Day 20, Thursday October 15, 1998

msreidl.jpg (17688 bytes) Sebastian Reidl Foto Marek Slodownik

The 59-year-old Canadian skipper Sebastian Reidl, who was sailing the Eric Sponberg designed 60-foot Project Amazon, telephoned Race Coordinator Peter Dunning via satellite and notified the Race Headquarter that he was heading for Puerto Rico and withdrawing from the race. Reidl was battling a number of problems for days.

From the start he had problems with the boat's electronics. "There were many small problems along the way," said Reidl's daughter Sara. The system that was supposed to automatically transmit his position malfunctioned early in the leg. "The problem was with his Trimble antenna," explained Sara Reidl. "The manufacturers worked out that it was a faulty antenna." Reidl's position was actually tracked by secondary positioning - ARGOS.

BBReidWithDaughter.jpg (29152 bytes)  Reidl with daughter Sara Foto Billy Black
Then he had been having problems with his main engine for days. He discovered that water was somehow getting into his main fuel tank. Yesterday Reidl had to admit that the problem was not something he could repair at sea. The water contamination became the overwhelming problem affecting almost every system on the boat. Project Amazon's main engine finally ceased to operate. Reidl still had two smaller generators aboard but they were not able to power all the other systems.

FolProjAmazon2.jpg (21460 bytes) Project Amazon

According to project manager John Brooman, Reidl noticed a problem with one of his mainsheet blocks at the top of the foremast. He climbed the huge 86 feet above the deck mast with no stays and he found the block irreparably damaged. After the discovery he did his final decision and shortly after that, Reidl turned his boat toward Puerto Rico and sent the following message to the race headquarters:

BBProjectAmazonNarrow.jpg (20105 bytes) Sebastian Reidl Foto Billy Black

To: Race Operations

From: Sebastian Reidl

Please accept this communication as my official withdrawal from the race. I am releasing the AROUND ALONE 1998-99 of all responsibility they may ever had for my participation in this race.

As I am not able, with on board facilities, to rectify my technical problems, fuel, rigging, etc. I decided that my arrival in Cape Town would be too late to repair my now existing deficiencies and be ready for the next leg of the race.

I would like to express my thanks to everybody who helped me get to the starting line, which was not an easy task. I hope this is not the last time we have reason to communicate and I may well be better prepared then. Thank you all at ROC for your support.

Best regards,

One disappointed skipper,

Sebastian

FolProjAmazon4.jpg (22774 bytes) Sebastian Reid

His withdrawal reduces the Class I fleet to six yachts. The Class II fleet still stands at nine.

On course, Thiercelin continued heading south followed by Isabelle, Golding, Hall, and Soldini. Isabelle Autissier crossed the Equator for the 10th time this morning. She wrote: "Right now I have to sail close-hauled to round the point of Brazil. It is not certain yet that I will make it on this tack, but right now it looks good because the wind has become less contrary for PRB. I spent many hours at the helm again yesterday. I also had to monitor the desalinator which lost it's prime because we are heeling too much. So I have to provide the water supply (for the desalinator) with a bucket, which I have to fill up all the time. Well, now I'm returning to the helm: the next 24 hours are going to be decisive."

Josh Hall pulled himself to third place, but he was not happy: "Big day today. I get to drink my warm can of Coors Lite in about 5 hrs as we slip into the Southern Hemisphere. It's been a little disappointing the past 24hrs as the wind has taken a favorable shift south of us and allowed the others to steer east of south taking away a lot of our easterly advantage. It's only a 10-degree shift in the wind but it's made all the difference."

BBGartmoreNarrow.jpg (21242 bytes) Josh Hall's Gartmore Foto Billy Black

"Ah well, such are the nuances of ocean racing. We are still close to them, apart from Somewhere who continues to get these breaks before the rest of us and is piling on the agony right now. All I can do is keep the boat going fast as close to the wind as possible and let this little period pan out. FILA caught us all up a great deal while we spent 3 days in Doldrums weather and it would appear he has slipped through there in our wake during a 24-hr period when the Doldrums were virtually non-existent. So, the boat at the front and the boat at the back are having the luck of the devil right now -- us next please!"

In Class II, however, there was an overnight big shake-up. Mouligne, who was leading Class II for most of Leg 1, found himself in third place. Garside and Van Liew had gotten the better of the Doldrums and were virtually abreast for the first place.

BBBalanceBar.jpg (21712 bytes) Balance Bar Foto Billy Black

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skiper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Thiercelin

Somewhere

04 34S

035 59W

3495

8.3

0

2140

2

Austissier

PRB

01 52S

035 21W

3566

8

70.6

2140

3

Hall

Gartmore

00 55S

035 44W

3620

8

124.8

2140

4

Golding

Team Group 4

00 30S

035 27W

3623

8.5

127.7

2140

5

Soldini

Fila

03 28N

034 39W

3752

5.4

256.7

2140

6

Konioukhov

Mod Univ Human

10 42N

045 39W

4521

3.5

1025.7

2116

7

Reidl

Project Amazon

17 35N

041 34W

4611

0

Retired

1222

Class 2

Place

Skiper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Van Liew

Balance Bar

02 27N

038 53W

3894

4.5

0

2144

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

02 32N

038 54W

3899

7

4.5

2144

3

Mouligne

Cray Valley

03 10N

038 23W

3899

7.9

5

2144

4

Davie

South Carolina

12 33N

037 02W

4214

7.7

319.6

2144

5

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

11 57N

039 48W

4309

5.7

414.5

2144

6

Petersen

No Barriers

12 12N

039 42W

4315

6.2

420.3

2144

7

Stricker

Rapscallion III

14 13N

037 53W

4319

7.9

424.5

2144

8

Hunter

Paladin II

18 31N

043 49W

4744

5.9

850.2

2144

9

Yazykov

Wind of Change

16 44N

047 51W

4850

6.4

956

2144

Richard Konkolski
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