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Vendee Globe report from MacArthur, less than 1000 miles from finish

by Kingfisher Media on 8 Feb 2001
* After one of the toughest 24 hours for Ellen - mentally exhausted, and
feeling the pressure of the final miles, things are looking a bit better
this morning. A relatively 'chirpy' Ellen told of a very wet 24 hours
onboard KINGFISHER as windy conditions and rough seas yesterday pounded the
deck - 'if I tried to go outside, I just got hosed with fast moving salt
water!'. Touching speeds of up to 25 knots in the surf, yet trying to
maintain the balance between speed and safety, the leading pair of boats
have now got to within a 1000 miles of Cape Finistere, NW Spain. Ellen has
held her distance with Mich overnight at just over 140 miles - about 8 to 9
hours sailing at the speeds they have been making. Too far really to imagine
the positions changing with boats so matched for speed - only technical
breakdown could change this situation.

* SILL is still trapped by lighter winds and is now at 400 miles from
KINGFISHER, and ACTIVEWEAR even further back at 900 from PRB now and really
struggling making just over 7 knots.

* Yves Parlier, complete with his jury rigged mast, is passing Cape Horn
today - amazing effort. For those of you joining us in the past week, Yves
was the early leader in the Vendee, and then was dismasted. He managed to
get as far a small bay south of New Zealand and rebuilt his mast himself
without any assistance (not allowed in the rules). He has then sailed the
Pacific part of the Southern Ocean, and is finally entering the Atlantic. An
amazing story with a skipper they call ET - extra-terreste!

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