The Race - 0930 - 4/1/01

Mark Chisnell reports as two more pitstop and the weather keeps the rest guessing

Thursday January 4th 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
It's definitely not getting any simpler out in the North Atlantic, and while breakdowns have been the news, with both Warta Polpharma and Team Legato both planning to join PlayStation in Gibraltar today, what's going on out in the Atlantic has got a lot more interesting in the last 24 hours.

We talked yesterday about the problems the weather routeurs had with the high pressure zone ahead of the fleet. Club Med (blue) and Team Adventure (orange) traded tacks all day, searching for the best breeze on an uncooperative ocean, with Dalton and his crew getting within a couple of miles of the lead by yesterday afternoon, only to lose it all and go 22 miles behind at the 2100 GMT report on the 3/1/01.
    Fleet at 0030, 4/1/01

    Although Team Adventure's lead is small, their shore based weather team is confident about their long-term positioning - to the west and to windward of Club Med in the south-westerly. "At first glance they do not appear to be much ahead of Club Med. However they are very well positioned to take advantage of the weather pattern that will develop over the next few days," said Ken Campbell, head of Commanders' Weather.

    If west is the place to be, then the weather team with Innovation Explorer (green) are going for it big time. All three Ollier boats were headed offshore yesterday evening, and Loïck Peyron, co-skipper of Innovation Explorer, joked to the Race Office, "You can't believe the weather conditions we've got. We are forced to tack in the opposite direction to our route! So we might just catch up with each other around Madeira." But while Team Adventure and Club Med tacked back to the south overnight, Peyron just kept going - in short course racing terms, headed away from the mark.

    continued on page 2

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