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5 January 2001
 

Rhythm of the Race Front of the fleet sailing in gale force winds.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB 53 South 120 West
2.  Kingfisher 53 South 125 West + 185  miles 
3.  Sill  55 South 128 West +208 miles

Fleet round up section

The top 4 boats have split into 2 groups.  3 of the 4 including leader PRB are sailing along at 53į latitude.  Only 3rd place Sill is to the south at 55į.  

This puts Roland Jourdain close to falling out of the strong winds from the current low pressure system.  His current speed is 8.19 knots, compared to double digits for the boats to the north.

Leader Michel Desjoyeaux has managed to get his engine started.  It ran and charged his batteries for 3 hours yesterday.  He started with a hand crank that was propelled by assistance from his on deck winches.

Roland Jourdain reports that for several weeks his mainsail has been stuck at the 2nd reef.  This hurts his boat speed.  He doesn't anticipate being able to fix the sail until after Cape Horn, or another week or so.

Yves Parlier hopes to reach Stewart Island this weekend.  He expects to spend 3 or 4 days lengthening Aquitaine Innovations mast.

Skipper Communications

Roland Jourdain Sill "The 16th December, I had one reef and the solent downwind near the Kerguelens when my mainsailís rail broke at the first reef. I had to drop the sail, pull the traveller with the headsail stucked...a big mess..the, straight after that, my genoa unroped from the forestay on 3 meters... thatís it... Since then, neither my mainsail, nor my genoa have been above the second reef, which explains a bit my lack of performance. So, since 3 weeks, I am sailing a Ferrari with a 2hp engine!"

Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations "Many experiences remind me of what I am living now, and have prepared me for today. When I was 14 year old, I build a boat myself with absolutely no budget. I installed some wheels to transport it behing my bike... With this boat I was sailing on the lakes around. I am used to do things with nothing for a start. When I was reading Moitessier, he said he wanted to go round the world on a paper boat, built with old newspapers. If Moitessier thinks that it means you can really do things from nothing. I feel like I am living my own "Longue Route" today."

Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "Meanwhile I had engineers from Yanmar trying to work out a solution. I tried many solutions but it was never enough. Yesterday finally it worked 3 hours and I didnít dare to stop...At the beginning I was using a sailmaker strope, but it was too strectchy. Yesterday I used a stronger rope, and when I trimmed the mainsail in it started. It was a bit complicated as I had to loose the injectors to have less compression."

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "Yesterday I didnít push too hard the boat as I was really tired. I slept a lot because during the night I did lots of sails changes. I took a day off."

Thomas Coville Sobedo "Standing up on the stern by the runners, I have a fantastic vantage point. I like standing there. I can feel what the boatís doing. When Sodebo rises to the top of a wave, you get one hell of a view! Iíve got 46 knots right now and I am surfing down a wave at 23 knots! "

Current Weather NW gale force winds.

Weather Forecast Looks like continued good wind on the low pressure systems north side.

What does it all mean

All of the top 3 now have significant handicaps.  PRB has electrical charging uncertainties.  Sill has a reduced main.  Kingfisher is still missing both her Code 5 gennakers.  This means that Active Wear 342 miles back, but in good shape can't be counted out.