Vendee Globe - 1230 - 4/12/00

Mark Chisnell reports as the leaders look to make a decisive break away

Monday December 4th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Weather at 0400, 4/12/00

The leading bunch are now all jammed in on the north-east sector of the low pressure that has provided their ride south, packed into the gap where the isobars are compressed between the South Atlantic High to their north-east and the low pressure to their south-west. But I don't think the tricky stuff is all over yet, and the gates to the Southern Ocean roller-coaster may slam shut one more time.

Weather forecast at 0000, 7/12/00That low pressure is rapidly running out of steam, and it's sinking fast to the south to be absorbed into the general melee of thunderous weather systems. Meanwhile, there is more high pressure building off South America, and this is set to return the dominance of the South Atlantic High to almost 50S.

We can see from the image (left) that the mid-week forecast shows high pressure covering the fleet's current position, while to their south-east the strong westerlies are still in place and cranking. Anyone who gets far enough south-east to escape this new high pressure as it settles over the fleet will make a big gain.

The distance between the leader and safety is around 600 nm - very do-able in three days. But for Josh Hall in tenth it is more like a thousand miles - marginal to say the least. It looks like all of the top ten are not going to get through this gate before it shuts, the question is - who will make it, and who won't?
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, Monday 4/12, with Distances to Finish from Race Office)

1 Aquitaine Innovations (Parlier) 40.5S 6.1W 17962 nm
2 PRB (Desjoyeaux) 40.4S 7.5W +72 nm
3 SILL Matines La Potagère (Jourdain) 37.6S 8.3W +180 nm
4 Kingfisher (MacArthur) 36.2S 9.3W +271 nm
5 Sodebo (Coville) 36.4S 11.1W +332 nm
6 Active Wear (Thiercelin) 37S 11.4W +334 nm
7 Solidaires (Dubois) (at 05:00 GMT) 36.1S 11.4W +349 nm
8 Whirlpool (Chabaud) 34.5S 10.2W +356 nm
9 Union Bancaire Privée (Wavre) 35.1S 10.6W +361 nm
10 EBP EspritPME Gartmore (Hall) 35.4S 11.6W +396 nm
11 Voila.fr (Gallay) (at 05:00 GMT) 35.3S 14.4W +495 nm
12 VM Matériaux (Carpentier) (at 04:01 GMT) 34.3S 16.4W +594 nm

Other British
20 Team Group 4 (Golding) (at 04:01 GMT) 9S 27.5W +2248 nm

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