Vendee Globe - 1130 - 9/1/01

Mark Chisnell reports as Ellen makes all the gains

Tuesday January 9th 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
It's Ellen MacArthur (light blue) that's been charging for the last 24 hours, pulling back 29 miles on Michel Desjoyeaux (red) to reduce the deficit to just over 500, and getting a full 205 miles clear of Roland Jourdain (dark blue), who in turn has eased away from Marc Thiercelin (light brown). This is the accordion stretching, as that ridge of high pressure poking down from the north has nailed Jourdain and Thiercelin worse than Ellen.

Fleet at 0450, 9/1/01

But that gnarly low pressure system entering stage left (above) is going to push this high out of the way - as we discussed yesterday. And that will swing the breeze round through the west to the north and start it blowing again.

Weather at 0450, 9/1/01

We can see from the bigger weather picture (above) that there is plenty of breeze on the leading edge of that low pressure system, and this is going to sweep east. We can expect the accordion to be pumping pretty hard through this next 24 hours, as the high pressure ridge passes over people and slows them, and then the new wind from the low arrives. But by this time tomorrow it looks like the chasing pack should be in solid Southern Ocean conditions of west, north-west or northerly breeze.

But don't forget that Jourdain still has to stop and do those repairs, he's chosen to do it at the Cape, the Coleta Marcial on the east coast of the island just to the north of Horn island, which is apparently a well known sheltering hole from the Southern Ocean storms.
Map images courtesy of Virtual Spectator, click here to go to the VS site.

continued on page two

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