Day 23, Sunday October 18, 1998

BBAustissierFace.jpg (15523 bytes)  Isabelle Austissier Foto Billy Black

Thiercelin has maintained his lead for the past week and lately he was heading east away from the Brazilian coast to break away from the adverse current and light wind. Only 36 miles behind but more easterly positioned, Isabelle was battling her way south and at the same time celebrating her birthday. She wrote: "It's good to be unfettered and making a speed over two figures, and since the wind is now steadier, I don't have to spend as many hours at the helm. I had to do some minor maintenance work yesterday: to get the water-maker back into working order, to replenish the hydraulic oil, to try to stop a small but persistent leak in one of the ballasts and then to get a good night's sleep. But I still have to pay attention: at sunset I said to myself, "It's great to be alone on this deserted sea!" And then, fifteen minutes later, two big cargo liners crossed not very far behind me. Today is my birthday, with Fois Gras and Bordeaux to celebrate, although I'll prefer the party that I'll definitely not miss in Cape Town."

BBHallFace.jpg (15169 bytes) Josh Hall Foto Billy Black

In third position was Josh Hall who also had some reason for celebrating. Four years ago, during the last BOC Challenge race, his boat was punctured by an unknown object and he was rescued by fellow competitor Alan Nebauer in the boat that is now Balance Bar. Today Hall was in front of countryman Mike Golding and Giovanni Soldini doing about 12 knots and chasing the class leader who was about 100 miles in front of him.

BBGoldingFace.jpg (15635 bytes)  Mike Golding Foto Billy Black

Mike Golding had problem getting his boat balanced on upwind course. He had a too big transition between the reefs on his mainsail. With one reef on the mainsail the sail area was to big, with two it was too small and he was loosing speed.

The leading boats of both Classes crossed the equator and were picking up more wind. Unfortunately the back of the fleet was still tormented by the Doldrums, very well described by Robin Davie: "Well, we sure know we've hit the Doldrums, 205 miles yesterday, 138 miles today, but everybody gets them if they want to sail south across the equator into the South Atlantic. They're a bit like a cold -- just don't need them, hope they won't be too bad, and hope they'll go away soon."

BBDavieSmaller.jpg (23186 bytes) Robin Davie Foto Billy Black
"Light winds overnight gave way to a massive cloud and rain storm this morning -- the rain was torrential, lasting over an hour, then the rain moved on, the skies cleared and the sun came out, but someone forgot to switch on the wind."

"An hour or two later, some light airs and cats paws built into a nice 7 to 9 knot northeasterly, which was fine, so with sails nicely cracked we made a good southeasterly course for 2 or 3 hours and then the wind died to nothing, not even a good rain storm this time."

"An hour later light northerly picked up at 5 knots, lasted an hour until the next lurking rainstorm. On the horizon sighted South Carolina, made a beeline for us, engulfed us in torrential rain and 25 knots of wind which lasted 10 minutes before the sun came out and we were left, you guessed it, becalmed again."

"And that's the Doldrums, and that's how it will be for the next 3 or 4 or maybe even 5 days and nights as well as we make our way southwards towards 3 or 4 degrees north where we will hopefully pick up the south east trade winds, nice winds, no calms, so I'll be really looking forward to steady winds and a good sleep, because there sure won't be much kip till then. Have a great night's slumber."
BBSouthCarolinaNarrow.jpg (22486 bytes) Robin's South Carolina Foto Billy Black

The whole fleet should be out of the Doldrums within the next few days.

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skiper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Thiercelin

Somewhere

12 16S

031 23W

3004

13.3

0

1540

2

Austissier

PRB

11 15S

031 25W

3040

11.5

35.9

1540

3

Hall

Gartmore

10 21S

032 06W

3104

12.2

100.1

1540

4

Golding

Team Group 4

11 02S

032 51W

3117

14.2

113.3

1540

5

Soldini

Fila

06 07S

033 50W

3337

10.9

333.7

1540

6

Konioukhov

Mod Univ Human

11 13N

044 45W

4499

3.9

1495.4

1132

7

Reidl

Project Amazon

Retired

         

Class 2

Place

Skiper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Van Liew

Balance Bar

03 55S

034 50W

3466

7.5

0

1544

2

Mouligne

Cray Valley

03 15S

034 31W

3475

7.6

9.8

1544

3

Garside

Magellan Alpha

02 59S

035 24W

3527

9

60.9

1544

4

Davie

South Caroline

05 57N

032 40W

3754

9.5

288.2

1544

5

Stricker

Rapscallion III

09 02N

031 12W

3820

9

354.5

1544

6

Petersen

No Barriers

07 40N

035 46W

3960

7.8

494.5

1544

7

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

08 29N

035 45W

3992

6.2

526

1544

8

Hunter

Paladin II

13 33N

039 46W

4372

6.1

905.9

1544

9

Yazykov

Wind of Change Rus

12 09N

042 30W

4436

4.7

969.9

1544

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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