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6 January 2005, 12:07 pm
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Vendée Globe

The top trio are making good averages past the Falklands in 25/35 knots of North Westerly winds. Le Cam/Riou/Golding will slow slightly this afternoon when the wind backs but later tonight and tomorrow morning the wind will pick up again to 30/40 knots.
With this in view it looks like Vincent RIOU may be the best placed, Jean Le Cam further east as he had no other option yesterday when he was trying to track down wind. The upwind capabilities of Mike GOLDING'S steed Ecover are evident this morning, the English skipper clearly able to sail closer to the wind...Sébastien JOSSE will be the first of the chasing pack to join the trio in the Atlantic tonight and he looks set to have a fairly calm passage of Cape Horn. Mid fleet, Conrad HUMPHREYS is under 10 miles of Bruce SCHWAB now.

For those on the hunt over 1000 miles back conditions at the Horn are likely to see conditions accelerate a bit more. The depression that served Nick MOLONEY (Skandia) 50 knots yesterday has now moved up to the North East. It's now Jean Pierre DICK on Virbac Paprec who is likely to cop 35 to 40 knot averages while Dominique WAVRE (Temenos) will be able to get going again.

From tomorrow night Joé SEETEN (Arcelor Dunkerque) and Nick MOLONEY are going to get yet another severe pasting with 55 knot averages, 80 knot gusts leaving very big seas in its wake for a considerable time. Conrad HUMPHREYS (Hellomoto) and Benoît PARNAUDEAU (Max Havelaar Best Western) are likely to make some good ground on Arcelor during the day but they may well have to divert north to avoid the aftermath of what is the most violent storm so far in this Vendée Globe. Conrad is just 7.7 miles behind Bruce SCHWAB (Ocean Planet) today - though the latter has now got renewed motivation from a chocolate cake at the finish and has made marginally better speed over the past half hour!

Anne LIARDET on Roxy is unfortunately in little wind upwind, Raphael DINELLI (Akena Verandas) and Karen LEIBOVICI (Benefic) also blocked in the same conditions near Tasmania.

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