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Vendee Globe Four boats around Cape Horn

by Philippe Jeantot on 15 Jan 2001
Yesterday evening two more competitors have left the Southern ocean while rounding Cape Horn.

Marc Thiercelin (Active Wear) passed the famous rock at 1608hrs UT for the third time in his life. Active Wear was looking great with his full
main sail, staysail and gennaker up in a westerly 12 knot wind and rather easy sea. : ' For my previous passages(Vendée Globe 1996 and BOC
1998) I didn¹t have such good conditions. It¹s quite busy over here. I saw a big military Chilean ship and the boat with the race organisation¹s
cameramen . This turn to the left represents a new step in the race '

A few hours later, it was Roland Jourdain¹s turn (Sill Matines La Potagère) to show his red boat¹s nose at the Cape Horn¹s longitude. Due to
his technical problems, the breton skipper was only sailing with his mainsail, two reefs, and his solent. He managed to approach the coast line
and to find shelter behind the Horn island, he is now moored at Caleta Martial. ' I arrived in 15 knots of wind. The anchor hooked in the second
time I tried. I was able to go up the mast to prepare the work, unfortunately now I can¹t do anything else There is 35 knots of wind and it¹s
raining. My hands are frozen after just ten minutes. The wind is decreasing a little, if the rains stops, before the wind shifts from the West to the
North West, I hope to find a two to three hours¹ gap to do the job. It¹s so frustrating to be anchored here when the others are sailing. ' A few
hours earlier, he was passing the Horn for the second time. ' I was just gybing in front of the rock when 300 meters on leeward I saw a cruiser
liner with plenty of tourists on deck with their cameras and videos. The lighthouse keeper told me on the VHF that he had to stamp a visa to all
of the 1500 passengers to certify that they had passed the legendary cape. When I think how hard it was to arrive here and my passport will not
even get a stamp ! '

Ellen MacArthur (Kingfisher) didn¹t have much wind yesterday so she also went up the mast to change her broken halyot. She also replaced or
moved some of the worn ropes. However her gennaker needs some bigger work. The three hours she already spent on the sail were not
enough. The wind is back and this morning Ellen was the fastest of the seventeen boats¹ fleet.

Michel Desjoyeaux (PRB), making the most of his comfortable lead, dropped his main sail to replace his broken battens. The weather conditions
are difficult as there is a small low pressure passing through. PRB struggles in a rough sea. It¹s slamming a lot. The competitors now have to
sail upwind, and they are starting to regret the long down wind surfs of the Southern Ocean.

Thomas Coville (Sodebo) was thinking he would be the fifth sailor to leave the Pacific Ocean. At lunch time he was 104 miles away from the
cape and was doing 10 knots : ' I am still fighting to catch up with the others. I am aware there is a long distance between us I never give up
before crossing a finish line. The others competitors are motivating me. My boat is in perfect shape. I hope this factor will be important at the
end. The Vendée Globe is a race by elimination '

Dominique Wavre (Union Bancaire Privée), 275 miles from Cape Horn, should pass the rock tomorrow, with a good breeze : ' I am going to stay
with the low pressure I caught last night up to the Horn and after. It¹s going well. It will be my fifth passage, and my first time single-handed. It
will be very emotional. '


Radio Chat Extracts

Ellen MacArthur (Kingfisher)

'It doesn¹t change much to have Michel ahead. If I come back it means that we are not in the same weather system. I know he is controlling
me.'

Dominique Wavre (Union Bancaire Privée)

'My ETA in Cape Horn is during the night. I am happy to see how things are going! We have a fair amount of ¹waves jumping¹ to do in the
Atlantic! We¹ll have to deal with it but when you start thinking of the finish you can support a lot more. When you are passing Cape Horn with
a crew, you open some champagne and you take some pictures. When you are alone, in that kind of weather and in these conditions you must
be really careful. I feel like the next weathers systems will be less violent after. In the 40th and the 50th, a squall can be brutal and very violent,
you can evacuate the stress level. In the Atlantic you can anticipate a bit more.'

Thomas Coville (Sodebo Savourons la vie)

'Once you pass the Horn, it¹s like going to the beach, we are going back to the nice weather and the warmer latitudes. It¹s really frustrating not
to be in the match ahead. It¹s not easy psychologically, especially when you are a racer. If I can catch the same weather system as they have in
the Southern Atlantic I will have a chance to come back. Never give up! The Vendée Globe is a long race by elimination. A race is never
finished before you cross the finish line. I still believe I must cross the Vendée Globe finish line knowing that I gave everything I could from the
beginning until the end. My thumb is getting better, now I can carry and hold things my left hand. It doesn¹t stop the boat anyway, it takes me
longer, it hurts, but it¹s not the reason why I lost touch with the others.'

Michel Desjoyeaux (PRB)

' I said I enjoyed the long surfs more than sailing upwind in the Atlantic and I am confirming it now! '

Roland Jourdain (Sill Matines La Potagère) (moored near Cape Horn)

'I have to delay my repairs as there is too much wind. I arrived yesterday, it was hard to get to the Horn with just 10 knots of wind. Now there
is 40 knots of wind. I managed to climb up the mast but my hands were frozen. I should fix the rail with some tape but it¹s too humid. Now the
wind is in a 25-30 knots range and I have to wait that it dries.
I must forget about my genoa. I am repairing my gennaker halyot problem, my mainsail rail track. There will be too much wind for the genoa. I
hope to have a calm later to look after it! It starts to be hard, but I hang in there.'

Marc Thiercelin (Active Wear) (yesterday at 1750hrs french time)

' I passed Cape Horn at 1608hrs UT on the 13th January 2001! Now I am in the Atlantic. It¹s not changing yet. It¹s the first time I am rounding
the cape in a nice weather. Two times I have seen it in the fog, even in the evening.

The first time in the Vendée Globe we were a group to round the cape with Hervé (Laurent), Bertrand (De Broc). This time it¹s a much mature
Horn!. I am going to put some space between Jourdain and me. With Ellen it¹s ok, it¹s going to be a nice fight, she is surprising! Her boat is an
upwind machine, it¹s rare to come back from behind.


Latest Ranking* polled at 1155hrs (UT):

Psn Boat Skipper Lat Long Headg Av. Speed** DTF*** Miles from leader
1 PRB Michel Desjoyeaux 46°35'S 46°27'W 52 9.37 6172 0
2 Kingfisher Ellen MacArthur 50°55'S 62°00'W 14 14.5 6730 558
3 Active Wear Marc Thiercelin 54°06'S 63°29'W 57 12.2 6947 775
4 Sill Matines & La Potagère Roland Jourdain 55°49'S 67°17'W 0 0 7111 939
5 Sodebo Savourons la Vie Thomas Coville 56°18'S 69°39'W 86 13.6 7191 1019
6 Union Bancaire Privée Dominique Wavre 56°22'S 74°56'W 95 13.9 7364 1192
7 Whirlpool Catherine Chabaud 55°49'S 95°29'W 77 11.9 8071 1899
8 EBP - Défi PME - Gartmore Josh Hall 53°51'S 102°34'W 107 9.54 8341 2169
9 VM Matériaux Patrice Carpentier 54°55'S 127°04'W 169 3.11 9105 2933
10 Voilà.fr Bernard Gallay 54°03'S 127°31'W 125 2.4 9140 2968
11 Nord Pas de Calais - Chocolats du Monde Joe Seeten 54°39'S 134°15'W 115 8.47 9346 3174
12 Team Group 4 Mike Golding 54°31'S 134°31'W 110 4.3 9358 3186
13 Aquarelle.com

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