The Race - 1330 - 9/2/01

Mark Chisnell reports as Club Med hits the fast forward button

Friday February 9th 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Club Med continues to hurtle towards Cape Horn dragging out a spectacular lead from Innovation Explorer, and making The Race something other than any kind of a race at all. Dalton and Club Med's (light blue) day yesterday blew away the record books, and as we can see from the chart, the Horn is in sight.

Leaders at 1030, 9/2/01

Although Dalton will have to stay north on the approach to Cape Horn, and may hit some light air at some stage in the next 24 hours, it doesn't look like anything is going to slow them down too much. It's Innovation Explorer (green) that's been suffering, still gybing downwind and limited by that sail inventory and rough water. Nor has it helped to see their record disappear, and for a couple of the crew who were aboard Mari Cha for her transatlantic run, they've actually lost two major sailing records this week!

Elena Caputo reported from aboard this morning, "After three days, Innovation Explorer is still a bucking bronco. She is also starting to squeak and squeal in quite a spooky way as she is shoved around by waves coming a bit from every direction. Some of the noises she makes sound almost like human lamentations and it makes this grey day feel all the more sombre. The worst part of it is knowing that Club Med is sailing at full speed in much more comfortable and flat waters and straight to the mark. But sincere congratulations Club Med from the whole crew on Innovation Explorer, it is really an impressive distance covered in 24 hours!"

Weather at 1355, 10/2/01And Innovation Explorer face further challenges from the weather in the next 24 hours (right). The low pressure that they have been holding onto is set to spin off a second system which will form to their west. Elena told us, "Today Loick and Roger have decided to gybe south and we may be heading as far as 62S ...

"The wind still comes from our old depression but there is a big low forming to the west of us and we hope to be able to be pushed east fast when it starts moving. Obviously our safest course would have been on the port gybe although it would have taken us quite a bit north, but it would not have been competitive at all. We hope not to be stuck too far south and we still want to sail close enough to the Horn for us to see it!"

continued on page two

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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