Sill makes the break

Business as usual in the Open 60 fleet's Regate de Rubicon

Tuesday May 28th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Mediterranean
Positions at 0300GMT
Pos Name Lat Long Speed Course DTF DTL
1 Sill Plein Fruit 42 14.00' N 5 52.12' E 18.6 62 193.5 0
2 Bobst Group Armor Lux 41 40.12' N 5 15.04' E 17 57 236.7 43.2
3 Temenos 41 14.16' N 4 37.28' E 11.7 76 275.2 81.7
4 Tiscali 41 43.36' N 3 53.92' E 7.9 61 282 88.5
5 Kingfisher 40 27.48' N 3 56.56' E 8.6 33 330.1 136.6
Roland Jourdain and the 'supreme team' on Sill Plein Fruit have stolen a march on the Regate de Rubicon fleet overnight. Yesterday afternoon Sill held a 10 mile lead over second placed Bernard Stamm on Bobst Group-Armor Lux. This morning they have extended their lead to 40+ miles.

The reason for the burst of speed is that Sill and Bobst Group were both to the north of the rest of the fleet and were able to pick up the strong winds of a Mistral that is currently blowing off the south coast of France. During the night Sill experienced 40 knot winds and averaged 19 knots for 10 hours - a marked difference to the light fickle winds they experienced coming into the Mediterranean. She is currently sailing under two reefs and a staysail.

The Mistral has caused the fleet to spread out dramatically - yesterday morning Dominique Wavre's Temenos was only 5.9 miles astern of Sill. meanwhile poor nick Moloney on Kingfisher is still feeling the effects of a poor tactical decision to go to the north in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Current forecast charts show that the wind will increasingly go soft and may go round to the east for the front runners as they approach the finish line today. However those chasing will also experience 35 knot westerly to north westerly winds during today and this will give them an opportunity to catch up. Should the front runners fall into a hole near the finish line this will also benefit those chasing who may be able to sail around these light patches.

Below: the invincible Sill Plein Fruit

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