The Race - 1230 - 1/2/01

Mark Chisnell reports as Club Med closes on Cook Straits

Thursday February 1st 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Fleet at 0700, 1/2/01

Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet have been having a torrid time at the hands of the weather. Third placed Team Adventure (orange) has found herself first locked in the grip of high pressure and light air, and then battling into headwinds. Skipper Cam Lewis reported yesterday, "Beating across the Indian Ocean! That's what's up, and it's not much fun!"

"After heading north-east, we have tacked onto port and now we are sailing south-east in the right direction. But we are still on the wind. We have a full main and staysail up but it still feels kind of like a bad movie. We can't change the show, and our sisters, Club Med and Innovation Explorer keep legging out." Team Adventure's route can be seen as Lewis describes on the image above, and the headwinds are from the bottom of that gnarly little low pressure.

Beating is not what these boats are designed for, and they've been having a rough time of it aboard, "Some days like today it is really hard to work below due to horrific seas and the fact that we are sailing upwind, into the wind and seas," said Lewis in a satellite email. "It is a very arduous and bumpy road; each wave ten seconds apart is a huge pothole."

Weather at 0700, 2/1/01 But relief is on its way, the little low pressure system that's nailing Lewis right now will move south-west and its very big sister will roll in from the west to provide some serious Southern Ocean downwind conditions (right).

Team Legato is already tagged onto the back of this system, the Poles have been released from their high pressure jail and are now to the north-east of the low, while Cam is right in front of it. We can expect all these boats to have plenty of breeze for the next couple of days.

Standings (at 1100 GMT, 1/2/01)

1 Club Med 11,649.5 nm to finish
2 Innovation Explorer +827.7 nm
3 Warta Polpharma +4331.2 nm
4 Team Adventure +4915.3 nm
5 Team Legato +6294.6 nm

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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