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1 December 2003, 02:01 pm
VDH Three Days Ahead of Target
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Flying Fish


Jean Luc Van den Heede went down below the latitude of Rio de Janeiro on Thursday Night and is continuing to head down the Brazilian coast.
After Rio de Janeiro, it will be Santos, then Porto Alegre, names, which really sound like an exotic trip into the Brazilian landscape, except that on board Adrien, VDH cannot see any of this magnificent coastline. "I can't even see any fishing boats, as I am too far offshore."

In a northerly wind, Adrien is continuing to head down towards Cape Horn at a good speed. "Last night, there was a 30-knot wind blowing steadily, which allowed me to achieve a good average speed. Not as fast as Joyon, but he is aboard a multihull, and in any case I'll be turning right, while Francis will be going left..." jokes Jean Luc.

"The weather is still very pleasant, even if the trade winds have disappeared. It's 27°, but the sky is overcast and it's drizzling. The wind should abate, but only for a while, so there's no need to worry. No need to worry about Adrien either. Both the man and his craft are in fine fettle. I've started feeding myself on tins, partly to lessen the weight on the boat before we hit the southern seas, and I'm keeping the freeze-dried food for later. I'm feeling fine, not at all tired or worn out. I can confirm the appointment with Cape Horn should take place around 12 December, before the Paris Boat Show closes."

Yesterday, Jean Luc had the following to say about his progress so far.

"On Friday afternoon, I experienced what was really my first time being becalmed in heavy seas, which were due to the 30-knot wind from the night before. The rigging took such a pounding with the mainsail banging violently around from one side to the other that I brought it in and waited for it to pass.

After waiting for four hours, a light breath of air picked up from the southeast, and I was able to hoist everything back up without any damage. I did however have to fix some screws in place on the ratchet gear and on the gooseneck, which were beginning to become unscrewed, when everything was banging around. I fixed them in place with a little webbing.

Since then, I've been making reasonable headway. Oh! It's nothing extraordinary, as the wind isn't blowing very strongly, but after a period like I went through on Friday, I'm happy just to hear the lapping of the water against Adrien's hull, as she moves forward.

The nights are starting to get cooler, and I have to get some warm clothes on. Flying fish can no longer be found floundering on the deck, when I carry out my morning check, and I've just turned over my map of the Southern Atlantic to show the side with Cape Horn..."
VdH Media Team (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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