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13 January 2005, 10:16 am
PRB Snatches Back The Crown
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Vendée Globe

Vincent RIOU (PRB) has taken a slight advantage from his position between Golding and Le Cam and has taken back the controls of the Vendée Globe by a handful of miles (6.7). Mike GOLDING (Ecover) feared as much yesterday, falling into calms at the heart of a small depression centre.
He has been battling to extract himself from it since yesterday evening. 5 degrees further East, Jean LE CAM (Bonduelle), has not finished with his Brazilian equation; upwind on the edge of the high pressure, he has made the least progress of the whole fleet having covered just 133 in the space of 24 hours, surely his worst of 67 days of racing. Off Cabo Frio, a new day of battling lies ahead of the three leaders, with numerous sail changes and reactivity in relation to the wind shifts. Each mile gained in the North-East will be paid for in sweat and elbow grease.

Dominique WAVRE (Temenos) continues to make up ground on Sébastien JOSSE (VMI) and the head of the fleet. The Swiss sailor has racked up the greatest number of miles over the past 24 hours and is today counting on using the favourable Westerly air flow, that has been accompanying him from the Argentinian coast. The centre of the high pressure will have to be crossed tomorrow. Dominique may be able to count on his gennaker to make up even more miles on Sébastien, the latter deprived of foresails. Jean Pierre DICK (Virbac-Paprec) was rapidly propelled into the Atlantic by big winds yesterday. Top of the job list today has to be the completion of repairs to his boom. The Westerly wind may enable him to glide downwind of the Falklands, its (relative) calm and (minimal) sunshine, possibly assuring the solid adhesion of the sleeve. 420 miles West of Cape Horn, the Australian Nick MOLONEY (Skandia) is increasingly impatient to get into the Atlantic. The northern edge of the depression which he has been riding for the past two days will gently drop him off under the famous rock. A deliverance and a new beginning for Nick, anxious to tuck into the last third of the course with his sights on Jean Pierre Dick's 6th place. Benoit PARNAUDEAU (Max Havelaar-Best Western) has been hit by powerful winds, the active centre of a hefty depression passing astern of him. Benoit is hanging east to keep the forecast 50 knots and over at bay. Ahead of him on a more Northerly course, the American Bruce SCHWAB (Ocean Planet), choosing to stay away from the ice field, is benefiting from a favourable South-Westerly air flow to advance towards South America in the wake of Conrad HUMPHREYS (Hellomoto) and Joé SEETEN (Arcelor Dunkerque).

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