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15 January 2001
 

Rhythm of the Race The Atlantic Ocean fleet now numbers 5 with the most recent to round Sobedo fastest at 14.1 knots.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB 42 South 42 West
2.  Kingfisher 48 South 57 West + 606 miles 
3.  Active Wear  52 South 57 West +790 miles

Fleet round up section

PRB continues the home ward leg with a 600+ mile lead.  2nd place Kingfisher did post a gain of 75 miles.  Seems Ellen Macarthur received some benefit from going on the opposite side of the Falklands that PRB did.

4th place Sill has finished repairs and is heading north.  Sill now trails 3rd place Active Wear by 217 miles.

The Atlantic portion of the fleet is facing wind from forward of the beam.  Speeds are in the double digits.  At this stage of the race a good pounding upwind could break a boat.

Skipper Communications

Roland Jourdain Sill ".So at midday I finally managed to climb up with my portable workshop and there and then I fixed the mast track and even managed to cobble a repair on the gennaker clew. I left at 1700hrs (French time). I must have spent 19 hours in total for the stop-over, to do a 3 –4 hour repair job. It’s true, the Vendée Globe is an incredible race…yesterday up the mast in the creek, I was saying to myself "What am I doing up here?!?" at the end of the world, with seals and birds in this beautiful inlet…it was surreal!"

Thomas Coville Sobedo ". Visibility is excellent, very pure, even though there’s no sun. I’ll be rounding the Horn some 10 miles off the coast, a really gorgeous moment."

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "I tried something new instead of furling the jib, stopping the boat and sailing backwards which is what I normally have to do. I threw over a rope with knots along it, a Figaro sailors trick...my first mistake was we were going too fast...I nearly disappeared after it! A lesson learnt! It was quite comical, I couldn’t get it back, there was too much drag on it. I tied it off and bore away, and all was ok. Made me chuckle though. Never stop learning."

Marc Thiercelin Active Wear "I’m going to launch a counter-attack on Ellen. PRB has such a big lead, so not a great deal of hope catch him right now. Ellen is within my reach but her boat is a little more adapted to upwind sailing than mine. I’m going for it though....I think I’m less fatigued than someone like Ellen, where it’s her first Globe."


Current Weather The 5 Atlantic boats have NW winds ranging from 328º for Kingfisher to 352° for Sill.  Velocity from Force 4 to 5.

Weather Forecast Atlantic boats should continue on the wind.

What does it all mean

Although PRB's lead is large, the distance from Cape Horn to the finish is 7,000 miles which is longer than a Trans Atlantic race.  With the boats sailing upwind breakage and shift picking could scramble the positions.