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30 January 2001
 

Rhythm of the Race Leaders break free of the Doldrums and take the speed tempo into the double digits.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  PRB 4:5 North 30:2 West
2.  Kingfisher 3:4 North 29:3 West + 48 miles 
3.  Active Wear  :16 South 27:5 West +230 miles
 
Fleet round up section

A confident Michel Desjoyeaux has PRB back in the lead.  His slightly more west position got him to the trade winds first.  He's now 48 miles ahead of 2nd place Kingfisher.

3rd place Active Wear has crossed the equator into her home hemisphere.  Marc Thiercelin gained 61 miles.  He is much the farthest east meaning any benefits of this route will go soly to him.

4th place Sill is 73 miles back.

UBP leads Sobedo by 93 miles.  Last report had UBP 2 knots faster.

The two British boats have again switched positions.  Group 4 leads by 56 miles over Gartmore which is the faster of the two.

Fastest in the fleet is Yves Parlier and his jury rigged Aquitaine Innovations at 14.3 knots.  Parlier is still in the Southern Ocean beginning his approach to Cape Horn.

Skipper Communications

Thomas Coville Sobedo "On Sport Elec (ed: Olivier de Kersausonís trimaran) we had much more favourable conditions than these with just 2 Ė3 days of relative calm. In the Southern Ocean we had just great surfing, and could descend quite far South with not too many icebergs in sight. In this round the world race I havenít had remotely the same weather...But itís hard to compare my experience on the multihull to this, as itís such a personal experience sailing solo. Here itís 24hours round the clock. You canít disconnect, you are always in charge. On a multi you can move yourself quickly according to each weather system but in a monohull you spend 3 Ė 4 days in a system."

Bernard Gallay Voila Fr. "Yesterday I had 55 knots of wind for 7 Ė 8 hours, gusting 60 knots, and had to take the helm. I just had the staysail up and the cockpit was awash with 2000 litres of sea 2 or 3 times. The waves were coming from all directions, I think Iíve passed the centre of the depression. Now, itís calmed to 40 knots, so Iíve got the headsail up with 3 reefs."

Marc Thiercelin Active Wear "Iíve literally just passed the Equator, 00į001N!.... I am above everything making the route I wanted: more ahead of Jourdain, it would be wonderful...Itís good to be positive! I know itís difficult still, but weíll see. Iím basing my decisions on a duel I had with Hervť Laurent 4 years agoÖitís something to go on at least, and then to get through it, well just prayers and incantations."

Micehl Desjoyeaux PRB "I never lost the lead, as I was always further North and West and the route was always to go North towards the Azores. The way out was to be in the North and West of this phenomenon and thatís why I got out first!...Life next week will be lived heeled over, not much happens when youíre just going up, up and upwind! Weíll be on the same tack in a constant 18 Ė 20 knots."

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "Michís move to the west certainly paid for him as he got the wind first, and I think he got the breeze about 10 hours before me - our exit ticket from the frustrations of the Doldrums. So Iím not surprised that he has got away, but Iím still kicking myself for my mistake 3 days ago when I fell asleep after climbing the mast, and let the boat head further east...Iím now studying hard the conditions to the north of the Trade Winds, as we have to be deciding now what strategy to take - to say close upwind and as far east as possible or crack off a little to the west and go faster...I think any of the first 4 boats could still pull this off over the next 3000 miles."

Current Weather More trade winds as the leaders cross the equator.

Weather Forecast According to leader Desjoyeaux a week of same tack fast trade winds conditions.

What does it all mean

Ellen Macarthur attributes some of her lost distance to falling asleep after climbing the mast.  This is the amount of pressure the sailors are under, they must endure it for 3000 or more miles.