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28 January 2001
 

Rhythm of the Race Most uncertain at the front of the fleet due to the Doldrums.  Mike Golding and Group 4 shred another boat on their way north.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB .04 North 27:3 West
2.  Kingfisher .37 North 27:2 West + 33 miles 
3.  Active Wear  8 South 29 West +543 miles
 
Fleet round up section

On Day 79 the Doldrums have brought 1st and 2nd place event closer together.  Now only 33 miles separates 1st place PRB and 2nd place Kingfisher.  Both skippers are struggling through the unpredictable doldrums.

Marc Thiercelin sailing Active Wear is fastest of the top boats at 11.9 knots and holds 3rd place.  Sill is 62 mile back and only .1 slower.

UBP now leads Sobedo by 47 miles, although Sobedo is currently faster.

Mike Golding has made short work of Josh Hall and EBP-GartmoreGroup 4 is now 25 miles ahead of Gartmore and almost 2 knots faster!

Skipper Communications

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "I crossed the Equator line just 20 minutes ago! Now I have only 4 knots of wind but an hour ago I was doing 16 knots. I had 20 knots of wind under a cloud but now itís gone...I thought Iíd have some wind all the time but in the last 24 hours I had no wind as I am too much in the East. In the West there is more wind. Forecasts donít work for the Doldrums, you need to us ethe staellite images. It has moved of 3 degrees in 24 hours. I believe Michel had the same situation and weíre in the same zone."

Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "Going down we always had enough wind, but this morning, I stayed several hours without wind. And there is a chopped sea, waves coming from the North.  I tried to take some satellite photos yesterday evening but it didnít work. On the chartís wind fields it loooked like it was going to work so I wanted to try. Itís not the end of the world as Kingfisher is just in the south. If was climbing in the mast and if the visibility was good I could see her! She must be stopped as well."

Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations "Four years ago in the last Vendťe Globe, I did 22 knots with a mast and no sails up, so itís not a performance to do 24 with an 18 meters mast and sails up...Today the fishing net was nearly empty but yesterday I caught a bigger fish than usual."


Current Weather Worst, most inconsistent breezes for the top 2.

Weather Forecast Forecasting in the Doldrums is difficult.  According to the skippers satellite images are most reliable, but even they are frequently inaccurate.

What does it all mean

The Doldrums are an area of uncertainty.  With only 30 miles between the top boats, luck or an instinctual call at the helm in the midst of a squall could change the situation.