Vendee Globe - 1130 - 30/11/00

Mark Chisnell reports as the handbrakes go on

Thursday November 30th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
The leaders have stuck the handbrake on and swung the back-end out for the left-turn round the bottom of the high pressure. Their track almost directly follows the line of the isobar defining the western end of the South Atlantic High in our image below.

Fleet positions at 0300 GMT, 30/11/00

Yves Parlier (green) still leads, and according to both the Race Office and Virtual Spectator standings the top five are now in the same order, with Michel Desjoyeaux (red) in second. Roland Jourdain (royal blue) has snuck through to third ahead of Catherine Chabaud (yellow) - who has got a little too close to the high and slowed. Ellen (light blue) is still in fifth.

Weather at 0300, 30/11/00

Looking ahead the weather should still develop largely as we described in the 29th November report. In the above image we can see the new high pressure building out from the Argentinian coast. It's over the next 24 hours that all the tricky stuff occurs, as the little bubble of low pressure develops in the trough between the two high pressure centres - visible just to the south of the position of the leading group above.

But the two high pressure centres are still set to become one and the bottom line for the skippers is that by midday on 1/12/00 the high pressure ridge is forecast to have enveloped everything above 40S. That's 600 nm due south from the present position of the leading group (who are now sailing south-east) and not do-able in the time that they've got. It looks like the ridge of high pressure will fill on top of the fleet and slow the whole thing down.

Relief should come in the shape of a low pressure firing along the line of about 37S late on Saturday - that may be far enough north to pick up the majority of the leading pack at the same time, keeping it a tight race as we enter the Southern Ocean stage.
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 (0400 GMT except where stated, Thursday 30/11, with Distances to Finish from Race Office)
1 Aquitaine Innovations (Parlier) 29.3S 21W 18915 nm
2 PRB (Desjoyeaux) (at 03:00 GMT) 29S 24.1W +136 nm
3 SILL Matines La Potagère (Jourdain) (at 03:01 GMT) 28S 25W +220 nm
4 Whirlpool (Chabaud) 27.1S 24W +223 nm
5 Kingfisher (MacArthur) (at 03:02 GMT) 27S 25.6W +286 nm
6 Union Bancaire Privée (Wavre) 25.6S 25.2W +323 nm
7 Sodebo (Coville) (at 03:01 GMT) 26S 26.4W +358 nm
8 Active Wear (Thiercelin) 26.2S 27.4W +391 nm
9 Solidaires (Dubois) 25.5S 27.3W +418 nm
10 EBP EspritPME Gartmore (Hall) (at 03:01 GMT) 24.2S 27W +451 nm
11 (Gallay) (at 03:00 GMT) 22.2S 27.4W +551 nm
12 Nord Pas de Calais - Chocolats du Monde (Seeten) (at 03:00 GMT) 20.6S 28.2W +635 nm

Other British
20 Team Group 4 (Golding) (at 03:01 GMT) 5.4N 23.3W +2196 nm
21 This Time Argos Soditic (Tolkien) (at 06:00 GMT) 12N 24.2W +2553 nm

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