Vendee Globe - 1230 - 13/12/00

Mark Chisnell reports as

Wednesday December 13th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
The weather is the highlight today and continues to demand the skipper's full attention. Michel Desjoyeaux (red) has now eked out his lead over Roland Jourdain (dark blue) to just over a hundred miles. While behind Jourdain, Yves Parlier (green), has also made gains and is now only 40 nm behind the second placed skipper. While in the gang of four, it's Marc Thiercelin (brown) that's lost out to both Ellen MacArthur (light blue) and Thomas Coville (orange) - who doesn't seem any slower for his latest altercation with Southern Ocean fauna and flotsam.

Fleet at 0500, 13/12/00

That low pressure system sitting to the north of Michel Desjoyeaux - which has deepened considerably and more than forecast in the last 24 hours - is the dominant weather feature for the front of the fleet. It's forecast to move east very quickly and in 24 hours time the centre could be 400 nm to the east of the leader.

Weather at 0500, 13/12/00

The timing of this movement will be critical to Desjoyeaux - currently he's in headwinds, but he's tantalisingly close to getting into the north-easterly breeze on the south-eastern flank. If he could get to that position before the low sets off on its journey east, he could grab a ride and do a lot of miles very quickly.

Behind him, the weaker low pressure centre to the south-west of Yves Parlier's position will deepen and move to become part of another big low pressure system. So over the next 24 hours a high pressure 'hole in the road' will appear between these two lows, and right in the path of the chasing pack.

To find good breeze the fleet will have to move north of 45S - which could leave Parlier looking a little average. At least until the second western low pressure starts to move east. In 48 hours time this system will have really cranked up and it should give everyone in the leading bunch another taste of classic Southern Ocean conditions - and it looks like this is what Yves Parlier is currently getting in position for - but we'll have to wait and see.
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, Wednesday 13/12, with Distances to Finish from Race Office)
1 PRB (Desjoyeaux) 46.3S 54.5E 15366 nm
2 SILL Matines La Potagère (Jourdain) (at 05:02 GMT) 47.4S 52.1E +101 nm
3 Aquitaine Innovations (Parlier) 50.1S 51.3E +141 nm
4 Kingfisher (MacArthur) (at 05:00 GMT) 46.5S 46.3E +332 nm
5 Sodebo (Coville) 47S 46.4E +335 nm
6 Active Wear (Thiercelin) 47.2S 46.1E +349 nm
7 Solidaires (Dubois) 48.4S 45.1E +387 nm
8 Union Bancaire Privée (Wavre) (at 03:00 GMT) 47S 44.1E +396 nm
9 Whirlpool (Chabaud) 47.3S 43.2E +465 nm
10 EBP EspritPME Gartmore (Hall) 47.4S 42.2E +503 nm
11 (Gallay) 46.6S 31.4E +939 nm
12 VM Matériaux (Carpentier) 6.5S 30.5E +968 nm

Other British
17 Team Group 4 (Golding) 43.3S 0.5E +2235 nm

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