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1 January 2001
 

Rhythm of the Race As the New Year begins the fleet leaders have passed the half way mark and are sailing back to the finish at double digit speeds

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB 53 South 150 West
2.  Sill 55 South 157 West + 222  miles 
3.  Kingfisher 55 South 159 West +258 miles

Fleet round up section

Superior routing has kept PRB and Michel Desjoyeaux on a fast course and has allowed him to gain over 100 miles on the 2nd and 3rd place boats.

PRB maintained a fast wind angle of dead downwind, and at least report was moving at 15.8 knots.

2nd place Sill lost 109 miles.  Roland Jourdain has the wind on more of a broad reach angle.

3rd place Kingfisher had to sail upwind and lost 114 miles.

Skipper Communications

Patrice Carpentier VM Matťriaux "My New Year was tranquil, this morning was the standard, calls to the family and some close friends."

Bernard Gallay Voila Fr. "I can see Mike coming up behind me and Josh Hall on the other side of the ridge with a good SW breeze."

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "I'm really not sure why I've been feeling so low. I'm very tired, and maybe I've not realised how much the last 50 days has taken out of me. This morning I lay in the cockpit and just cried for 2 hours. I've never done that in my life before, not like this. I don't understand why.... I don't have a problem with being out here on my own. In fact I was already thinking about how hard it will be stop at the finish. I just read the rules, and you have to go in to Les Sables...otherwise maybe I might want to turn around and carry on!"

Marc Thiercelin Active Wear "Changing Millennium doesnít happen often, and when youíre at sea in the midst of nature, itís quite a powerful moment! A real bond with life, not in any way you could sense it if you were on land. At forty years of age, if the rest of my life is as rich as the first part then Iíll be happy!"

Mike Golding Group 4 "Itís clear that my chances of a record are very small and what with these technical problems Iíll be content to finish."

Josh Hall EBP-Gartmore "You have to sail in a way you know how, and my ethos is to push but conservatively, to take care of myself and the boat.I donít dream of winning but to finish after a seamanlike race, and hopefully in the top six!"

Current weather conditions For PRB an ideal straight west wind.  For PRB's chasers winds are 20 to 40 degrees more southerly, just enough to no be ideal.

Weather Forecast West wind should stay and provide solid downwind rides.

What does it all mean

For some the idea that they can't win is forming.  For other the fact that they aren't winning is becoming frustrating.  Marc Thiercelin is in this camp saying, "Iíd like to gain back those miles to catch up the Bretons and the Britain!"