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30 November 2000

Rhythm of the Race The gap between the leaders and the followers seems to be growing.  Double digits for the front runners, single digit speeds for those in the back.

Standings table 

Top 3

1.  Aquitiane Innovations  29:5 south 20:3 West
2.  PRB Michel Desjoyeaux 29:2 South 23:4 West + 145 miles 
3.  Sill Roland Jourdain 28:2 South 24:3 West +221 miles

Fleet round up section 

The leaders have turned east.  Top 3 in the standings are steering the following courses: 119,126 and 116 degrees.  The next 3 are steering a bit more south, with courses of 141,131 and 154 degrees.  The top 6 are all showing 10 knots or higher speed with fleet leader Aquitaine Innovations tops at 14.6 knots.

They all appear to have skirted the high pressure in good order.  They are now sailing dead downwind in good wind.  Two factors now on the table are jibing angles and damage and time lost from boats crash jybing when sailing under autopilot.

Richard Tolkein sailing This Time – Argos Soditic has become the 4th skipper to withdraw.  He described some of the problems that caused him to withdraw: "On the second day of the race, the swivel on top of the genoa furling gear broke and I got the torn genoa, inside the boat. The Solent jib tore at the leech in a big squall going through the Canaries."

Skipper Communications  

Dominique Wavre UBP "The top 3-4 boats have gone. It’s going to be difficult to catch up with them, may be around Tristan Da Cunha."

Marc Thiercelin Active Wear "! I am going round the high pressure based on the data I have, on the sat photo and from what I can see. The objective is to reach the 30th degree South. I am not worried about going East, I just want to go South."

Roland Jourdain Sill "Yesterday I wasn’t happy with my day, I was sailing with the gennaker whan I should have had the spinnaker and the spinnaker when I should have had the gennaker!"


Patrice Carpentier VM matériaux "It’s really nice to be in the trade winds, it’s like the motorway, the boat goes alone, always at the same speed."

Ellen Macarthur  Kingfisher "we've been under spinnaker for a while now - that makes it never too relaxing, you've always got to be ready to let that kite sheet go in a hurry if the breeze picks up....I can be asleep in the cuddy seat, and feel the boat accelerate, start to heel, on its way to a broach...I'll wake up, leap to release the sheet, and the pilot takes control again and off we go."

Catherine Chabaud Whirlpool "I think I managed to round the high pressure quite well."

Current weather conditions The winds have turned behind the leaders from the NNW @ force 3/4.  For boats farther back the wind is anywhere from North to east.

Weather Forecast Strong following winds will continue.

What does it all mean

Sailing dead downwind the leaders will have to make jybe angle calls.  They'll need to ensure that they keep their boat on a fast angle and in the strong following winds.