January 4 - 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


Vendée Globe Update

January 4 - Pacific Ocean

At 1445 hours French time today, Michel Desjoyeaux, who is still leading the Vendée Globe singlehanded around-the-world race in 'PRB', announced he has been able to restart his engine. He is exhausted, due to hand-steering from 9 am to 6 pm yesterday in order to save power. For details on his ingenious starting method, see

Mike Golding of 'Team Group 4' is experiencing communications and other equipment problems. He reports that, "I have no comms at present, I think it's just a blank spot in the B coverage - hope so anyway... It is gray, cold and rather dreary, though no rain which would help top up my stock of fresh water. I still haven't tackled the watermaker problem - I want working pilots before burying myself in that one... Worst of all is the inability to use the heater - it's frustrating knowing that the boat would be warm at the flick of a switch but being unable to afford the fuel."

Roland 'Bilou' Jourdain, skipper of 'Sill Matines la Potagère', the second place boat, has seen a new iceberg today. He immediately sent a brief message to the Vendée Globe office and the other competitors: "Big ice tracked by 55°40 S, 131°45 W. Water temperature: 4°C." Jourdain was the first to spot icebergs and growlers (floating ice), closely followed by Ellen MacArthur, in third place on 'Kingfisher'. MacArthur reported, "Six large icebergs, spotted in a line 58º36 S, 143º 36 W and 58º07 S, 145º07 W." She commented that her radar had only picked up one of the strings of icebergs she has seen, although all of them have been enormous. The icebergs drift up from the Ross Sea. Both MacArthur and Jourdain soon jibed from a heading of110º to turn north on a heading of 50º.

The Race Update

January 4 - Gibraltar

While three boats must put in at Gibraltar for repairs, the other three are clumped together less than 50 miles apart, and the leader has changed for the first time since the start. "After a little more than four days at sea, 'Club Med' has taken the lead from 'Team Adventure' in The Race. As of 1700 GMT, 'Club Med' had a lead of 21 miles over the American boat and 44 miles over 'Innovation Explorer'. This is welcome news for the team as they head south towards the Canaries and the trade winds. "Everybody's searching for wind," said Franck Proffit of 'Club Med'.

Meanwhile, 'PlayStation' is in Gibraltar to exchange the mainsail and solent and is hoping to leave today, after putting in 48 penalty hours for an assisted stop. Tom Weaver, aboard 'PlayStation', reports that, "We are required to wait this out in Gibraltar before we can set off after the other competitors. This will mean we will have about 1,000 miles to make up, a big blow at such an early stage of the race. However, from what we have seen, we have the boatspeed. Now we will need all the luck we can muster to mount a comeback and
win the race. Steve and the 'PlayStation' crew are determined, and the shore team has sprung into action with a massive [successful] effort to relocate sail containers to Gibraltar. The Race is far from over."

'Innovation Explorer's Loïck Peyron assessed 'PlayStation's chances of catching up to the leaders: "'PlayStation' is a very impressive boat to windward. She points very high and is impressively fast. She has very sleek lines and longer hulls, and foresail handling is made easier with furlers. They are going to wait for the front to pass through and quietly leave with some wind."

'Warta-Polpharma', which is 300 miles behind the leader, has announced that they will be stopping for Inmarsat B problems. The Polish boat will not be penalized, because they will not be receiving any assistance, so they will be able to leave again right away.

'Team Legato' also intends calling in for a hardware problem with their mainsail headboard. Tony Bullimore's boat will be subjected to the 48 hour penalty."

After a brief delay, we were able to access today. Dave of the Cal 35 'Running Late' in Redwood City writes that he had found The Race site overloading, but says that, "The 'Team Adventure' and 'Club Med' sites are providing decent updates." They are at and

Photo Courtesy 'Team Adventure'

The three leaders: 'Team Adventure', 'Innovation Explorer' and 'Club Med'
Photo Courtesy 'The Race

What to Do When You Can't Do The Race

January 4 - London

With the loss of the maxi-catamaran 'Team Philips', Pete Goss is not sailing around the world in The Race. However, this gives him the opportunity to announce the latest Goss Challenge, the Goss Atlantic Row, at the London Boat Show today. Along with Goss, Mark Stubbs, Atlantic Row team leader, and Sunseeker Chief Executive Robert Braithwaite will unveil Atlantic Spirit marking a campaign to break Atlantic rowing records in June 2001 using a new streamlined, lightweight, aerodynamic 33-ft boat designed by Adrian Thompson and built by Goss Composites in Totnes, UK.

Overall Winner in the Sydney-Hobart

January 4 - Hobart, Australia

'Ausmaid', Kevin Pearce's Farr 47, claimed the Tattersall's Cup, the top prize in the Telstra Sydney to Hobart Race, for winning the IMS division overall and completing a three-year hat trick. Second overall was won by the British boat 'Quest', skippered by Chris Bull from the Royal Ocean Racing Club, and third the 1999 winner 'Yendys', a Farr 49 owned by Geoff Ross.

Ausmaid, owned by Kevan Pearce of South Australia, sailed with a mix of Pearce's South Australia crewmen and an experienced Sydney group, headed by Roger Hickman, the four-time winner of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's bluewater championship. Under her original owner, Giorgio Gjergja, 'Ausmaid' won the Hobart race in 1996. Under the ownership of Pearce, she was second in the disastrous 1998 race and third in 1999.

For Bob Ross's complete story and all the Sydney-Hobart results, go to

IMS and Overall Winner Ausmaid
Photo Courtesy Quokka Sports

Weather Updates

January 4 - 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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