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9 January 2001

Rhythm of the Race A faster day for all with 11's 12's and 13's reported throughout the fleet.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB 57 South 78 West
2.  Kingfisher 53 South 93 West + 561 miles 
3.  Sill  53 South 115 West +782 miles

Fleet round up section

Michel Desjoyeaux will round Cape Horn with a substantial lead and other advantages..  Again, today Kingfisher shows a speed advantage.  Yet this British boat has lost ground.  Likely reason is that again Ellen Macarthur has a gennaker halyard let go.  She fears that the sail may not be repairable.

Sill is in 3rd having lost 119 miles to PRB.  Roland Jourdain has considerable work to do aloft before his machine can sail with all canvas set.

4th place Active Wear is 865 miles back, but in better shape than Kingfisher and Sill.

Compared to 4 years ago, Desjoyeaux has much more competition.  Christophe Augin's lead at this point was 1472 miles.  In this edition of the Vendee Globe 6th place is 1344 miles back, meaning Desjoyeaux is much more closely pursued.

Skipper Communications

Josh Hall EBP-Gartmore "We are 2500 miles from The Horn , so I hope we can get there in about 9 days time. In 3 days I can start using a chart with Cape Horn on it...that will be encouraging!"

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "As I gingerly, but forcefully dragged it over the guard wire my worst fears were realised as I saw the leech was damaged, and on further hauling huge rips were present.. My heart sank, I hope to god we can fix it.... Again up the mast, and a repair which I’m not even sure is possible."

Roland Jourdain Sill "Although you wouldn’t think so, I’m going to have to climb up three times to get the genoa back on. I’ve got to grab hold of the gennaker halyard up top to drop the solent which is hooked on to it. As it is unfurled, I won’t be able to bring the sail down and I’ll have to cut the rope with a knife. Then I have to climb up again to take up a halyard, which will be used for the genoa."

Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "We are now going to sail in better latitudes. I haven’t been very fast since Aquitaine Innovations dismasted. Looking at my polars and my routing software I was at 85% of my potential when I was at 105% in the Atlantic. So we could go 20% faster. We are going to arrive with 3.5 days ahead of Christophe Auguin but, four years ago he didn’t push his boat too much as there was less competition."

Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations "According to the rules, I can’t step on land beyond the limit of the high tide. So I went to the limit of the low tide to find stones to weigh down my anchor. To do this I cobbled together a raft with 2 plastic containers, 8 jerricans and a paddle. It’s stable but not very quick, but I can carry rocks in it – 3 in total of around 50 kg all in all. I fished for my dinner too – the bay is rich in mussels, crabs and winkles. But to cook 3kg of mussels, well, that was quite another task! I put them in the ‘electric oven’ but only 4 at a time as it’s quite small!"

Catherine Chabaud Whirlpool "The Vendée Globe is an adventure, but I¹ve been preparing for three years for a regatta. I sailed hard down the Atlantic and then made an error on the weather entering the South, so it¹s hard to have done so much prep and now be this far behind. You have to reach into yourself quite deep to find the motivation and energy to continue. You just have to stay strong in your head when the weather¹s frustratingly light and humble to its strength in the storms.  I hope that the competition hasn¹t distracted too much from the human adventure. Mich said that he is not an adventurer, which changes the face of this race. But for me the human adventure is found in the limits you explore inside yourself, just as much in the storms as in the light airs."

Current Weather Again PRB sails in a different wind, 315° as compared to 235° for 2nd and 3rd place.

Weather Forecast Wind should be moderate and on the beam for PRB's Cape Horn rounding.

What does it all mean

Despite this race being closer than 4 years ago, it remains to be seen whether the boats behind PRB are in condition to chase down the leader.