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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Ellen, Vendee and Icebergs 

For the past few days, Ellen has endured unstable, aggressive and unpredictable winds; Commanders' weather forecasting and what Ellen was experiencing just did not correspond. Now, as the wind shifts to the west and stabilizes, her torment seems to be coming to an end but still another storm is forecast for Friday.

The big compensation for Ellen is that her lead over Joyon's time has been extended to more than three days.

In addition to the gales, on Sunday, Ellen had to contend with two large 50 metre+ icebergs just two miles to her north. Numerous icebergs have been reported by the Vendée skippers further south. The MRCC in New Zealand first alerted the Vendée Globe organisation of the ice zone two weeks earlier. Unfortunately, VMI suffered a collision with a growler [a broken off piece of iceberg] that caused substantial damage including a broken bow sprit. The knowledge of this ice zone dictated Ellen’s path in B&Q to the north. Jean Le Cam on the Vendee Globe video reports has got some good video of icebergs coming too close for comfort.

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