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21 January 2005, 02:06 pm
Vincent The Invincible
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Vendée Globe

At the head of the Vendée Globe fleet, Vincent RIOU continues to power his way up the North Atlantic, extending his lead by a few more miles at every ranking, a speed differential of 1 knot per hour in north/north westerlies.
Jean LE CAM and Mike GOLDING are now racing on the same latitude, the duo still stalling in the doldrums making 7.9 and 9 knot averages over the past 4 hours.

Leading the chasing pack, Sébastien JOSSE and Dominique WAVRE could do with a little more wind, currently headed in rather gentle trade winds. Jean PIERRE DICK is probably going to have quite a difficult time of thing before a header wind kicks in, while around 250 miles behind, Nick MOLONEY is less well placed. He will have to round a stormy zone, far from the depression centre. Joé SEETEN will be able to make the most of the situation slightly further East, and is likely to eat greedily into his deficit on the Australian skipper.

Conrad HUMPHREYS is sailing upwind in Northerly winds on a port tack. He currently has 25/30 knot averages, while Bruce SCHWAB is in similar conditions. The duo will have a tricky, laborious day of sail changes as a front passes over them, Conrad having a slightly easier time of things than the American skipper as a result of having more wind. This wind is set to shift right round, ranging from South to West.

Benoît PARNAUDEAU is likely to have had 25/30 knots of North Westerly wind with gusts of 40 knots as he passed the Horn today at 0700 GMT. The tail of the fleet are sailing in around 25 to 35 knots of wind between a warm and a cold front, Liardet and Dinelli likely to stretch away from Leibovici, a calm catching up on her from behind.

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