Neck and neck

As Route du Rhum competitors experience their first morning at sea

Sunday November 10th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
1200GMT update

Conrad Humphreys is pulling into Roscoff to make repairs to the hull of his Open 40. He suffered a prang on the start line yesterday when he ran into a boat that had become entangled with the starting buoy. He is estimated to arrive in Roscoff at 1300GMT.

Report

This morning the first starters in the Route du Rhum are tacking across the Channel in the relatively benign overcast conditions associated with a warm front.

After yesterday's start the lead has been swopping through the night. In this race there are position updates for boats and public alike at 0300GMT and every four hours through the day until 1900. After yesterday's blinding start by Roland Jourdain's Sill Plein Fruit, Sill and Kingfisher have been regularly trading places. At 1900 last night Kingfisher was leading, at 0300 this morning first place had reverted to Sill and at the time of writing Kingfisher was back in front, albeit by just over a mile.

Mike Golding on Ecover is neck and neck with Jean-Pierre Dick on Virbac for third place and they are trailed by Swiss Whitbread veteran Dominique Wavre on Temenos. Golding commented: “its been a grizzly first night, wet but not cold. I’m surrounded by dolphins, which I can hear throughout the hull! It’s been quite straight forward so far as I’ve been heading in one direction. Just need to be patient and wait for the front to pass, so that I can make my move south.”

The biggest riser overnight, as we pop-pickers say, has been Miranda Merron sailing the immaculately prepared but rather long in the tooth UUDS, who has climbed from ninth to sixth, albeit leading the second pack some 15 miles astern of Wavre. An equally impressive showing is being made by 71 year old Canadian Mike Birch who is ninth, while the positions indicate that there may be problems with Patrick de Radigues Garnier Belgium and Loick Pochet's La Rage de Vivre, who are lagging behind the fleet.

Following his dismasting yesterday Sebastien Josse and VMI are back in port and have salvaged the rig from the bottom of the sea. Josse's support crew of Yves Le Blévec, Eric Santene and Denis Juhel are now scratching their heads to see if they can effect a repair prior to the final deadline to start of 1200 Friday.

In class two Nick Moloney is putting in a top performance aboard his newly renamed Open 50 Ashfield Healthcare. Moloney is lying in the equivalent of eighth place in the Open 60 fleet. However Moloney's chief competition - former Mini Transat winner Yannick Bestaven aboard Republique Dominicaine is the toast of the press office here in St Malo. Bestaven returned to port shortly before the start yesterday with a ripped mainsail. He left again to take the start line early yesterday evening. Overnight he has had the pedal to the metal the latest positions show him in third place only nine miles astern of Moloney - an impressive comeback.

Among the class 3 monohulls, Conrad Humphreys aboard Hellomoto is currently lying in third place some 12 miles astern of Regis Guillemot on Storagetek.

Today will see the start of one of the most incredible ocean races ever - between the eighteen 60ft trimarans. Follow the coverage on The Daily Sail.

See the latest weather reports on page 2...

Open 60s

Pos Name Skipper
Lat
Long
DTF
SOG
COG
1 Kingfisher Ellen McArthur
49 04.68' N
4 46.68' W
3427.1
8.8
298
2 Sill Roland Jourdain
48 43.12' N
4 40.88' W
3428.2
9.2
190
3 Virbac Jean Pierre Dick
48 50.96' N
4 33.84' W
3429
8
299
4 Ecover Mike Golding
49 52.28' N
5 09.60' W
3429
9.1
297
5 Temenos Dominique Wavre
49 10.24' N
4 41.36' W
3432
8.9
301
6 Un Univers de Services Miranda Merron
49 07.00' N
4 20.16' W
3447.6
6.1
293
7 Arcelor-Dunkerque Joé Seten
48 52.60' N
4 11.72' W
3449.2
6.9
298
8 60ème Sud Didier Munduteguy
48 49.00' N
4 04.44' W
3452.9
3.6
216
9 Tir Groupé-Montres Yéma Mike Birch
48 57.00' N
4 07.24' W
3453.2
5.2
214
10 L'Heautontimoroumenos Antoine Koch
49 04.80' N
4 09.76' W
3453.6
7.2
192
11 Leasecom Elie Canivenc
49 17.64' N
4 07.68' W
3458.2
4.6
290
12 Dinan Pays d'Entreprises Frédéric Lescot
48 51.04' N
3 54.84' W
3459.5
7.3
194
13 Millimages-Gédéon Patrick Favre
49 02.00' N
3 55.36' W
3462
7.2
192
14 Ciments St Laurent-Ocean Georges Leblanc
49 12.04' N
3 52.28' W
3466.5
9.4
323
15 Garnier Belgium Patrick De Radiguès
48 51.68' N
4 03.56' W
3553.6
6.1
222
16 La Rage de Vivre Loïck Pochet
50 06.96' N
4 31.04' W
3570.2
7.3
299

Open 50s

Pos Name Skipper
Lat
Long
DTF
SOG
COG
1 Ashfield Healthcare Nick Moloney
49 23.88' N
4 21.56' W
3451
7.4
298
2 Adecco Etoile Horizon Bob Escoffier
48 53.36' N
3 54.32' W
3461
4.8
188
3 République Dominicaine Yannick Bestaven
49 29.08' N
4 08.52' W
3461
8.1
299
4 Mille Visages Hervé Vachée
49 04.84' N
3 55.12' W
3461
3.2
249
5 Florys Luc Coquelin
48 54.60' N
3 51.64' W
3463
6.3
191
6 Apic A3S Christophe Huchet
49 05.40' N
3 30.00' W
3484
6.5
201
7 Laiterie St Malo Clément Surtel
49 03.00' N
3 28.92' W
3487
2.4
279
8 Défi Vendéen J. F. Durand
49 18.36' N
3 18.36' W
3508
6.2
291
9 Branec III Roger Langevin
49 27.96' N
3 09.78' W
3539
8.4
322

Open 40s

1 Storagetek Regis Guillemot 48 52.48' N 4 09.40' W
3451
6.2
301
2 Passion Entreprendre Jérôme Thiriez 49 28.64' N 4 09.24' W
3460
5.9
298
3 Hellomoto Conrad Humphreys 49 17.68' N 4 00.56' W
3463
6
296
4 Grain de Soleil Etienne Svilarich 49 01.68' N 3 51.68' W
3464
4.8
190

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