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29 January 2004, 11:41 am
Nearing the End of the Souhern Hemisphere
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Round the World

<I>"Today is a great day. I've turned my charts over and can now see South Africa, Madagascar, Reunion Island, and The Seychelles…It feels like the end of the Indian Ocean."</I>
The end of VDH's epic voyage is still a long way off, but it is certainly true that rounding the Cape of Good Hope will mark the end of the Southern Hemisphere and the return to calmer weather conditions.

I'm 600 miles north of the Kerguelen Islands sailing upwind still, and I should round the tip of South Africa in a fortnight or so." "Still sailing upwind" the Amiens yachtsman said, which means he has to carry out a lot of changes of tack to find the best course. "It's a bit like in a regatta. I'm looking for the best tack to head west, so I'm changing tack again and again. I hope to be taking advantage of the choice I made and pick up some of the low-pressure areas coming down from Reunion Island. They should allow me to improve my daily score, which for the moment isn't much better than Philippe MONNET'S. I've got 18 days lead over him. It would be nice to turn that into three weeks, just to make it a nice round number."

As soon as the weather allows it, Jean Luc VAN Den HEEDE deals with the maintenance aboard Adrien, especially that involving the mainsail. "I stuck on and sewed in two big patches, one above the second reef and the other in the fall. On the other hand, the edge I sewed up is starting to fray again. However, I'm not too worried about that. I do have a spare mainsail, and even if I have to take down the one that's up, I know the trip wouldn't come to an end if it gave up the ghost. I've already put up a new mainsail on Adrien in a 35-knot wind, when there were only two of us on board. It would take me little time, but it certainly wouldn't stop me."

What would stop VDH then?

Concerning the projects he is cogitating during his long days alone, he said to his land base just now that he would like to take part in the mini transat transatlantic race!

RivaCom/Véronique Guillou ( As Amended by ISAF)
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