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10 December 2004, 04:20 pm
Latest From Ellen
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Ellen MacARTHUR

Each hourly data shows B&Q losing a few minutes on the lead - last night over 15 hours ahead, this morning 13 hours and this afternoon 12 hours... The precious hours and minutes gained in the 11 days since the start are diminishing as Ellen fights her way south down towards the Southern Ocean:
'You know when you do this kind of trip, its swings and roundabouts - we'll have good times and bad times and there is obviously a very bad time ahead of us so we're likely to lose all we've gained on Francis.' This is the very nature of record attempts and statistics prove it is very rare to get ahead and stay ahead for the duration on long passages, never mind around the world. 'Hopefully, there will be times when we will gain and then won't lose. That's the way it works out here, you've just got to do your best and keep trucking on and get the best out of the weather that you've got...'

B&Q having covered nearly 4500 miles is heading south, trying to navigate her way through the high pressure that has now split in two. To avoid being swallowed up by the second part of it, Ellen needs to continue her dive south. But it will not be long before Ellen makes the transition from tropical conditions into freezing cold: 'We're going to plunge south pretty soon - we're going to be down at 40 degrees south before we know it and we are about three days away from the freezing conditions going under Tristan da Cunha islands and heading east in the westerlies.'

The breeze will back to the NE later today and will continue to go further round to a 10-15 knot NNW wind by tomorrow. With the breeze looking stronger in the west, Ellen will have to throw in a gybe on to starboard to keep pushing south for the early part of the weekend [for the record, B&Q has been on port for a continuous seven days]. Monday will hopefully give Ellen her first real taste of good westerlies to head south-east under the islands of Tristan da Cunha towards Cape of Good Hope: 'The weather is not that easy but its worth playing for because once we get those westerlies things will be a lot better.'

Team Ellen (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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