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29 November 2000

Rhythm of the Race Most of the fleet still flying along.  Double digit pace the norm, preparing boats and minds for the Southern Ocean.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  Aquitiane Innovations  27 south 25:2 West
2.  PRB Michel Desjoyeaux 25:4 South 28:4 West + 153 miles 
3.  Whirlpool Catherine Chabaud 23:3 South 26 West +166 miles

Fleet round up section 

For the first time this week Yves Parlier has not posted significant gains.  He has picked up just 8 miles over 2nd place and 11 over 3rd.  An explanation could be that Parlier reports 11 knots of wind meaning he could be having trouble from the large high pressure the fleet is sailing around.

Charging along at the fastest speeds in fleet are Voila Fr. at 13.2 knots and Union Bancaire Privee at 13.6.  On UBP Dominique Wavre recently repaired his rear water ballast tank.  Now he is back on deck and making the most of it!


Dominique Wavre works in the innards if UPB
Image: Dominique Wavre.com

Wavre is the 6th boat in the lead pack, trying it boat speed Kingfisher.  Gallay sailing the boat that won the last race is the leader of the 2nd pack, 146 miles behind 10th place EBP/Gartmore and 60 miles ahead of Joe Seeten.

Skipper Communications  

Ellen Macarthur Kingfisher "I also went for the rig check too...this involves climbing the mast, and checking over everything up there just to be sure it is OK before we plunge into the southern ocean."

Michel Desjoyeaux PRB "Itís a sunny day, the boat is surfing well at 15/16 knots, itís quite nice. Now we are going round the high pressure, we should gain in the East, I am waiting for a low pressure which would allow me to accelerate."

Roland Jourdain Sill "The breeze is more and more coming from behind and less stronger. The sky is not the one from the trade winds any more, itís grey but I am still wearing t-shirts and shorts."

Thomas Coville Sobedo "As a rookie in this race and after my experience in crewed races I know that everything has a memory, so I am living on the long term and on the fact that my boat has had no damage which could show that it has been suffering. I always wanted me to dictate the route to the boat and not the outside elements. Until now it is still the case. This kind Of strategy always pays off...itís one way to race. I couldnít see myself sailing full on."

Mike Golding Group 4 "After completing various chores around the boat he spent a "lazy" evening enjoying a lamb stew. He said, laughing, "it was one of the packet meals, very easy to cook, very tasty. BUT, I was really hoping to save some of those for the Southern Ocean so I really must exercise more self-discipline otherwise Iím going to be eating freeze-dried for the last 50 days of this trip!"

Current weather conditions East by North winds for the leaders, east by south for the 2nd pack of boats.

Weather Forecast The farther south you sail, the more wind there will be.  The image below shows the area of wide spaced isobars the leaders are in.  To the south are the close spaced isobars of the Southern Ocean.  Their job is to read the weather so they get to the big winds before their competition.


Courtesy of:

What does it all mean

For the leaders several important tasks.  Get their boat ready for the Southern Ocean which is the worlds premiere boat buster.  And get their soonest!