Vendee Globe - 1130 - 10/1/01But as we indicated yesterday it's not going to stay that simple. The forecast for Thursday morning (right) still indicates that little rogue low pressure system spinning off the main depression and heading for the Horn.
By this time Ellen (light blue) should have moved about two thirds of the way towards Michel Desjoyeaux's (red) position on this chart. And she should be ahead of this gnarly looking weather, and continue to benefit from the northerly airstream to its east.
But those chasing her - Jourdain and Thiercelin - will have to watch the formation, movement and intensity of this system very carefully. Fifty or a hundred miles too far south and they could find themselves battling storm force easterly headwinds, and that won't be fast, comfortable or good for their boats.
Fortunately this low is predicted to move and grow quite quickly. And we can see from the forecast for just 24 hours later, on Friday morning (right) it is already rounding the Horn, providing a great westerly breeze to launch into the home straight up the Atlantic.
This low pressure system and the one coming behind it, look as though they will maintain and strengthen the westerly breeze that's already blowing off the eastern South American coastline.
In these conditions the first section up the South Atlantic looks relatively straight-forward, reaching north and headed for home.
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 (0600 GMT except where stated, Wednesday 10/1, with Distances to Finish from Race Office)
1 PRB (Desjoyeaux) 56S 72.1W 7298 nm
2 Kingfisher (MacArthur) 55.4S 86.35W +485 nm
3 SILL Matines La Potagère (Jourdain) (at 05:18 GMT) 53.4S 94.3W +782 nm
4 Active Wear (Thiercelin) (at 05:00 GMT) 54.5S 96W +797 nm
5 Sodebo (Coville) 53.4S 106.4W +1172 nm
6 Union Bancaire Privée (Wavre) (at 04:27 GMT) 52S 111W +1348 nm
7 Whirlpool (Chabaud) 51.5S 127.3W +1872 nm
8 EBP EspritPME Gartmore (Hall) 50.3S 131.1W +2052 nm
9 VM Matériaux (Carpentier) 55.5S 150.6W +2571 nm
10 Voila.fr (Gallay) (at 07:00 GMT) 54.5S 153.1W +2660 nm
11 Nord Pas de Calais - Chocolats du Monde (Seeten) (at 07:00 GMT) 55.2S 159.4W +2862 nm
12 Team Group 4 (Golding) (at 07:00 GMT) 54.1 163.5W +3025 nm