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Vendee Globe...the fleet is compacting with a Spanish high

by Susan Preston Davis on 15 Feb 2001

Mike Golding has just called in and reports that all is well on Team Group
4 today. He is enjoying consistent sailing and maintaining a 9 - 10 knot
average speed in 40-plus knots of breeze. We can see from the latest
rankings at that he is still in the same weather system
as Josh Hall. Unlike the boats ahead, which are still struggling in the
light airs from the anticyclone off the Spanish coastline, both Golding
and Hall are still in good breezes. At 0800 hours Golding was 158 mile
ahead of Hall in 8th place on the water. Golding reports that thanks to
his policy of strict rationing fuel situation is looking more positive. He
still has 21 litres of fuel and estimates that he needs 1.8 litres per day,
giving him enough for 9 - 10 days. He is hoping to have some left over!

Next to finish will be Marc Thiercelin on Active Wear. He is some 840
miles from Les Sables D'Olonne and Race HQ is predicting a finish sometime
on Saturday. It should be remembered that if Mike Golding finishes within
8 days and 4 hours of Thiercelin's finish time he will record the 4th
fastest time in the race. It is a testament to Golding's strength of
character and unflagging determination and that after re-starting the race
8 days and 4 hours after the 23-boat fleet he has been able to climb back
up through that fleet to 8th place. He is still chasing Catherine
Chabaud, 865 miles ahead in 7th place. She is already being effected by
the light and fluky breezes in the Azores high so Golding is well placed to
close the gap considerably.

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