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Ellen MacArthur second boat around Cape Horn in Vendee Globe

by Philippe Jeantot on 14 Jan 2001
Yesterday evening, at 1853 hrs UT, the second competitor in the Vendée Globe, Ellen MacArthur (Kingfisher), rounded Cape Horn, with more
than 30 knots of wind propelling ŒKingfisher¹ under two reefs and staysail in exceptional surfing conditions past the legendary rock. A quick
calculation shows that she passed 2 days and 46 minutes after leader Michel Desjoyeaux (PRB), and that her time is 2 days, 17 hours and 24
minutes ahead of Christophe Auguin¹s record.

Ellen was able to savour the moment for herself, despite the flurry of live media interviews during the passage itself, and said that it was 'a
pretty good feeling to have completed a round the world voyage'. Cape Horn was where she set off alone for the first time on board Kingfisher
during the delivery voyage from New Zealand to home. Thanks to modern technology a whole world was able to share this moment with her.

Since then, however, Ellen has been successively worn down by numerous sail changes, after hitting light and flukey airs right on the nose
soon afterwards. The surmounting levels of stress were evident this morning on the radio, as Ellen sounded shattered physically, but also
strung out mentally, knowing that Marc Thiercelin (Active Wear) was just 222 miles behind her. A while later the Race HQ was notified that she
had managed to re-thread the gennaker halyard. The next job to tackle will be the sail repair itself.

Perhaps unknown to her then, Thiercelin, however, was also suffering in the same conditions this morning : 'I have had no wind in the last 10
hours!' he raged. Still 57 miles from Cape Horn mid-morning, he estimated his arrival there mid-afternoon. Roland Jourdain (Sill Matines La
Potagere) is trailing him by a mere 30 miles. Understandably he is skirting closer to the coastline, in search of shelter to anchor and make his
repairs.

Michel Desjoyeaux (PRB) has just left the 50th degree parallel. The large anticyclonic system known as the Saint Helen high, has dispersed and
instead there are plenty of little high pressure bubbles scattered over the Southern Atlantic, creating a veritable mine field full of hazards and
surprises for the leading boats.

Back to the Vendée Globe's own 'castaway': Yves Parlier (Aquitaine Innovations) is two days behind his schedule, despite ingenious efforts
over 18 hours to join together the middle and top sections of the future mast. The winds predicted for Monday could delay him a further day.
However, this doesn¹t dint his morale one bit: 'The work is coming on in any case, even though it¹s hard to do when I have to improvise all the
time with my tools and material. Thinking about stepping onto land does me no good. As long as I stay on the sea, I know I¹m getting further
towards my goal.'


Radio Chat Extracts

Ellen MacArthur (Kingfisher) : 'It¹s a very emotional moment for me because Kingfisher and I have reached the moment where we sailed for the
first time alone together after Cape Horn. It was great to pass in second position, but I¹ve always said that my first objective is to get to the
finish line. It would be so hard to catch Michel up now. If I finish within the top five I¹ll be really happy. When I passed Cape Horn, I had 30
knots of wind from behind but it¹s changed a lot since! I had a tough night with many sail changes and wind shifts. Often I had 26 knots, I was
under staysail and two reefs, and then there was 10 knots less. I¹m exhausted after so many sail changes. I know it will get better shortly. It¹s
stressful as I know the others behind are catching, but that¹s life! I am still focused on the navigation but in my head it¹s like I¹m climbing the
final mountain.'

Simone Bianchetti (Aquarelle.com) : 'I¹m on my good side, that is to say that the tack I¹m on is not stressing the damaged spreader. Philippe
Monnet (owner of the boat) won¹t be too happy when he sees what I¹ve done, it¹s not pretty, but the most important thing is that it holds
together and gets me back to Les Sables d¹Olonne and doesn¹t land the mast on the deck. Today I cooked up 1 kg of spaghetti and I¹ve got
some parmesan left! It¹s the first time I¹ve cooked myself spaghetti so now I¹m going to attack the rest of my meal and live off this between now
and the finish.'

Yves Parlier (Aquitaine Innovations) : 'I started work at 2am as I want to work on the joins today. I didn¹t stop for a moment except for one half
hour break. I wanted to join the the middle and top sections together. I got the heating going inside the mast. I had some difficulty in fixing the
middle section to the top part. After 18 hours I still couldn¹t stick them together. I¹m two days behind on timing and I¹m afraid that the next
wind shift will probably mean that I¹ll lose a third. There was a moment when I stumbled carrying the hacksaw and dropped it in the water. I
really hesitated about diving to recover it and made myself another one instead. At this stage it¹s not serious, I don¹t need it really anymore.
I¹ve got 100ml of resin left for the second join after using the same amount for the first, so I can¹t spill any!'

Marc Thiercelin (Active Wear): (Bad quality of today¹s communication with the skipper) 'I have had no wind in the last 10 hours, I¹m fed up! I
still have 57 miles to sail before reaching Cape Horn. I should be there around 1500hrs UT. The wind is shifty, it¹s raining. I am not going to
pass too close but not too far away either.'

Pasquale de Gregorio (Wind) by telex: 'Yesterday while sailing in light airs, I did some checks to the engine, dried out the rear compartments, I
read and then I did my first heroic act of the Southern Ocean: I took a shower all necked on deck. A shock at the beginning, but very restoring
at the end. A south west low pressure is moving along from starboard and the barometer is dropping very fast. Right now the wind intensity is
moderate although changes direction quite often. This translates in lots of work on deck. Here I have found three stations that since yesterday
evening are sending meteo faxes but not a single one relates to my area. I count now on the New Zealanders by the time I'll get closer to them.
Health and mood are just good.'

Latest Ranking* polled at 0955hrs (UT):

Psn Boat Skipper Lat Long Headg Av. Speed** DTF*** Miles from leader
1 PRB Michel Desjoyeaux 48°15'S 51°38'W 57 12.4 6347 0
2 Kingfisher Ellen MacArthur 55°05'S 64°27'W 77 11 6990 643
3 Active Wear Marc Thiercelin 56°08'S 69°14'W 57 7.83 7212 865
4 Sill Matines & La Potagère Roland Jourdain 55°50'S 70°28'W 134 7.6 7241 894
5 Sodebo Savourons la Vie Thomas Coville 55°24'S 80°12'W 122 12.4 7675 1328
6 Union Bancaire Privée Dominique Wavre 55°17'S 85°36'W 105 13.6 7751 1404
7 Whirlpool Catherine Chabaud 56°01'S 102°38'W 71 10.2 8281 1934
8 EBP - Défi PME - Gartmore Josh Hall 53°53'S 108°32'W 95 7.94 8525 2178
9 VM Matériaux Patrice Carpentier 55°14'S 130°21'W 82 9.23 9200 2853
10 Voilà.fr Bernard Gallay 53°53'S 133°58'W 60 10.8 9348 3001
11 Team Group 4 Mike Golding 54°33'S 140°17'W 103 9.29 9536 3189
12 Nord Pas de Calais - Chocolats du Monde Joe Seeten 53°56'S 140°00'W 106 10.9 9538 3191
13 Aquarelle.com Simone Bianchetti 49°37'S 177°43'W 114 9.61 10892 4545
14 Aquitaine Innovations Yves Parlier 47°09'S 167°41'E 0 0 11461 5114
15 DDP - 60ème Sud Didier Munduteguy 50°27'S 137°44'E 107 8.78 12324 5977
16 Wind Pasquale de Gregorio 48°32'S 132°21'E 107 3.78 12562 6215
17 Modern University for the Humanities Fedor Konyukhov 48°12'S 90°30'E 129 7.51 13966

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