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27 November 2000

 

Rhythm of the Race As the fleet crosses the equator and benefits from the trade winds, speed spreads.  18 boats across into the southern hemisphere, 16 of them showing double digit speeds.  Fastest is 4th place Sill at 14.4, with Old Spice the least quick at 10.1 knots.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  Aquitaine Innovations Yves Parlier  17:1 South 27:5 West
2.  PRB Michel Desjoyeaux 16 South 29:2 West + 104 miles 
3.  Sill Roland Jourdain  14 South 26 West +168

The wind arrows come straight at the fleets beam, making for high speed reaching conditions.

Courtesy of:

Fleet round up section 

Yves Parlier continues to handle the trade wind sailing the best.  Today he has gained 41 miles on 2nd place and 48 on 3rd place.  Josh Hall from EBP-Gartmore reports: "I am sticking to the East, the same heading as Yves, but he’s going much faster! Slow down, Yves, slow down!"  There must be a lot of skippers with the same thoughts.

Skipper Communications  

Josh Hall EBP-Gartmore "So I took a sheet in my hand to climb overboard and saw a fishing net next to the keel - it was enormous! I got the boathook and pulled it off, and climbed back on board. Suddenly the pilot stopped working and so I had to get the second one on and look for the problem in the first one. I spent an hour fixing that, and when I tried to get the solent out it wouldn’t budge as there was a problem there with the furler. So in all, I have had a tough time of it and didn’t finish working until 0400hrs. I’ve spent a while sleeping this morning after all that!"

Mike Golding Group 4 "So that was 4 - 5 hours the boat wasn’t going very well. I got the Code 5 up and got going again, but it took me 1 and a half hours to unwind the twists in the kite."

Roland Jourdain Sill "At the moment, Yves has made no mistake at all but you must look at the changes in the weather patterns"

Thierry Dubois Solidaires ":"A boat can still be good from one race to another, and his [Yves Parlier] big advantage is that he knows her very well. But we have only sailed two weeks"

Patrice Carpentier VM Matériaux  "I have had a great weekend at sea with nothing new to report really. I am going upwind, which is getting my wind generator working hard so I can avoid using the motor, and it’s not so hot inside now."

Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "Parlier has done the most miles on his boat, and in these conditions it is often hard to find an ideal angle of heading/speed, or he is more at ease with his boat, he has the experience - the course is still long."

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "Yves is really going well ahead, his boat is quick in reaching conditions, no surprises there. We can still catch him, he hasn’t that big a lead and we’ve done 1/5th of the race so anything could happen still."

Thomas Coville Sobedo ". I’ve seen two wrecks just 25 - 30 metres from the boat, a large container and an enormous wooden crate, and each time I tell myself I’ve had a lucky escape."

Yves Parlier Aquitaine Innovations "I am doing 14-15 knots! I am ¹eating¹ the miles and I am happy. I am on a beam reach, the boat is sailing really well and the sea is calmer. I am doing some maintenance."

Current weather conditions  Easterly force 5.

Weather Forecast Continued trade winds for sevaral days

What does it all mean

Parlier's lead has the fleet talking.  The next chance for his followers to gain is as they turn towards the Cape of Good Hope.  Someone reading the weather better could gain on him.