January 2 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at


The Race Update

January 2 -
The Mediterranean Sea

Steve Fossett has announced that 'PlayStation', which had been in third place in The Race, must put in at Gibraltar for sail repairs. Said Fossett, "We were sailing upwind in 27 kts when the clew in the main gave way. It is very disappointing to have two sail failures on a new set of sails." The first failure occured when the head blew out of the solent (a foresail) during the first night of the round-the-world race. In order to continue in The Race, 'PlayStation' must put in for a mandatory 48-hour stopover. See 'PlayStation's site at

While the 'PlayStation' crew struggles with this set-back, the 'Team Adventure' crew jubilantly entered the Atlantic Ocean first. At 1300 today, she cut her way through the narrow 18-mile Strait of Gibraltar to enter into the new playground. And behind, the hunt is on. 'Club Med' is in second place. 'Innovation Explorer' overtook 'PlayStation' early this morning and is now lying third. At the 1300 position check-in, 'Warta Polpharma' was already 286 miles behind the leader. 'Team Legato' had some trouble qualifying, and did not cross the start line until 0900 GMT yesterday (Monday), but is now close on the heels of the Polish boat with just 78.4 miles separating them.

A tricky weather situation is lying in wait for the competitors once they approach the Atlantic. After the windy Med, they are meeting with calm weather in the Strait.

The start of The Race was held off Barcelona's Olympic Harbor at on December 31 amidst flocks of press and spectators. Cam Lewis's 'Team Adventure' led the six-boat fleet out into the Med.

To see more photos by Tom Zinn like the ones at right, go to:

The last time we checked, we were told that, "You are meeting difficulties to reach our site. Would you please excuse us. In fact you are match more numerous then are must optimistic forecasts. Currently our services do their best to give you total satisfaction." [sic]

'PlayStation' to put in at Gibraltar
Photo Gilles Martin-Raget/

Scenes from The Race
Photos Tom Zinn

Vendée Globe Update

January 2 - Pacific Ocean

Yesterday around 10:00 am, Michel Desjoyeaux, who is leading the Vendée Globe around-the-world alone race in 'PRB', told his shore team in a brief call that the engine starter had broken down. One hour later, in which he had dismantled the defective part, he called again: "The electrical engine for the starter has burned out. The New Year has started badly."

Now deprived of his main energy source, the engine's alternator, with 2700 miles to go until Cape Horn, Michel commented this morning, "It was already tough, really tough, and now it's just beginning again! Give me an 8-day Figaro race anyday!"

Mich Desj, or 'The Professor', as Desjoyeaux is called, has not been able to find a way to hand-start the engine, and must now use his wind generator and solar panels. In a region where the sun doesn't often shine, this means will not be wholly sufficient to meet all the energy requirements on board a new generation Open 60 with all the satellite communication systems. Desjoyeaux must of course give priority to his autopilots, as it is simply out of the question for the skipper to helm all the time when sailing singlehanded, especially in the bitter Southern Pacific temperatures. And he must have his Standard C, the system for receiving by satellite the weather files, open for several hours every day.

Michel Desjoyeaux
Photo Jacques Vapillon


He informed The Race headquarters that "I am continuing towards Cape Horn and do not demand assistance." Despite his current problem, 'PRB' still holds a 154 mile lead over Roland Jourdain in 'Sill Matines la Portagère' and 175 miles over Ellen MacArthur in 'Kingfisher'. For more, see

Weather Updates

January 2 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out

California Coast Weather

Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.:

Pacific Ocean Weather

You can view the University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology satellite picture by clicking here.

Pacific Sea State

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at:
For another view, see

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