Vendee Globe - 1630 - 18/12/00

Mark Chisnell reports as Yves Parlier loses his rig

Monday December 18th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
The Vendee Globe website has just reported this afternoon, 18th December, 2000, that Yves Parlier has been dismasted in the Southern Ocean. Parlier had been on an extraordinary charge through the weekend, driving hard to use a low pressure system to close the gap between himself and race leader, Michel Desjoyeaux.
Then on Sunday night, the miles he had gained started to unravel even faster than he had won them. With his average speed down to five or six knots and his heading erratic, the Race Office suspected the worst - especially when they couldn't get hold of him through any of the communications channels. Finally, Aquitaine Innovations shore team communicated the news, and then from the boat came a terse fax; "Technical problems. No need for assistance and skipper in fine health. YP."

The Race Office remain concerned and despite Parlier's (green) reassurances they have instructed Ellen MacArthur (light blue) and Dominique Wavre (brown) to head towards his position, to try and get visual contact with the boat and get an objective view of the situation at sea. Both will receive time credits for the extra sailing, and both would have passed close to his position as they race along the route east anyway, as we can see below.
Fleet at 0200, 18/12/00
At the last report, Aquitaine Innovations was doing 6.9 knots, heading 101 degrees in 20 knot south-west winds. The race office reckon the low pressure system will ease and the wind should drop tonight, shifting to the north-west at 15 knots tomorrow morning.

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