The Race - 0630 - 6/3/01

Mark Chisnell reports on Mediterranean frustration for Innovation Explorer

Tuesday March 6th 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
The word is, "Innovation Explorer should be in between 1100 and 1500." That's today and the ETA comes from Pierre Lasnier, and if anyone ought to know it's him, as the team's shore-based weather router. The slow pace in finishing these final miles is due to the light air in that vague high pressure zone that we looked at yesterday.

Loick Peyron and his crew were 131.2 miles away at 0300 this morning, having not quite managed 250 miles in the last 24 hours. It's turning out to be a little like the Vendee Globe, fortune once again favouring the fastest and the firstest.

Innovation Explorer at 0300, 6/3/01

Peyron confirmed Lasnier's analysis of the conditions in a phone report to the race office yesterday, "There's no wind, dead calm out here! We're off the coast of Palma completely becalmed. And we're making the last repairs, i.e. a few battens in our mainsail and our reacher need attention. I think we'll be in sometime in the morning."

Weather at 2025, 6/2/01The Race Office weather man, Gilles Chiorri from Météo Consult, was of the same opinion, but could offer hope for slightly better things ahead. "The last 100 miles separating her from Marseille should be reeled in at good speed."

The forecast from Virtual Spectator (right) for later today, shows that big low pressure system out in the Western Approaches edging closer, and that looks like it might bring a waft more air to the beleaguered crew of Innovation Explorer.

In the meantime, Marseille has got plenty of opportunity to get ready for a serious welcome. The locals are promising another big crowd like the one that greeted Club Med. The police reckoned that 40,000 people were in the Vieux Port on Saturday night, with another 70,000 to 100,000 out towards the coast and 400 boats on the water. This time Michel Desjoyeaux, recent winner of the Vendée Globe, will be amongst those in the homecoming party, Innovation Explorer crewman Jean-Philippe Saliou was part of his shore team.

continued on page two

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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