The Race - 1430 - 10/1/01

Mark Chisnell reports as the Doldrums suck ...

Wednesday January 10th 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Weather at 0000, 13/1/01Looking ahead and the big picture (right) situation for the beginning of the weekend is looking stable. The South Atlantic High is still dominant, and the boats will be heading for the strip of northerly breeze down its western edge to sail down the coast of Brazil towards the Southern Ocean.

Like the Vendee Globe skippers ahead of them, the crew of Club Med have been taking advantage of the quieter conditions to check and prepare the boats for the test that they face. Nicholas Pichelin even dived underneath to check the condition of the daggerboards - all clear.

While the three leaders wrestle with the Doldrums, PlayStation is making good progress, and have managed to maintain steady 20 knot averages. They are closing the gap - the key is to what extent it will reopen when they are all back into the south-east trades.

Warta Polpharma passed the Cape Verde Islands last night and report themselves as happy. Not so happy will be the Team Legato crew, who are heading towards Madeira, but still find themselves battling upwind into south-westerly breeze of 25 to 30 knots from a low pressure system off Portugal, severely hindering their progress. They were 1742 miles behind Club Med at 0800 GMT this morning.

Standings (at 1300 GMT, 10/1/01)

1 Club Med
2 Team Adventure +24.5 nm
3 Innovation Explorer +171.3 nm
4 PlayStation +373.5 nm
5 Warta Polpharma +800.5 nm
6 Team Legato +1756.4 nm

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