Vendee Globe - 1230 - 19/12/00

Mark Chisnell reports after Yves Parlier's lost mast

Tuesday December 19th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
I think we can expect the low to slowly overhaul the group which Ellen currently leads, but they shouldn't get hit by the worst of it. They will have plenty of breeze, and a gradual backing shift as the wind goes round to the west over the next 24 hours. It's Thursday that the strategic trouble will start for this group - but by then Desjoyeaux and Jourdain will already have made some difficult decisions.

Weather at 0000, 22/12/00Looking forward to the end of the week (left), we can see that the eastern of the two centres is only just due south of Desjoyeaux's current position. Given the speed they're going, it looks like the lead pair will never come under the influence of this low - and worse lies ahead of them.

Tucked up under Australia and sitting to the west of Tasmania is a very intense low pressure system, with only a huge high pressure hole to its south. Running ahead of the monster low, by early Thursday Desjoyeaux and Jourdain will have to chose between strong headwinds to the north, or not much wind at all to the south, as they look to pick a route under Australia and New Zealand.

Somewhere in the middle is what they're after - reasonable pressure from not too bad a direction, allowing them to reach down the course. But finding it and staying in it will not be easy, Desjoyeaux and Jourdain will be spending hours at the chart table again, trying to see how this is going to develop. This is the part of the world in which Innovation Kvaerner's navigator Marcel van Triest found himself with four weather forecasts all saying something different, during the last Whitbread. And all the time the pack will be chasing them down.

Click for new window with link to Virtual SpectatorMap images courtesy of Virtual Spectator, click here to go to the VS site.

Please note that two different methods of calculating the Distance to Finish are being used, one by Virtual Spectator and one by the Vendee Globe Race Office, we will try to always make it clear which we are using!

Link to the madforsailing form guide.

Rankings (0600 GMT except where stated, Tuesday 19/12, with Distances to Finish from Race Office)

1 PRB (Desjoyeaux) 48.2S 255.5W 13485 nm
2 SILL Matines La Potagère (Jourdain) 49S 257.9W +75 nm
3 Kingfisher (MacArthur) 48.4S 91.1E +454 nm
4 Aquitaine Innovations (Parlier) (at 04:01 GMT) 48.5S 90E +471 nm
5 Sodebo (Coville) (at 05:00 GMT) 50.2S 91E +496 nm
6 Active Wear (Thiercelin) 49.5S 89E +503 nm
7 Solidaires (Dubois) (at 04:00 GMT) 50.1S 84.1E +647 nm
8 Union Bancaire Privée (Wavre) (Dec 18 at 13:00 GMT) 48.1S 79E +899 nm
9 Whirlpool (Chabaud) 49.3S 82.2E +718 nm
10 EBP EspritPME Gartmore (Hall) 47.1S 79.4E +883 nm
11 (Gallay) 47S 71.6E +1184 nm
12 VM Matériaux (Carpentier) 47.2S 70.6E +1222 nm

Other British
15 Team Group 4 (Golding) (at 11:01 GMT) 48.2S 44.3E +2362 nm

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