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3 January 2005, 09:02 am
Cape Horn Rounded
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Vendée Globe

At 0515 GMT, Jean LE CAM (Bonduelle) crossed the longitude of Cape Horn, after 56 days 17 hours and 13 minutes of racing. In so doing the time established on 10 January 2001 by Michel DESJOYEAUX during the previous edition of the Vendée Globe was improved upon by over 5 days.
He is finishing with his express crossing of the Pacific and is preparing to enter the Atlantic with a lead of over 190 miles over his brilliant pursuer Vincent RIOU (PRB). Vincent and the other pretender to ultimate victory, the British sailor Mike GOLDING (Ecover), are on the attack: the rounding of Tierra del Fuego, the wind shadows caused by the high reliefs of the Andes are slowing Jean. There are some miles to be got back and the two protagonists aren't going to hold back.

After a double gybe under Tierra del Fuego, Jean left the islands of Diego Ramirez to starboard to pass the third of the great capes, in this round the world, Cape Horn. Whether or not his passage was assisted by the light of the moon remains to be seen from the photos. Since crossing the International Date Line on 22 December, Le Cam has raced a surprisingly effective Transpacific with his virtually pure easting. Well postioned along the latitude of the two safety gateways and born by a hugely generous depression spread right across the ocean, Bonduelle was able to trace a rectilinear wake towards the South American continent.

Masking the stress linked with the icebergs by his legendary grouchiness, Jean was able to line up his Lombard design along the edge of the depressions with precision. Playing his high speed card to remain in the heart of the depression systems, he was able to avoid any inopportune gybes and save on the miles along the course. This strategy enabled him to rack up a lead of as much as 265 miles over Vincent Riou and 340 miles over Mike Golding at a given point.

The latter duo, more on the hunt than ever, will benefit from a slight reduction in speed for the leader today to make up some fast ground in a very strong and well established north-westerly. The two men are on the attack and Riou, clocked 23 knots of speed to score a 402 mile day! Mike is making great progress too and will doubtless be rejoicing in the fact that he will be inside his desired 300 mile deficit at the Horn.

Two new duels are now being fought further back in the ranking: battling it out for 4th place, Dominique WAVRE (Temenos) and Sébastien JOSSE (VMI) are not necessarily fighting on even terms. Sébastien, the youngest of the race, is sailing in a westerly airflow forcing him to go downwind. Unfortunately he no longer has use of his foresails since the loss of his bowsprit during a collision with a growler. The experienced Dominique Wavre has been able to clock up the miles while keeping his boat in good shape after two terrible gales, one 24 hours after the other. He has got Temenos to within just 346 miles of VMI, after being as much as 700 miles behind at one point!

Within sight of the International Date Line, the American Bruce SCHWAB (Ocean Planet) is resisting. Bruce is having some trouble seeing himself as the 8th 'victim' of Conrad HUMPHREYS (Hellomoto), who has rocketed up the ranking from 17th to 10th place. The two skippers are sailing on very similar headings at fairly even speeds in a light south-westerly wind, in search of the pressure which has finally enabled Joé SEETEN (Arcelor Dunkerque), to get going again, 400 miles ahead of them. At the tail of the fleet Karen LEIBOVICI (Benefic) has reduced her deficit on Raphaël DINELLI (Akena Verandas) to just 124 miles.

Rankings and Positions as at 0400 hours GMT, 3 January 2005.

Lat Long DTF DTL Btspd Hdg Time
1 Bonduelle
Jean Le Cam
56 08.88' S 67 47.68' W 7037.5 0.0 13.6 071 03:30 AM
2 PRB
Vincent Riou
55 54.08' S 73 30.92' W 7228.1 190.6 17.4 095 03:30 AM
3 Ecover
Mike Golding
55 58.80' S 75 29.88' W 7294.3 256.8 18.2 092 03:30 AM
4 VMI
Sébastien Josse
54 46.32' S 104 05.44' W 8260.5 1223.0 12.3 092 03:30 AM
5 Temenos
Dominique Wavre
53 49.64' S 114 05.24' W 8607.0 1569.5 16.4 093 03:30 AM
6 Virbac-Paprec
Jean-Pierre Dick
52 34.92' S 131 18.56' W 9191.8 2154.3 11.6 076 03:30 AM
7 Skandia
Nick Moloney
47 49.72' S 150 40.12' W 9979.4 2941.9 10.7 083 03:30 AM
8 Arcelor Dunkerque
Joé Seeten
50 45.20' S 172 20.92' W 10633.5 3596.0 14.8 101 03:30 AM
9 Ocean Planet
Bruce Schwab
48 49.32' S 177 36.08' E 11029.5 3992.0 11.4 093 03:30 AM
10 Hellomoto
Conrad Humphreys
51 46.16' S 174 33.32' E 11050.7 4013.2 11.6 085 03:00 AM
11 Max Havelaar / Best Western
Benoît Parnaudeau
54 10.04' S 166 29.12' E 11275.5 4238.0 11.0 119 03:00 AM
12 VM Matériaux
Patrice Carpentier
45 19.56' S 159 49.08' E 11750.2 4712.7 7.9 088 03:00 AM
13 ROXY
Anne Liardet
48 07.00' S 156 51.36' E 11762.7 4725.2 5.5 068 03:30 AM
14 AKENA Vérandas
Raphaël Dinelli
47 41.56' S 138 27.88' E 12392.1 5354.6 8.1 113 03:30 AM
15 Benefic
Karen Leibovici
47 50.60' S 134 27.52' E 12516.3 5478.8 9.8 106 03:30 AM
Kate Jennings (As Amended by ISAF)
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