Vendee Globe - 1130 - 13/2/01

Mark Chisnell reports as Jourdain gets his record and closes with the finish

Tuesday February 13th 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Roland Jourdain has taken the solo 24 hour distance run record with a breath-taking 435.3 miles, that's an average speed of 18.4 knots. The Marc Lombard design was fully cranked in ideal conditions, running in the North Atlantic in a 30 to 35 knot breeze, from 1300 on Saturday 10th February. The overall mono-hull record is just short of 450 miles, which means that Jourdain was less than a knot slower than Silk Cut during her record breaking spell in the Southern Ocean during the last Whitbread!

Jourdain was told by the Race Office on the satellite phone, and responded, "I am so proud of my boat. I haven’t managed to win the Vendée Globe but I have a record - that’s excellent news!" He's also very close to finishing third, grabbing the final podium place after coming back from deep in the fleet, returning after the start for 12 hours and then stopping at the Horn for a rig repair.

Leaders at 0400, 13/2/01

At this morning's position reports, Jourdain was only 56 miles from the line. He's been having a dream trip these last couple of days, and described some perfect sailing, "Crossing the cargo lane was not a bad experience, I’ve been spoiled, there was a huge chunk of moon out and I surfed on a golden carpet all night."

"I’m helming a lot, staying on deck savouring these final hours. Sill would like to go faster, always, but I say ‘No, I’m giving you the staysail and main sail and you just have to fly along with them.’ Apart from that I’m doing the usual rounds, checking, cleaning - myself and the boat!"

But behind him, it's turning into a nightmare for Marc Thiercelin (light brown), Dominique Wavre (dark brown) and Thomas Coville (orange) - they are trapped by the Azores High. Thiercelin has headed north looking for breeze from that incoming low pressure (above), and he should get some wind in the next 24 hours.

Weather at 1448, 14/2/01

But from the forecast for Wednesday afternoon (above) that wind will be short-lived, as the low pressure moves quickly north-east and the high asserts itself from the Bay of Biscay to the Azores. It's going to leave Thiercelin, Wavre and Coville gasping for air. And facing a long struggle to get home to Les Sables d'Olonne - at least until the forecast changes significantly. That's not any time soon, a huge high pressure is dominating the whole of the Western Approaches on the charts for the end of the week ...

For the three boats coming next, Catherine Chabaud, Mike Golding and Josh Hall, life is simpler - battling upwind in the north-east trades. Easier on the brain but harder on body and boats than light air. But they must also wrestle with the Azores High before they can finish and will be carefully watching to see if the situation develops in their favour.

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 (0800 GMT except where stated, Tuesday 13/2, with Distances to Finish from Race Office)

1 PRB (Desjoyeaux) Arrive - 93d 3h 57m 32s
2 Kingfisher (MacArthur) Arrive - 94d 4h 25m 40s (+ 1d 0h 28m 8s)
3 SILL Matines La Potagère (Jourdain) (at 07:33 GMT) 46.2N 2.5W +56 nm
4 Active Wear (Thiercelin) (at 07:00 GMT) 40.2N 23.1W +1002 nm
5 Union Bancaire Privée (Wavre) 33.1N 25.1W +1338 nm
6 Sodebo (Coville) 32.3N 28.4W +1494 nm
7 Whirlpool (Chabaud) (at 07:00 GMT) 28.2N 36.1W +1942 nm
8 Team Group 4 (Golding) 9.5N 36.3W +2854 nm
9 EBP EspritPME Gartmore (Hall) (at 05:00 GMT) 7.1N 37.3W +3003 nm
10 (Gallay) 6.38N 38W +3063 nm
11 VM Matériaux (Carpentier) 1N 36.3W +3324 nm
12 Nord Pas de Calais - Chocolats du Monde (Seeten) 0.4S 33.1W +3330 nm

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