Vendee Globe - 1330 - 28/11/00
The top five are flying south, with Parlier (green) already down past 22S on the Tuesday morning position reports. There is still a significant east-to-west spread, with both Parlier and Chabaud (yellow) holding out to the east, while the rest of the chasing pack converges on Michel Desjoyeaux's line (red), led by Roland Jourdain (royal blue) and Ellen MacArthur (light blue). And with the South Atlantic High still to negotiate, there is plenty of opportunity for gains and losses before they start rocking and rolling through the Southern Ocean.
The weather pattern at the moment shows the fleet streaming down the western side of the South Atlantic High (above), with the tightly packed isobars to the south of it showing the line of low pressure systems rolling through the Southern Ocean.
Things are set to become quite a bit more complex in the next couple of days however, with the US computer models showing a particularly fraught situation. The high pressure is set to build to the west across the Atlantic between the latitudes of 25S and 30S - just in front of Parlier's present position.
The light air in the centre will spread all the way out to 30W, and the wind between 30W and 40W will become northerly and drop to around ten knots - Catherine Chabaud is currently at 25W and Ellen at 29W. That ought to slow the leaders down, as this situation holds up through Thursday and into Friday before the breeze will increase again west of 30W.
The escape route south looks difficult too, for anyone that does duck under the gate that's set to be slammed in the face of the fleet. There is forecast to be a very complex series of systems hovering between about 30S and 40S, making it difficult for anyone to thread their way south into solid breeze, before a big low pressure comes spinning off Cape Horn and simplifies everything with a butt-kicking forty knots for the fleet into the weekend. Plenty still to play for - this is the calm before the storm.
Map 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 28/11, with Distances to Finish from Race Office)
1 Aquitaine Innovations (Parlier) 22.2S 27W 19434 nm (at 0500)
2 PRB (Desjoyeaux) 21.4S 29.3W +145 nm
3 Whirlpool (Chabaud) 19.1S 25.4W +155 nm
4 SILL Matines La Potagère (Jourdain) 21S 29.3W +170 nm
5 Kingfisher (MacArthur) 19.2S 29.1W +228
6 Sodebo (Coville) 18.22S 29.02W +268 nm
7 Solidaires (Dubois) 17.5S 28.1W +273 nm
8 Union Bancaire Privée (Wavre) 17.5S 28.4W +283 nm
9 Active Wear (Thiercelin) 18.3S 30W +299 nm
10 EBP EspritPME Gartmore (Hall) 15.3S 28W +403 nm
11 Voila.fr (Gallay) 13.3S 28.4W +525 nm
12 Nord Pas de Calais - Chocolats du Monde (Seeten) 13.2S 29W +544 nm
20 This Time Argos Soditic (Tolkien) 6.21N 23.12W 1705 nm (at 0800)
21 Team Group 4 (Golding) 13.04N 23.11W 2121 nm (at 0800)