Vendee Globe - 1330 - 5/12/00

Mark Chisnell reports as it stays tricky even under 40S

Tuesday December 5th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
The weather has already caused more than a ripple in the rankings, and it looks as though the difficult conditions aren't over yet. The top two are looking good, Yves Parlier still leading with Michel Desjoyeaux right behind him, both boats at 43S and howling along.

Roland Jourdain has consolidated his third place behind them, but he's got a very different view on the correct strategy at the moment. He's directly north of Michel Desjoyeaux, and actually a little further east. Behind these three it's all up for grabs, only 124 nm separating fourth from tenth. Marc Thiercelin is leading this bunch, just ahead of Ellen MacArthur and Thomas Coville.

Weather at 0200, 5/12/00

The problem this group all face is how to deal with the high pressure bubble that's about to land on their race course. Just when you thought it was all over, and the South Atlantic High was a distant memory of blue skies and warm air, it comes back to get you. The weather is still setting up as we outlined yesterday, and we can see from the above image that the high is already close to nailing some of the pack to the ocean floor.

Parlier and Desjoyeaux look to be clear, even though the American models have a secondary bubble of high pressure separating from the main South Atlantic High and drifting east, they should be able to stay in front of it. But the light air will eventually get all the way to 40S and 10E, and I can't believe that this isn't going to ruin someone's day, before a new low pressure comes sweeping along towards the end of the week and brings solid breeze.

The gainers in the meantime will be the boats that can avoid getting slowed by this rogue bubble of high pressure. Anyone who can consistently stay in strong westerly's right through this week will be in very good shape by the weekend.
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 (0700 GMT except where stated, Tuesday 5/12, with Distances to Finish from Race Office)
1 Aquitaine Innovations (Parlier) 43.3S 0.2W 17640 nm
2 PRB (Desjoyeaux) 43S 2.9W +95 nm
3 SILL Matines La Potagère (Jourdain) 40.4S 2.3W +161 nm
4 Active Wear (Thiercelin) 40.1S 5.6W +317 nm
5 Kingfisher (MacArthur) 40.6S 6.5W +324 nm
6 Sodebo (Coville) 40.5S 6.4W +326 nm
7 Solidaires (Dubois) 40.3S 7.2W +365 nm
8 Whirlpool (Chabaud) 35.4S 3.6W +391 nm
9 EBP EspritPME Gartmore (Hall) 38.1S 7.1W +428 nm
10 Union Bancaire Privée (Wavre) 40.2S 9.2W +441 nm
11 Voila.fr (Gallay) 35.5S 8.3W +558 nm
12 VM Matériaux (Carpentier) 35S 10.1W +656 nm

Other British
20 Team Group 4 (Golding) 15.2S 27.6W +2219 nm

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