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Noble Marine 2019 - Leaderboard

600 miles from Les Sables d'Olonne - seems a long way to go

by Philippe Jeantot on 16 Feb 2001
Now 600 miles from Les Sables d¹Olonne, Marc Thiercelin (Active Wear) should be the Vendée Globe¹s fourth skipper to finish, although the prevailing weather conditions are not on
his side. The sea may be smooth, but as he explained: 'If the heading¹s not 3 degrees it¹s 120 degrees. The direct route is 70 degrees! The wind¹s coming right from the North East. With
no genoa I have to tack squarely to the wind almost. The most frustrating thing is that only 4 days before, Jourdain was cruising at 20 knots directly towards home and breaking speed
records.' If Thiercelin wants to enter the under a 100 day hall of fame, he has to arrive before 1611hrs French time on Saturday.

Thomas Coville (Sodebo ­ Savourons la vie) & Dominique Wavre (Union Bancaire Privée) are still finding the wind rather uncooperative. Their close match throughout the Atlantic
climb, however, has been capturing everyone¹s attention. Wavre is ever philosophical, admiring beautiful sunsets, even if he is regretting, like Coville, the string of 5 calm weather
systems they have both encountered to keep them from anticipating their finish sooner. The differences between the arrival times for all these top boats will not mark a great difference
in performance, more a result of the wind lottery, in which none of the skippers still on the water had the winning number.

Dominique Wavre, knowing that the top three skippers are in, nevertheless paid tribute to those at the back of the fleet: 'I think a lot about the skippers behind us too, who won¹t finish
until much later and will go through more hardship than usŠhat¹s off to them.'

Thomas Coville, off the coast-line of Santa Maria (Archipelago in the Azores), should tack to avoid the island itself. The wind is heading him as he approaches, and Coville again
laments his bad fortune with the weather in this last leg of the race. 'You have to realise that Dominique & I have covered 170 miles in 3 days. While Bilou has been breaking the 24
hour record for speed, we are breaking it for slowness.'

Mike Golding (Team Group 4), Josh Hall (EBP ­ Défi PME ­ Gartmore) & Bernard Gallay (Voila.fr) are huddled together, with only 120 odd miles separating them now. They are all in the
same weather system, which should prove an exciting final stretch home for them now. Hall explained what¹s in store ahead: 'For us it¹s a good sign that the anticyclone over the UK,
France and the Azores is there now. It should mean a change by the time we get to that region. The extended forecasts show a lot of low pressure activity for next week and we may just
have a fast ride in for the final 1500 miles. We will have to wait and see but I am optimistic ...like ALL sailors!'

Joe Seeten (Nord Pas de Calais ­ Chocolats du Monde), although just a bit more to the South than Patrice Carpentier (VM Matériaux), has overtaken him in the rankings as his position
is more to the East. The upwind conditions suit his narrow 60 footer, but Seeten remains cautious about pushing the boat. 'Upwind in the trades, I try not to sail her too hard, but to let
her advance as comfortably as possible. I¹m enjoying a pleasant regatta with Patrice, we¹ve been crossing each other since the Canaries.'

Pasquale de Gregorio (Wind) indicated that he would pass Cape Horn at the end of the day. He will be the last skipper to leave the Pacific and enter the more hospitable seas of the
Atlantic.


ETA

Marc Thiercelin ­ Saturday or Sunday.

Dominique Wavre & Thomas Coville ­ Monday or Tuesday.

Radio Chat Extracts

Marc Thiercelin (Active Wear): 'I¹m heading 3 degrees and am going North again, close hauled. If it¹s not 3 degrees it¹s 120 degrees. The direct route is 70 degrees! How annoyed am I?
But there¹s a good 20 knots out here coming in from the East, which is good and it should stay like that for ages. I¹m going to climb at the very least to the same latitude as Les Sables
d¹Olonne. The wind has everything against me though. I¹d like to arrive on Saturday before 1611 ­ that would get me under the 100 day mark. But it¹s hard to make an ETA. I¹m not
holding out too patiently as much as I try to. Going upwind in these machines is not what they¹re made for.'

Dominique Wavre (UBP): 'At last this anticyclone looks like it will lift and show us the way out. The good weather should stay with us just until Cape Finisterre. Hard to give an exact
ETA, depends on our route, if we have to be tacking a lot or not. I¹m hoping to arrive between 21 ­ 23rd February but I¹m still not so sure! I talk to Thomas twice a day now, about the
weather we¹re having, when we think we¹ll finish etc. We certainly didn¹t have the same weather systems as the guys in the lead. I think a lot about those behind us too, who won¹t
finish until much laterŠhat¹s off to those boys too.'

Bernard Gallay (Voilà.fr): 'I¹m 60 miles or so from Josh Hall. When he left the Doldrums he didn¹t put any more water between us. Mike Golding has cruised a head a bit more, he
reached the stronger winds before us. The boat¹s bumping along and when she comes down hard in the chop I get worried, thinking the mast will fall down. Nothing¹s broken so far. I
did a mast climb yesterday as I had seen some elastic snap ­ signs that the boat has been working hard.

Pasquale de Gregorio (Wind) in a telex: 'Today things out here look much better considering the bad weather conditions of yesterday ­ although the barometer has remained low. There
is a light W-SW wind, with temporary reinforcements at every wind squall. I did plenty of gybes during the day to place me lower than the Cape and be able to have a major range of
options at the right moment. Tomorrow's weather forecast for Cape Horn seems good. I wonder if the Pacific Ocean has decided to dismiss me in a more pleasant way. If this is the case,
I can say I'll be passing The Cape by the end of my day.'

Latest Ranking* polled at 0930hrs (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 Finish: 13 February 1713hrs 33 sec
4 Active Wear Marc Thiercelin 43°10'N 16°20'W 120 8.25 646
5 Union Bancaire Privée Dominique Wavre 36°58'N 23°22'W 23 9.18 1121
6 Sodebo Savourons la Vie Thomas Coville 36°48'N 25°07'W 47 7.44 1194
7 Whirlpool Catherine Chabaud 33°43'N 33°20'W 58 3.95 1625
8 Team Group 4 Mike Golding 17°16'N 37°28'W 356 9.77 2479
9 EBP - Défi PME - Gartmore Josh Hall 15°01'N 39°00'W 353 9.88 2641
10 Voilà.fr Bernard Gallay 14°13'N 39°37'W 355 9.4 2708
11 Nord Pas de Calais - Chocolats du Monde Joe Seeten 05°07'N 35°24'W 335 9.33 3050
12 VM Matériaux Patrice Carpentier 07°06'N 40°01'W 342 9.63 3073
13 Aquarelle.com Simone Bianchetti 20°21'S 33°45'W 7 9.89 4466
14 Aquitaine Innovations Yves Parlier 32°05'S 42°46'W 63 6.17 5297
15 DDP - 60ème Sud Didier Munduteguy 44°07'S 47°58'W 42 9.15 6063
16 Wind Pasquale de Gregorio 56°38'S 70°36'W 88 5.84 7246

*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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