

The fastest boats are the ones that have been dismasted.  Group 4 with her replacement mast is sailing at 12.1 knots, the jury rigged Aquitaine Innovations at 11.5 knots.

Skipper Communications

Josh Hall EBP-Gartmore "I knew immediately that I would have to go up and sort it out but in the quite strong conditions it was going to be pretty dangerous. So, I called my HQ and told to advise the Race HQ I was going up and if I did not call back inside 2 hrs I was stuck up there injured and the HQ would need to divert Voila.fr to assist. It was a sensible precaution . Once I had struggled to the masthead I discovered the block (pulley) had broken and the halyard was jammed inside it. I locked off the sail with a floating rope clutch then placed a new block. The halyard had to be cut but I rejoined it."

Marc Thiercelin Active Wear "Iím sailing upwind, in a breeze which shifts 30 degrees each time in direction. I didnít get a wink of sleep last night, the sea was just grey and empty, and the air cold. ..Iím 90 miles from Les Sables, not too far away. The wind is at 90 and to get to Les Sables Iíd have to head 87. In short the wind is right on the nose and I think itís going to stay like that until the end..., I just wanted to get in under 100 days, which didnít happen, then I wanted to get in on Sunday, then today, now tomorrowÖ Iíve no interest in competition right now. You have to be strong mentally to get through this, and this boat is not made for going upwind, so itís far from easy. Iím not a record making man but I so wanted to come in with Bilou under 100 days, so having to endure this is getting a bit desperate...then I donít know what kind of bad genie was following me around butÖ I was 3rd behind Parlier at the Doldrums coming down here, and on the return trip I was third ahead of Bilou at the Doldrums. Iíll never forget the Doldrums thatís for sure."

Thomas Coville Sobedo "Dominique and I didnít sleep one bit last night. The windís shifting by 40 Ė 50 degrees and varying from 4 to 18 knots in 30 seconds. The swell underneath just makes the boat jerk around uncomfortably, itís just so frustrating."

Dominique Wavre UBP "Iíve rarely seen such a nightmare situation. The boat is rearing up, crashing down, falling over, stoppingÖ the weather is totally unpredictable. Weíre like novices who donít even know where the wind is coming from, and itís hard to discern whatís going on outside and decipher the system weíve fallen into. Iíve really no idea when weíll get into Les Sables."

Current Weather Difficult upwind conditions.


Weather Forecast Light air between the boats and the finish line.

What does it all mean

As Josh Hall's mast climbing predicament shows the sea takes no account of your situation.