Vendee Globe - 1130 - 6/12/00

Mark Chisnell reports as Parlier blitzes the 24 hour record, but high pressure still stalks the pack

Wednesday December 6th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Yves Parlier's fantastic new solo 24 hour run record is certainly the big news of the last 24 hours, 419 nm miles according to his own GPS positions. That would obliterate Marc Thiercelin's old record of 396.5 nm and raise the average speed by nearly a knot to 17.45 - a phenomenal pace to maintain over 24 hours.

The record will need to be ratified before it enters the books, but this is an extraordinary effort, especially given that Parlier's boat, Aquitaine Innovations, is not new generation. It's been heavily modified for this race - although the changes are reckoned to have added a lot of weight in his efforts to meet the new safety rules - but the Finot-Conq design was built back in 1996. Amazing sailing.

Fleet at 0500, 6/12/00

But Michel Desjoyeaux (red ) is not letting Parlier (green) go - and since the leader nailed his record, Desjoyeaux has actually closed him down. So has third placed Roland Jourdain (royal blue), now only 117 nm behind the leader. It must be galling for Parlier to blitz the record and yet find that barely 12 hours later the chasing hounds are closer. But it's another indication of the intensity with which this race is being sailed.

The chasing pack haven't gained or lost much on Yves Parlier, but this group is so tight now that there have been a few adjustments in the rankings. Ellen MacArthur (light blue) is now back to sixth according to the Race Office, though Virtual Spectator has her up to fourth. Since both rankings have the distances between her, Thomas Coville (orange), Thierry Dubois (purple) and Marc Thiercelin (light brown) as less than 40 miles, who's in front of who at this stage is not terribly important.

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