Vendee Globe - 1230 - 4/12/00
Behind them it's all happening and the real big loser is Catherine Chabaud (yellow). Like Icarus and the sun, she flew too close to the centre of the South Atlantic High - and has had her wings seriously melted. Swallowed up by the chasing pack, she is now back in eighth place, and with most of her close competition positioned further south, there could easily be more losses to come. There are only 64 nm miles separating fifth from tenth, and any error will be costly on the rankings.
While Roland Jourdain still leads the chase after the front pair (royal blue), just keeping her nose in front of this pack is Ellen MacArthur (light blue) in Kingfisher, still in fourth place and sixty miles clear of Thomas Coville (orange) in fifth on the Race Office rankings. This gap would be smaller were it not for Coville's altercation with a whale over the weekend - it broke his steering gear and forced Coville to stop the boat and dive on a tether to check the hull and foils underwater. But he gave it a clean bill of health and is still very much in the race. Less fortunate was Raphael Dinelli, who also hit a whale, and is now headed for Cape Town for repairs to his keel.