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Kingfisher - latest race update

by Ellen MacArthur on 4 Feb 2001
* A few hourly fluctuations aside, KINGFISHER is maintaining the distance
behind PRB at 76 - 82 miles as the 4 leading boats continue their long
upwind route towards the Azores. Yesterday they passed to the north of the
latitude of the Cape Verde Islands - the place on their way down the island
where Ellen took a daring westerly option away from the fleet - seems a long
time ago now... Today they are crossing across the Tropic of Cancer at 22.5
degrees north, another significant passage on this final leg back to Les
Sables d'Olonne and the finish, still some 2,200 miles away.

* WEATHER situation : conditions remains moderate to strong Trade Winds at
present, this means uncomfortable but steady sailing speeds as these
powerful Open 60s grind down the miles to the north - to the next barrier -
the Azores High Pressure system. Point your browser to -
and you will see the anticyclone, and its associated light winds, spreading
right across their route. Once across this wind barrier, the prize is
obvious, strong westerly winds to speed them to Les Sables. Its the final
natural passing place in the race.

* Have a look at the website version of this story to see the graph of
'movement' of boat and skipper onboard Kingfisher at the time of the

* SODEBO and UBP struggle in virtually no wind as they approach the Equator,
the next pair of boats to arrive back in the North.

* Just 3 miles apart, Golding and Hall still battle it out, with GARTMORE
holding the slight advantage right now in 8th place.


Communications sponsored by British Telecom

Yesterday I did quite a lot of work on the boat, in between resting, and
getting everything back in order. I hate to see the damage on the deck where
the board operation took place...I want her to look perfect when we arrive,
I hate to see her look hurt. We've looked after her all the way round, I
don't want to finish with her looking bad, whatever we've been through.

I've been also thinking through how to tack the board. Hopefully we'll be
able to get through the high pressure system in just one tack, so we only
have to do it once. Once across the Azores 'barrier', there could be a lot
of wind. Right now the long term forecasts show about 60 knots at the finish
line, so who knows how we'd get in to Les Sables!

It wasn't an easy night, I had a ship with me for most of it. The Active
Echo saw it, but I didn't actually see it myself for 3 hours, so I couldn't
sleep in that time. Unbelievable, it was going almost the same course as me,
so it came from all the way up one side, across and then just in front of
me. Its really hard during the night to stay on top of it.

Good to see we've been holding Mich, and got back to the east of him. Bilou
is doing a good job of closing both of us on longitude as well.

We seem to have lost the flying fish, not one last night. Today we should
cross the Tropic of Cancer - my star sign! Its definitely getting colder
again, got trousers and fleece on again. It was too hot before, even during
the repairs this week the heat was too much, especially when I had to wear
oilskins because of the water pouring over me on the foredeck. My boots are
still wet from the sweat, haven't managed to dry them out yet, each time I
put them on the engine to dry I end up going on deck to adjust the sails or

Each time I tried to sleep last night, the wind would change. And when the
wind drops if we're not powered up we smash uncomfortably and slowly in to
the waves - so I definitely can't sleep. When I lie on the chart table seat,
and the boat bangs in to a wave, the bruise on my head hits the seat, so I
wake up. Then I see she's only at 9 knots, so I get up again, take the reef
out...only to then find an hour later the wind has come up and we're on our
ear...up again, reef in....the only time you can sleep is when the boat is
driving properly in to the waves, like now, so, bye....


ACTIVE ECHO : This is a safety system that alarms when another radar 'ping'
is detected - ie when there is another ship nearby.

GOLD PARTNER OF THE DAY : Pains Wessex Safety Systems/McMurdo Ltd - world leaders in technically advanced marine
safety equipment

THIS DAY IN THE LAST RACE : Auguin crossed the Equator at 0857. Thiercelin
gained 82 miles on Laurent who was concerned about being too close to the
Brazilian coast.

CASTO KID OF THE DAY : A Donf to LIONEL AND FLORAINE (yesterday's Castokid!)
in Hospital Haute Pierre, Strasbourg

POSITIONS AT 0500 - check it out on our 3D position page, and download
Virtual Spectator to run your own fully interactive animation software


1 PRB (Desjoyeaux) 21.38 33.11 2153 0 354 11.7
2 Kingfisher (MacArthur) 20.03 32.46 2229 76 1 11.3
3 SILL Matines La PotagËre (Jourdain) 15.4 35.58 2540 387 5 11.1
4 Active Wear (Thiercelin) 12.05 34.02 2658 505 340 11
5 Sodebo (Coville) -0.48 30.25 3250 1097 354 2.78
6 Union Bancaire PrivÈe (Wavre) -1.08 30.53 3285 1132 25 0.49
7 Whirlpool (Chabaud) -10.08 34.1 3888 1735 20 8.81
8 EBP EspritPME Gartmore (Hall) -20.58 34.35 4526 2373 36 4.69
9 Team Group 4 (Golding) -21.46 30.59 4529 2376 62 6.42
10 (Gallay) -26.37 36.12 4880 2727 57 5.99
11 VM MatÈriaux (Carpentier) -28.06 37.01 4971 2818 2 8.24
12 Nord Pas de Calais - Chocolats du Monde (Seeten) -29.3 37.21 5061 2908 347 6.35
13 (Bianchetti) -51.26 57.11 6621 4468 14 12.4
14 Aquitaine Innovations (Parlier) -55.04 91.23 7954 5801 45 1.69
15 DDP - 60ieme Sud (Munduteguy) -55.05 110.48 8591 6438 91 7.7
16 Wind Telecommunicazioni (de Gregorio) -53.11 134.33 9375 7222 69 9.95

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