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Vendee Globe leaders will finish over the weekend

by Philippe Jeantot on 9 Feb 2001
The Race HQ for the Vendée Globe has installed itself back in Les Sables d¹Olonne in preparation for the arrival of the leaders this weekend. Leader Michel Desjoyeaux (PRB) is
expecting his arrival to be Saturday 10th February in the afternoon, and Ellen MacArthur (Kingfisher) on Sunday 11th February in the afternoon.

Michel Desjoyeaux (PRB), with 700 miles to go, was able to appreciate better conditions at sea today. Even if the wind had eased off and brought the average speed down a knot,
slightly calmer weather and gentler seas were what he had yearned for yesterday in order to have a more comfortable ride in. 'I¹ve still got 20/25 knots of North Westerly wind. I was
able to stay on the end of this depression for longer than expected so I¹m making good progress.' PRB is still hitting superior speeds of around 15 knots. At the point of Cape Finisterre
(North West point of Spain), he will have to negotiate one final lighter patch of wind, before picking up the South Westerly breeze in the new low pressure system, which will take him
right to the line.

Ellen MacArthur (Kingfisher) has slowed a little this morning, already in this dorsal of calmer breeze, and is herself waiting for the new system to get going again straight to the finish.
These weather systems roll in from the West and so this last one will reach her first and Kingfisher should keep good boat speeds until Les Sables D¹Olonne. A revised ETA for Ellen is
looking now like Sunday afternoon. Logically, if she is the first to hitch a ride on this depression, she will thus reduce the mileage between herself and the leader, however with nearly
200 miles of water between them, it may seem unlikely that she will threaten Desjoyeaux on pure boat speed alone.

Ellen, with the finish line in her sights, has been thinking about what lies ahead: 'My life is here, home is on board Kingfisher with water surrounding us. I just adore being at sea and to
suddenly stop this will not be easy at all.'

Radio Chat Extracts

Michel Desjoyeaux (PRB) : 'We knew before the start that the computers were telling us that we could go round the world in 93 days. Now we are going to do it in 95. The boats have
the potential to do it in 90. We've had good conditions for a good timing. Four years ago, Christophe (Auguin) didn't have such good conditions. The boats are high performance
machines but when you see PRB's state: it would have been hard to go faster. But in the Vendée Globe it's not just the record that is important.

Ellen MacArthur (Kingfisher) : 'I¹ve lost the good winds but I¹m expecting more to arrive ­ soon I hope! I think that the depression coming in is not as strong as expected. I think I¹ll be
in on Sunday evening, it will all depend on the depression. I¹m not quite so tired now. It will be so weird to actually finish. My life is here, home is on board Kingfisher with water
surrounding us. I just adore being at sea and to suddenly stop this will not be easy at all. I really don¹t want to stop. I really want to just see my family, my friends, the Kingfisher team,
my dog, who I miss a lotŠ'

Latest Ranking* polled at 0800hrs (UT):

Psn Boat Skipper Lat Long Headg Av. Speed** DTF*** Miles from leader
1 PRB Michel Desjoyeaux 40°18'N 16°27'W 56 14.8 752 0
2 Kingfisher Ellen MacArthur 38°45'N 20°41'W 18 13 951 199
3 Sill Matines & La Potagère Roland Jourdain 31°11'N 30°51'W 2 2.8 1628 876
4 Active Wear Marc Thiercelin 31°23'N 39°29'W 340 7.97 1960 1208
5 Sodebo Savourons la Vie Thomas Coville 16°05'N 33°51'W 356 11.7 2432 1680
6 Union Bancaire Privée Dominique Wavre 16°11'N 34°04'W 355 12.1 2435 1683
7 Whirlpool Catherine Chabaud 09°22'N 34°55'W 357 10.2 2822 2070
8 Team Group 4 Mike Golding 03°16'S 31°59'W 7 8.78 3473 2721
9 EBP - Défi PME - Gartmore Josh Hall 07°20'S 34°37'W 17 8.5 3752 3000
10 Voilà.fr Bernard Gallay 10°46'S 34°09'W 1 11.2 3952 3200
11 VM Matériaux Patrice Carpentier 15°52'S 35°48'W 1 8.74 4270 3518
12 Nord Pas de Calais - Chocolats du Monde Joe Seeten 16°57'S 35°36'W 333 8.93 4328 3576
13 Simone Bianchetti 34°45'S 42°12'W 45 4.98 5451 4699
14 Aquitaine Innovations Yves Parlier 53°08'S 61°46'W 329 8.58 6868 6116
15 DDP - 60ème Sud Didier Munduteguy 56°09'S 78°32'W 91 10.1 7533 6781
16 Wind Pasquale de Gregorio 51°35'S 105°53'W 37 7.12 8508 7756

*Ranking ­ A series of waypoints marking a logical route have been used to calculate the rankings. The boat is ranked according to the waypoint it is nearest to.

**Average Speed - this is an instantaneous reading

***DTF (Distance to finish) - This is worked out in comparison to the logical route

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