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Third finisher in Vendee Globe

by Philippe Jeantot on 14 Feb 2001
Roland Jourdain, skipper of the Open 60 ŒSill Matines La Potagère¹, crossed the finish line of the Vendée Globe in third position at 1713hrs and 33 seconds under a deep orange sunset.
After Michel Desjoyeaux (PRB) & Ellen MacArthur (Kingfisher) the French skipper completed the podium of the 4th edition of this solo, non-stop, around the world yacht race. He spent
96 days, 1 hour, 2 minutes and 33 seconds racing, moreover he now holds the solo record for the most miles run in 24hrs with 435.3 miles.

Although the other two skippers will undoubtedly be the first people to greet their friend ŒBilou¹ at the end of his race, only PRB is sitting alongside the arrival pontoon in Les Sables
d¹Olonne. This morning at 1030hrs Kingfisher motored out of Port Olona, heading towards Southampton, in order for vital repairs to be done and for the British supporters and press to
get a glimpse of their nation¹s sailing Œchampion¹, before the boat returns to France again.

Marc Thiercelin, 1000 miles from Les Sables d¹Olonne, is going along at 6 knots towards home port, plagued again by light airs from the anticyclone off the Spanish coastline. The worst
hit were in fact Dominique Wavre (Union Bancaire Privée) & Thomas Coville (Sodebo), who have run into a windless abyss, which is keeping them captive for a little longer. Looking
back on their track record of weather in this race, it could be said that these two have had more than their quota of light winds.

The serene Swiss skipper is being philosophical about it: 'There¹s not even a breath of wind out here. I covered 7 miles over night. I just have to sit this out patiently. I think that once
Thiercelin has arrived you¹ll have to wait for us for quite some time. But it¹s not the end of the world, we haven¹t hit any cargo, it could be worse.' His attitude seems to be wearing off on
the younger, more impatient Coville: 'It¹s the worst conditions for Sodebo): upwind in light airs, this boat was built for racing downwind in fresh wind. On the other hand, with
Dominique, we have been regatta-style racing since the Equator.'

Josh Hall (EBP-Gartmore), only 60 miles ahead of Bernard Gallay ( now, always cheerful just to be out on the sea, is still being hampered from getting to the bar in Les Sables
d¹Olonne by unfavourable heading and wind direction. 'Mike has a better heading 2 degrees North of me so I hope the wind will change East for me. I hope the anticyclone won¹t block
me before the final stretch.'

Mike Golding (Team Group 4) has the wind on his side, reportedly beating through a big sea in 41 knots of breeze. No doubt, Golding was pleased to hear that the four boats ahead of
him were struggling in light airs.

Pasquale de Gregorio (Wind) is 536 miles from Cape Horn and is in two minds over what is keeping him going. 'I don't know if I am more impatient to arrive at Cape Horn, because I will
finish this long Southern part, because I know for that occasion one of the three cigars I put away is attending me. Honestly, the second motivation prevails the first one!'


Marc Thiercelin is expected in on Saturday and Dominique Wavre Sunday or Monday.

Radio Chat Extracts

Roland Jourdain (Sill Matines La Potagère) : 'My first human contact, it was nice as it was two fishing boats who had diverted their course to come to wave at me. I went around one of
them and all the crew was on the deck to say hello. The night hasn¹t been very good as I was upwind and I had to be careful with the fishing boats. It¹s hard to describe what are my
feelings. I have everything: I have the joy to find one thing and the sadness to leave another one. I am happy to finish, happy that there will be lots of my friends to welcome me, and may
be more friends that I don¹t know yet. And also I am happy to be alone at sea. I am satisfied... happy to be here today, 3rd or not. I am happy of the little cherry on the top with my 24
hours record. It¹s true that we wanted to win when we first started this project. It¹s over now, but I think I¹m fine with the idea now. It was hard to live the month of December with the
broken rail mast. I was very happy with my boat, and then I got this. It hurt me a lot. But part from that I am in peace with my conscience. It¹s true that I will wake up one or two times with
a bad feeling in my heart and a voice saying in myself ŒI could have done it!.¹'

Dominique Wavre (UPB): 'The clouds are not moving at all, the swell is slow and long, and there is absolutely no wind. I have centred the main sail to avoid the noise of the sails
flapping. When I can catch some breeze I am going at 1 knot! I often speak with Thomas (Coville) and we complain a lot on what is happening to us. We share what we live.'

Thomas Coville (Sodebo) : 'It¹s only the 5th time that the weather is closing down in front of us. It¹s very stressfull when you receive the files. It happened once in the south, a second
time at the Horn, a third time in Ste Hélène and a fourth in the Doldrums and now here. But nature is always right. It¹s not always easy to accept, but I try to be philosophical. It¹s the
worse configuration for my boat: upwind and no wind. The first when we started to have no wind when I received the weather files, I wasn¹t happy. I am fighting like mad. I wish I was
with the ones ahead. At the beginning the boat wasn¹t build for those conditions. In fact I am training for a race called Vendée Globe, which is sailed in strong winds...'

Josh Hall (EBP/Gartmore) : 'We¹re in steady trade winds, the Azores anticyclone is staying in the Mediterranean, I have a nice 18 ­ 20 knot NE wind and the boat¹s going along at 9 ­ 10
knots, but the heading isn¹t great. I¹d prefer it if the wind turned East, but the sea is okay, 1 ­ 2 metres. One week upwind for the boat, it¹s not easy on the mast and the rig but we¹re
making good progress under staysail & full main sail. Mike has a better heading 2 degrees North of me so I hope the wind will change East for me. I hope the anticyclone won¹t block me
before the final stretch.'

Latest Ranking* polled at 1400hrs (UT):

Psn Boat Skipper Lat Long Headg Av. Speed** DTF***
1 PRB Michel Desjoyeaux Finish: 10 February 2008hrs 32 sec
2 Kingfisher Ellen MacArthur Finish: 11 February 2036hrs 40 sec
3 Sill Matines & La Potagère Roland Jourdain 46°33'N 02°07'W 275 1.04 14
4 Active Wear Marc Thiercelin 41°01'N 23°03'W 353 5.47 975
5 Union Bancaire Privée Dominique Wavre 33°20'N 25°09'W 16 2.59 1325
6 Sodebo Savourons la Vie Thomas Coville 33°08'N 28°16'W 32 7.11 1455
7 Whirlpool Catherine Chabaud 29°09'N 35°56'W 15 5.3 1906
8 Team Group 4 Mike Golding 10°45'N 36°39'W 344 9.33 2794
9 EBP - Défi PME - Gartmore Josh Hall 08°27'N 37°51'W 349 9.27 2950
10 Voilà.fr Bernard Gallay 07°43'N 38°23'W 343 9.58 3010
11 Nord Pas de Calais - Chocolats du Monde Joe Seeten 00°23'N 33°20'W 354 6.51 3274
12 VM Matériaux Patrice Carpentier 01°18'N 36°43'W 322 3.74 3307
13 Simone Bianchetti 25°23'S 33°22'W 35 5.15 4771
14 Aquitaine Innovations Yves Parlier 38°13'S 44°46'W 21 11 5662
15 DDP - 60ème Sud Didier Munduteguy 48°26'S 54°00'W 42 8.51 6414
16 Wind Pasquale de Gregorio 54°31'S 80°18'W 111 8.08 7601

*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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