Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden
Product Feature
P&B Race Team Glove Long Finger
P&B Race Team Glove Long Finger

Kingfisher closing on Vendee leader

by Ellen MacArthur on 5 Feb 2001
After 4 days of relatively steady sailing upwind in the Trades, PRB has
started to feel the effects of the high pressure system that blocks the
route of the leaders. At 0600, Mich's speed had dipped below 10 knots for
the first time in almost a week, and his lead down to 54 miles in terms of
distance to go to the finish. Positioned 90 miles to his south and 40 miles
to his east, KINGFISHER was holding on still to the stronger breeze. The
game will be to get to the other side of the high pressure first, so the
distance to go is less relevant than how close to the wind on the other side
can each boat is.

* The high pressure 'barrier' and its associated light winds will create an
accordion effect once more, KINGFISHER should gain more miles before
touching the same winds and slowing up. Ellen's hope will be by at least not
following the same track, even if only 40 miles to the east, that she can
pick up a different breeze to gain some miles on the leader. On the other
side of the barrier there are strong West and NW winds, attached to the
North Atlantic depressions, to carry the skippers back to the Bay of Biscay
and the finish, now less than 2000 miles away.
http://www.kingfisher-challenges.com/position/2.shtml

* Marc Thiercelin (ACTIVEWEAR) continues to slip back, now at 523 miles -
he's had difficulty holding height with his older generation Finot design.
He commented yesterday that he had to sail a lot without the daggerboard due
to a balance problem - the effect is obvious - slip to leeward. He certainly
hasn't give up hope of a podium finish though, on this, his 3rd round the
world solo race.

* During the night Thomas Coville (SODEBO) crossed the Equator back in to
the northern hemisphere. Both him and Dom Wavre (UBP) have been plagued by
the calms for several days now, but seem to have finally touched some new
breeze and are sailing at 7 knots.

* Meanwhile in the Battle of the Brits, Josh Hall has once again taken the
advantage with a 21 mile lead, his more westerly position for the time being
paying off as Golding hits the calms - boat speed 2.7 knots...


-------

EMAIL UPDATE FROM ELLEN THIS MORNING
Communications sponsored by British Telecom http://www.btopenworld.com
No Audio today

I had the weirdest experience yesterday evening - a sand storm! Suddenly it
was raining sand, the whole deck was brown. It was on the sails, the ropes,
everything. Africa feels a long way away, but I guess this came from
Morocco.

I have been working quite hard on a long jobs list, making sure everything
is done before we attack the area of light winds ahead. I've re-spliced the
spinnaker sheets, re-stitched a few strops and even cleaned the deck. I wish
I could get the black marks out though, I hate it when she's not looking
perfect.

Had the best night's sleep for a long time last night. Lots of 70 minute
naps, with a few 20 minutes ones as well. Fantastic! The wind was quite
steady, on a clear night, with stars everywhere.

This next 48 hours is going to be decisive, its the last chance for anyone
to pass I think. We seem to have been keeping our distance on Bilou although
he's been climbing slightly on both of us [meaning he has been sailing
higher and therefore gaining ground to east], but thats probably due to a
better wind angle out to the west. I've worked to get a bit of separation
from Mich by sailing a bit closer to the wind and accepting some speed loss,
so at least I'm not just following his tracks. We'll see whether it makes
any difference - this shouldn't be as bad as the Doldrums, but in every
unstable wind mass there are always chances to pick up a ride from a
friendly cloud...

Wind is now down to 13 knots and quite steady, time for a sail change to the
genoa I think. Grind in the smaller 'solent' sail and roll out the big'n.
We're going in to the CALM ZONE...it just remains to be seen how long we are
there. The routing software says we should be out by tomorrow, but I don't
really trust that computer programme!

Got to go, down 12 knots of wind...

Related Articles

Australian 505 Championship day 1
The first race day was rough and windy The Australian 5O5 Championship first race day was again rough and windy. In fact the race team called off the second race when it became just too much. The first race, however, was completed.
Posted today at 4:35 am
CoastWaterSports January Sale!
Still loads to choose from CoastWaterSports are ready to deliver astonishing offers on watersports accessories that can't ignore. This is the best time for watersport enthusiasts to go on a shopping spree.
Posted on 17 Jan
Steve Nicholson Trophy 2020 preview
To be held on 25th January in aid of Asthma UK P&B are proud to sponsor the trophy in memory of Steve Nicholson. With a close connection to the cause, P&B will be out in force at this year's event, so why not join us and enjoy a fantastic day of racing.
Posted on 17 Jan
80 Seconds with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston episode 11
Who inspires the inspirational? Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is an inspiration amongst sailors and beyond. His strength of character, bravery and can do attitude have enabled him to achieve feats which others only dream of.
Posted on 17 Jan
INEOS TEAM UK Winter Training Camp in Cagliari
Sir Ben Ainslie delves into the AC75 hull designs The start of the new year has brought the start of INEOS TEAM UK's winter training camp in Cagliari, Sardinia, as preparations stepped up another level before the first America's Cup World Series (ACWS) event in Cagliari.
Posted on 17 Jan
Entry open for Finn Gold Cup in Palma
Organised by the Club Nàutic S'Arenal The 2020 Finn Gold Cup will be organised by the Club Nàutic S'Arenal from 8-16 May in the Bay of Palma, Mallorca.
Posted on 17 Jan
Will your sailing club be at the RYA Dinghy Show?
The 2020 show theme is 'a world of opportunity' There's just six weeks to go until the RYA Dinghy Show in association with Yachts & Yachting which returns to Alexandra Palace for the weekend of 29 February-01 March 2020.
Posted on 17 Jan
RCIYC Hobie Dragoons Cadet of the Year Award 2019
Club Cadets, Kyla McDonagh and Juliette Walton presented with the trophy The yearly Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club Hobie Dragoons Cadet of the Year Award was presented last Sunday. There were dual recipients for the award, Club Cadets, Kyla McDonagh and Juliette Walton.
Posted on 17 Jan
Sail the Balearics with Sunsail
Explore Mallorca's hidden coves, bustling markets and Cabrera National Park Explore Mallorca's hidden coves, bustling markets and Cabrera National Park, or venture that little further to neighbouring islands.
Posted on 17 Jan
BVI Spring Regatta 2020 preview
Get your spring sailing groove on! Sun. Warm. Cocktails. Beach. Sailing. If any part of this sounds good, get yourself to the Caribbean for the 49th BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. 2020 promises to be another great event with a format that has proven a winner
Posted on 17 Jan