Vendee Globe - 1230 - 11/1/01

Mark Chisnell reports as Michel Desjoyeaux leads round the Horn

Thursday January 11th 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
The big news has been Michel Desjoyeaux's (red) passage around Cape Horn at 1805 GMT on the 10th November, 2001, leading the Vendee Globe out of the Southern Ocean. But it's been a punishing 24 hours for Ellen MacArthur (light blue) - at least according to the Race Office. By their account, Ellen's been forced to watch the distance to the leader grow like Topsy, Desjoyeaux had put 183 nm on his lead by this morning's reports.

Behind her both Roland Jourdain (dark blue) and Marc Thiercelin (light brown) have gained in excess of a hundred miles - Jourdain actually doing the better of the two, perhaps his underpowered rig is no longer a disadvantage with the breeze back up.

Fleet at 0500, 11/1/00

The Virtual Spectator rankings are nowhere near as gloomy for Ellen, having her back to 518 nm behind Desjoyeaux, and with both Jourdain and Thiercelin falling to almost 300 miles behind. This could be due to the use of different waypoints in the calculation - but I'd have thought that there was only one that counted right now and that's Cape Horn!

Weather at 0500, 11/1/01

But there are also some very unpleasant things happening with the weather out there. The high pressure ridge that Ellen reported as giving her only six knots early yesterday morning has got comprehensively shoved out of the picture since then, and we now have a chart dominated by that low pressure that's been approaching from behind for a couple of days.

It does look as though Ellen is on the front of this and in good breeze that should take her all the way round the Horn. It's now the turn of Jourdain and Thiercelin to struggle with the weather, and they are both perilously close to the centre of the low pressure forming under them, as we discussed yesterday.
Map images courtesy of Virtual Spectator, click here to go to the VS site.

continued on page two

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