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15 November 2000

 

Rhythm of the Race Savage solo racing as at last report the top 6 boats are within 50 miles of each other.  PRB is slightly ahead.  Active wear is separated from this pack, closer to the African coast.  The other 4 boats are largely on top of each other.  

Standings table 

Courtesy of:

Top 3

1.  PRB  Michel Desjoyeaux 29:3 North 15:3 West
2.  Aquitaine Innovations Yves Parlier 30:0 North 15:5 West + 25 miles 
3.  Active Wear Marc Thiercelin 30:0 North 15:1 West +31 

Fleet round up section 

PRB has taken the lead after several days with Aquitaine  Innovations in the lead.  Another French sailor Marc Thiercelin, sailing Active Wear is 3rd.

The top 6 boats are sailing in similar conditions.  Wind speeds range from 11.2 knots for Active Wear to 12.2 knots for Sobedo.  Wind is near constant from 024° for Active Wear to 030° for PRB.

The courses being sailed range from 173° for Aquitaine Innovations to 204° for Active Wear.  Active Wear is thriving in these conditions sailing at 13.6 knots.  Slowest is Aquitaine Innovations at 9.1 knots.

Ellen Macarthur of Kingfisher has shredded her Code 5 gennarker.  A squall hit, the boat began to broach, the sheet broke and the sail essentially flogged itself to pieces.  Ellen is not certain she can fix this sail.

This edition of the Vendee Globe has had its first retirement.  Patrick de Radigués La Libre Belgique has withdrawn his 50 footer after an incident last nite.  Here is how Patrick described it: " As I was gybing, my foot got hooked in a sheet and I have been violently projected onto the deck."  The Belgian sailor then lost consciousness.  When he awoke his boat had grounded on the beach.  Since local rescue personnel towed him off, he is disqualified as he received outside assistance.  

Skipper Communications  

Pasquale de Gregorio Wind "I have a problem because I can’t manage to pump the water. But it doesn’t matter because I have a lot of wine onboard !"

Bernard Gallay Viola Fr . "Yesterday I had to helm during the squalls as I was under gennaker and sometimes we were surfing up to 20 knots!"

Joe Seeten Nord Pas de Calais Chocolats du Monde "We are in a group of boats of the same age, it’s normal, but it’s a nice race and I am happy to sail with my friends around !"

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher ". Usually you can tell when its coming with the 'gremlin' clouds, but sometimes the puffs come out of nowhere."

Catherine Chabaud Whirlpool "Its not easy to find time to read, its non-stop work here on board."

Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "It is nothing like others single-handed races I was used to. You have to organise your manoeuvres long before you start."

Thomas Coville Sobedo ", I would like to keep my speed on the right side of the course."

Thierry Dubois Solidares "When the wind got lighter, boats like mine or Ellen’s Kingfisher are going faster. Even with less sails up, the fact that we have less wet area allows us to go faster."

Current weather conditions North East winds in the 10-15 knot range.  Still skipper reports of calms and squalls depending upon relation to clouds. 

Weather Forecast The fitful NW winds will continue to challenge the sailors.

What does it all mean

The leaders should round the first waypoint North of Gran Canaria Island, between Tenerife and Fuerteventura. It is a 1 mile square zone area in which the skippers must pass.

Once past this constraint the fleet should spread out as the skipper put their individual stamp on the best route southward to the Cape of Good Hope.