Ellen passes Ravussin and other news

An update from the Route du Rhum + 1500GMT positions

Wednesday November 20th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Ellen MacArthur continues to dominate the monohull race in the Route du Rhum, although conditions are still hard with Kingfisher maxed out under kite and full main, with the autopilot at the edge of control. At present the current figures still look as though there is a possibility of Kingfisher becoming the first ever elapsed time monohull winner in the Route du Rhum. But it is too early to tell at present.

Meanwhile aboard Ecover, Mike Golding has lost miles when he wrapped his kite round the forestay last night. Unable untangle the flailing sail from on deck, Golding was forced to go up the rig. At the time Golding was using his spare spinnaker, having lost his new 'stomper' only yesterday.

“I got to the top of the mast to rehoist the spinnaker, and quite simply it was totally twisted round the forestay and the inner forestay. I went aloft, got to the halyard and a rainsquall came along, really torrential rain and 30 knots of wind. I had to hang on for dear life. It’s really been quite scary.

"The second time I went up the rig, I managed to release the sail and let it fall – it was so badly wrapped on the inner forestay. I can use the Solent sail; I’m using it now, but not the trinquette, as that’s also tightly wound round too. I’m not really needing it though – I managed to cut a lot away. I’m flying a big Ecover flag! ”

The track of both Kingfisher and Ecover runs close to Steve Ravussel's capsized TechnoMarine. However the ballsey Swiss skipper Ravussin has not required emergency rescue - his shore crew is currently organising a rescue operation from Guadeloupe for him and his boat. Kingfisher and Ecover will continue racing.

Kingfisher has passed within 1.2 miles of Technomarine at approx 1630 GMT this afternoon. The proximity of the upturned boat felt unnatural for Ellen - to be so close yet not stop, in particular because it was on this very trimaran that she raced with Alain Gautier two handed to second place in last year's Transat Jacques Vabre.

"Yesterday I was thinking about him - thinking go for it, you're doing so well, so far ahead - and then this happens, poor guy, really feel for him," commented Ellen.

Following Ravussin's capsize last night only three of the 18 60ft trimarans remain in the race. Lalou Roucayrol on Banque Populaire in second place has discussed over the satellite phone with Marc Guillemot on Biscuits La Trinitaine, lying third, not to take any risks. "It is hallucinating to think that we are only three left out of the 18 trimaran strong fleet. The objective now is that the three of us get to Guadeloupe. In what position we get there is not the most important. These boats are fabulous to sail and all that has happened to the fleet is really tragic," said Roucayrol who is now spending at least 15 hours at the helm a day, not relying too much on the autopilot.

The winner of the Vendée Globe 2000, Michel Desjoyeaux on Géant is of course happy to be in the leading position, but the feeling is bittersweet. “I have been parachuted into the lead, thanks to the misfortune of the others. That is maybe not ideal,” he commented.

Further back in the monohull fleet, race veteran Mike Birch from Canada was enjoying the beautiful day. “It is a perfect, idyllic day for sailing. The wind is from north-northwest and it’s great sailing, but I would like to go a little bit faster and be closer to the others,” he commented. Birch’s Tir Groupé–Montres Yema is currently the 10th IMOCA monohull with Dinan Pays d’Entreprises and Ciments St Laurent- Ocean behind.

Nick Moloney on Ashfield Healthcare is still in a stable lead of the class 2 monohulls, as are Regis Guillemot on Storagetek of the class 3 monohulls, and Franck Yves Escoffier on Crêpes Whaou of the class 2 multihulls.

Nick Moloney commented from on board: "I'm well positioned against the rest of the fleet right now as the fleet are to the north and behind me.

"I've had a couple of frustrating days. We had some really fast running once we got out of the storm and then got straight into this high pressure system which I've been battling with for a few days.

"I took it on with a bit of frustration trying to get every last bit of speed out of the boat in two knots of wind but Mark [Turner] talked me around to use those opportunities to get some rest.

"I was completely shattered a couple of days ago but now I've got 10-15 knots of wind, full main, some sunshine and flat seas. It’s one of those magic moments and I'm really enjoying it."

Since Sunday Yvan Bourgnon and his shore team have tried to return the capsized boat Rexona Men to try to tow her into port. However, in the rough seas, with three to four metre waves, the Swiss skipper had to abandon his overturned boat last night. The ARGOS beacon is still working on board and the strong westerly winds are pushing the boat towards the Portuguese coast.

On page two Loick Peyron says farewell to Fujifilm

Positions 20/11/02 15:00:00 GMT
Pos Nom Skipper Lat Long Dist SOG COG
60ft tri
1 Géant Michel Desjoyeaux 25 59.96' N 42 05.52' W 1282.9 19.5 280
2 Banque Populaire Lalou Roucayrol 29 24.36' N 40 17.80' W 1463.4 6.6 200
3 Biscuits La Trinitaine - Ethypharm Marc Guillemot 24 46.16' N 37 08.28' W 1507.1 18.3 276
ABD Fujifilm Loick Peyron          
ABD Banque Covefi Bertrand deBroc          
ABD Sergio Tacchini Karine Fauconnier          
ABD Sopra Group Philippe Monnet          
ABD Bayer CropSciences Frederic Le Peutrec          
ABD Belgacom Jean-Luc Nélias          
ABD Foncia Alain Gautier          
ABD Groupama Franck Cammas          
ABD Rexona Men Yvan Bourgnon          
ABD Sodebo Thomas Coville          
ABD TIM Giovanni Soldini          
ABD TechnoMarine Steve Ravussin          
ABD Gitana X Lionel Lemonchois          
ABD Eure&Loir-Lorénove Francis Joyon          
ABD Bonduelle Jean Le Cam          
Open 60s
1 Kingfisher Ellen McArthur 23 21.36' N 50 44.68' W 795.2 11.4 250
2 Ecover Mike Golding 23 21.24' N 49 19.88' W 860.3 13.9 241
3 Arcelor-Dunkerque Joé Seten 24 09.28' N 40 51.48' W 1302.5 11.8 235
4 Sill Roland Jourdain 24 39.64' N 39 02.40' W 1406.3 13.4 269
5 L'Heautontimoroumenos Antoine Koch 25 08.00' N 33 16.00' W 1643.2 10.7 276
6 Garnier Belgium Patrick De Radiguès 21 43.28' N 32 53.20' W 1699.3 12.3 268
7 60ème Sud Didier Munduteguy 27 08.12' N 33 57.48' W 1713.4 7 251
8 Millimages-Gédéon Patrick Favre 29 20.00' N 29 54.00' W 1927.4 7.3 225
9 Un Univers de Services Miranda Merron 23 46.32' N 28 24.18' W 1934.4 9.2 254
10 Tir Groupé-Montres Yéma Mike Birch 26 53.04' N 28 52.00' W 1971.3 8.7 251
11 Dinan Pays d'Entreprises Frédéric Lescot 28 45.52' N 27 17.80' W 2079.5 7.3 222
12 Ciments St Laurent-Ocean Georges Leblanc 29 08.04' N 25 39.56' W 2168.4 5.7 233
ABD Virbac Jean Pierre Dick          
ABD VMI Sébastien Josse          
ABD La Rage de Vivre Loïck Pochet          
NL Leasecom Elie Canivenc          
ABD Temenos Dominique Wavre          
Monos Class 1
1 Ville de Dinard Bruno Reibel 35 13.24' N 25 51.72' W 2273 6.7 209
ABD Un Autre Regard Ensemble pour l'UNHCR Nicolas  Peitrequin          
Monos Class 2
1 Ashfield Healthcare Nick Moloney 27 06.28' N 33 15.96' W 1748 8.8 245
2 Florys Luc Coquelin 28 11.96' N 31 53.92' W 1837.3 6.9 234
3 Branec III Roger Langevin 29 36.16' N 31 56.88' W 1862.6 9.3 236
4 Mille Visages Hervé Vachée 28 51.28' N 30 33.16' W 1916.9 6.6 222
5 Laiterie St Malo Clément Surtel 29 24.32' N 28 55.40' W 2008.3 9.2 235
6 Adecco Etoile Horizon Bob Escoffier 30 18.32' N 20 32.80' W 2443.8 8 223
ABD Apic A3S Christophe Huchet          
ABD République Dominicaine Yannick Bestaven          
ABD Défi Vendéen J. F. Durand          
Monos Class 3
1 Storagetek Regis Guillemot 30 14.10' N 32 16.44' W 1852.6 8 237
2 Passion Entreprendre Jérôme Thiriez 31 45.56' N 27 01.28' W 2142.3 7.4 223
3 Grain de Soleil Etienne Svilarich 36 08.72' N 26 01.92' W 2287 8.4 189
4 Fantasy-Forest Alain Grinda 46 23.28' N 3 11.28' W 3453.5 8 97
ABD Hellomoto Conrad Humphreys          
Multihulls Class 2
1 Crepes Whaou! F. Y. Escofier 24 52.96' N 42 37.96' W 1232.4 10.6 287
2 Yachting-casino.com Anne Cazeneuve 26 29.04' N 36 39.90' W 1546.9 8.7 194
3 Vaincre la mucoviscidose Hervé Cleris 26 23.94' N 31 24.12' W 1812.4 12.6 249
4 Archipel Guadeloupe Claude Thelier 27 18.66' N 31 42.42' W 1827.2 8.4 260
5 Lehning-Lapeyre-Blanchet-Gourbeyre P.Y. Guennec 30 21.28' N 26 15.24' W 2160.9 6.9 232
ABD E-Sat Tri Sélectif Pascal Quintin          
ABD Groupe France Epargne Patrick Morvan          
ABD Chaleur Fioul Elan Didier Levillain          

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