Day 09,  Sunday October 04, 1998

Nothing changed in the placing. Josh Hall was holding second place behind Giovanni Soldini, Mike Golding was still close third and Isabelle Autissier still placed fifth behind fellow French competitor Marc Thiercelin.

BBHallNaklon.jpg (26957 bytes) Josh Hall Foto Billy Black

After the first thousand miles the two pre-race favorites, Autissier and Soldini, had taken the right and left wings of the fleet. Obviously, each had own view on the best route to Cape Town. The rest of the pack was spread out between them. Josh Hall and Mike Golding to the left, Marc Thiercelin and Brad Van Liew to the right and Jean-Pierre Mouligne and Garside in the center.

The light conditions did not allow boat separation of more than 100 miles, and allowed the smaller Class II boat mix with the bigger Class I rivals. Autissier was the first to work her boat south and she continued to favor the right-hand side of the course. She was the furthest to the south and west. So far she was the only skipper in the fleet to be making better than 10 knots. She was expecting to have fewer calms than the others because she was farther away from the center of the high pressure. She also expected to escape the calms earlier because she was farthest to the south. But it looked like everyone had escaped from the calms at the same time. She only complained that it was impossible to be at the helm in the sun for more than a half-hour at a time. She had been taking refuge behind the main sail, watching the wind, and then dashing over to the autopilot to correct her course.

MSSomewhere3.jpg (16878 bytes) Somewhere Foto Marek Slodownik
Thiercelin was following the same strategy. Of the top eight boats in the fleet only Soldini was continuing to hold northern heading. Sailing along steady in third position, Mike Golding so far sailed in a smart and conservative way. His biggest concern was gear failure and his lack of experience in this kind of racing. But his experiences grew with every day of sailing.

Michael Garside summarized first week of the race in his e-mail, seeing three factors to decide the winner: the weather, the ages of the boats and the skippers.

BBMagelanAlphaStearn.jpg (28476 bytes) Magellan Alpha Foto Billy Black

In his opinion the weather was fine up to now. The winds had been favorable, coming mainly from south and southwest, but because they had been light and the sea smooth for seven days without a break, the fleet was more compact than might have been expected.

The second factor, the age and the condition of the yachts that were going to have a significant effect on the result of the race. By Garside opinion Isabelle, who had a relatively old but well proven boat, had commented on the speed of her new rivals. Soldini, Golding, Hall and Thiercelin all had much newer machines. Autissier guessed that Golding's boat was perhaps one percent faster than hers was, when they were racing side by side. Over the duration of the race that added up to one and a half days.

MSPascalConq.jpg (14087 bytes)  Pascal Conq Foto Marek Slodownik

Pascal Conq, the designer, had calculated that Garside's fully retractable drive shaft and prop reduces drag by two percent. In theory Magellan Alpha should be the faster than Cray Valley, particularly because of its canting keel. Garside did not need to add a ton of water ballast to achieve the same righting moment as JP does with Cray Valley. "But let me tell you this. Yesterday I raced alongside JP in the lightest of breezes from dawn to dusk. No more than two miles separated the boats at most. It took me all day to make a mile." noted Garside. But however old or designed a boat is, it must first finish and not brake during the race.

The skippers themselves were the third factor to determine the outcome of leg one. Everybody could see the diversity in them. Sailing and racing experience would play a huge part as would age. The time needed for physical recovery after hard work always favors youth. After Garside spent all day yesterday trying to wrest a mile from JP, he was so tired that he slept most of the night on the floor of the cockpit. Meantime JP had won five miles back by dawn.
FolProjAmazon3.jpg (20961 bytes) Project Amazon

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Hall

Gartmore Inv Mg

26 04N

051 35W

5366

8.4

0

0340

2

Autissier

PRB

24 09N

053 24W

5372

9.7

5.6

0340

3

Thiercelin

Somewhere

24 44N

053 00W

5377

9.6

10.3

0340

4

Soldini

Fila

29 16N

048 58W

5381

3.9

14.2

0340

5

Golding

Team Group 4

25 48N

052 15W

5384

8.3

17.4

0340

6

Konioukhov

Mod Univ Human

26 49N

065 02W

5978

0

352.4

0452

7

Reidl

Project Amazon

31 17N

059 10W

5873

0

171.2

2140

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

25 26N

053 19W

5416

8.4

0

0344

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

25 16N

053 49W

5431

8.9

15.4

0344

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

25 26N

055 18W

5501

8.9

85.1

0344

4

Davie

South Carolina

28 40N

055 03W

5608

1.3

192

0344

5

Stricker

Rapscallion III

30 15N

053 46W

5612

7

196.5

0344

6

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

28 53N

055 20W

5628

2.3

212.1

0344

7

Petersen

No Barriers

30 16N

056 02W

5707

4.7

290.8

0344

8

Hunter

Paladin II

30 16N

060 38W

5900

6.3

484.5

0344

9

Yazykov

Wond of Change Rus

30 00N

071 30W

6369

3.1

952.8

0344

Richard Konkolski
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