The Race - 1230 - 1/1/01

Mark Chisnell reports as the fleet head into the New Year - and are six again

Monday January 1st 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
The Race is into its new millennium (however you count it) and almost through its first day. Team Adventure held their lead from the parade laps through to the first position report at 1700 on 31st December 2000. They had eased out to four miles ahead of Club Med, with PlayStation shaking out that conservative reef, and pulling back to within a mile and a half of Dalton's crew. Innovation Explorer were also part of this group and only half a mile from Club Med. Earlier reports of batten breakages aboard the Polish boat would be substantiated by her speed if nothing else, doing only nine knots yesterday evening, she was already 30 miles behind the leaders,
Fleet at 0900, 1/1/00

But overnight Club Med took the lead, passing Team Adventure and easing away to a six mile advantage from PlayStation by 0900 GMT, 1st January 2001. These two boats have taken the inshore option (above), tacking in towards the Spanish coast, while Cam Lewis and Innovation Explorer have continued south. Polpharma Warta have dropped even further back and were 123 miles behind Club Med this morning.

Grant Dalton commented, "We are sailing at the moment in 18 knots of wind from the south-west. PlayStation is still behind but has come within six miles of us. We have tacked towards the Spanish coast while waiting for the wind to veer and come in from our right. All is well on board, the crew are starting to settle in and get into their rhythm."

Weather at 0900, 1/1/00The shift that Club Med and PlayStation are holding to the Spanish coast for will follow after the passage of the cold front. This is with the big low pressure system that's currently bashing Britain and can be seen centred north-west of Ireland (right).

The wind behind the cold front is north-north-westerly, which will allow them to set a course more or less directly through the Straits of Gibraltar - as opposed to beating into the south-westerly they have at the moment. And boats positioned to the north should get the shift first.

Better news for Team Legato and Tony Bullimore today, they set off last night after finally completing their safety checks and resolving the differences amongst the crew. Bernard Perrin has left the boat, explained by Bullimore, "We all felt that for reasons of crew compatibility and to ensure the optimum crew configuration for ‘Team Legato, it would be best to leave Bernard behind."

The four new names in the ten crew now include Paul Larsen from Team Philips, along with Rob Salvidge from the UK, and Olivier Cusin and Armand Coursodon both from France. They completed their qualifying overnight and crossed the starting line at 0900 this morning - and the fleet were six again.

Click for new window with link to Virtual SpectatorMap images courtesy of Virtual Spectator, click here to go to The Race site for a free download of the software.

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