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"Vende Globe Race" - z pierwszej ręki    10.11.2000

"Dwa razy daje, ta która szybko daje" i to po... angielsku. "Dwa w jednym" - aktualna wiadomość i atrakcyjny trening międzynarodowego języka żeglarzy. Przy okazji zauważcie, że Wasza ulubiona strona z dnia na dzień zyskuje coraz poważniejszych informatorów. Słowniki w garść i do regatowej lektury! Informacja jest napisana "Basic English" i nie powinna Wam sprawić trudności. Thank you Ellen! Żyjcie wiecznie! Jerzy Kuliński

The latest news from Ellen to Jerry Kulinski
On a grey, wet and cold afternoon, Ellen MacArthur finally crossed the start line of the Vendee Globe race. Her long held dream to compete in this event, the real Everest of ocean sailing, finally has begun in reality. Hundreds of thousands of hours of work, by hundreds of people, thousands of messages in just the past few days alone to will her on. Ellen finally took 'Kingfisher' across the start line and off into the unknown.

Ellen visited every skipper on the dockside before they left, one by one. An incredibly strong bond exists between them, as they go out to share the same challenges over the coming months. A small present from Ellen to the others...a Kingfisher stress ball with A DONF written on it.... Either to relieve their stress, or squeeze it hard if she's ahead! A lot of emotion on the pontoons, as cameramen fought with photographers to get the ultimate picture as final farewells were made, and tears were shed.

Incredible scenes as each boat filed out of the port and along the half mile long channel to the open sea. As we slid past under tow (the engines are sealed up now), there were thousands of people lining the walls, waving and cheering, 'ELL-EN, ELL-EN'...more tears for us. Quite an amazing scene.

At 1611, the gun fired, and the 24 solo skippers sweated as they manouevred their racing machines in a difficult lumpy sea - in light and variable winds. Maybe not the dramatic footage the TV wanted, but certainly stressful enough for the skippers. A bit of action on the start line with Bernard Stamm as 6 boats clustered at the buoy, and Team Group 4 came charging in from behind, trying to find a slot. The first 2 miles were negotiated with painstaking downwind gybes in next to no wind, and then on to the only mark of the course before the Canary Islands. One by one the gennakers and big powerful sails were hoisted as the skippers settled in, and prepared to 'up the pace' after mostly conservative starts. With 23,000 miles to go its weird to be fighting for a few metres, but that is the way this race is going to run.

As what little there was of the sun went down, 'Kingfisher' settled in, with Suisse Domonique Wavre (UBP) just off to port, and Italian Simone Bianchetti (Aquarelle.com) just to leeward. The front runners were half a mile ahead - the 'professor' Michel Desjoyeaux (PRB) and Bilou (SILL) stretching out a small lead they had from the start. Mich certainly made his mark on the rhythm of the race, hoisting a spinnaker as he crossed the line and took a very different heading to the rest of the fleet...of course though, he was right.

The night will be tough for the skippers as they get their minds off of the loved ones they have left behind, and get focussed on the race and huge challenge they are setting off for. Tactically, the first 24 hours promises to be testing. A small depression in south Biscay is causing the variable winds of present. As the fleet head south towards the Spanish coast they should get a shift, first to the south, then to the NW. Positioning and timing the tacks will be everything - time to get on with it!

Ellen will be sending us back emails, photos, and images and we'll be putting up audio files of interviews in French and English on to the website. Updates will go on the website each morning, as well as on our WAP site (ellenwap.com). Follow the action in full 3D animation on Virtual Spectator, which can be downloaded from http://www.virtualspectator.com

In our daily updates we'll be featuring firstly one of the companies in the Kingfisher group, and then one of our Gold Level Partners - technical suppliers that have supported us throughout the campaign so far.

We look forward to sharing this adventure and race with you over the coming months...

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