Day 27, Thursday October 22, 1998

Isabelle made 5 miles on the leading Thiercelin. He seemed to recognize the necessity to cover her more than to keep closing on Cape Town and dropped a little off wind to gain more speed. Isabelle nicely described the whole situation in her e-mail: "Okay, Marc is making his move (he's returning to a longitude close to PRB's.) In any case, he's going much faster than if he were close-hauled. So am I, but not so dramatically. Actually, I would have preferred it if he hadn't figured out what was happening, but he isn't stupid: the high pressure system will block our path in two days. The only solution: go around it, by heading west and south. Giovanni should be in good shape... The hard part will be to pick the right longitude: too far east and you get becalmed, too far west and you go a longer distance for nothing... It isn't going to be easy. Yesterday was a bit of a struggle. Behind the front, the wind suddenly rose to 45 knots, while all of the other clouds were just puffy."

FolIsabelleUStezneBig.jpg (29532 bytes) Isabelle Austissier

"The boat, which was under mainsail and jib, got backwinded and knocked down, with all three spreader bars in the water... It took a lot of crawling around to get things straightened out, with a triple reef and a storm jib. I spent the rest of the day beating, slightly off close-hauled. Anyway, we aren't there yet, and we're taking the longest possible route..."

Golding, holding onto third position, also had a hard time: "I feel very tired this morning. The last few days have been very hard on the boat and me. We are sailing through a weather front, which is attached to a low pressure that has split the South Atlantic high in two. The conditions are very demanding. Frequent squalls, sometimes prolonged, instant huge wind shifts, holes in the breeze, rain and very bad short seas have really kept the pressure on."

BBTeamGroupNarrow.jpg (26556 bytes)
Golding's Team Group 4

"This morning is as bad as ever, though perhaps a little more stable. By 0500Z I was washed out. I had changed to every shift and turn of the breeze and had to concede defeat. I slept for an hour, having left the boat with a double reefed main and staysail set, making at least some progress towards CT. When I woke and went on deck I found that both the jib sheets had tugged apart, the spectra strop attaching them to the clew and that both the second, and on inspection the first, reef strops had chafed through. As I began sorting it out -- 30kts of wind came in as quick as a flash."

"This front is stalled, prevented from moving by the high pressure to the east of it. I am now trying to get south away from it. It's just too disruptive. I also want to maintain my right-hand position as it looks as though Josh is moving to try to do the same and Giovanni, although a long way back in terms of distance to go, has positioned himself with the benefit of having seen our track abruptly halted. It's not impossible for him to sail around the whole lot of us."

BBFila.jpg (26218 bytes)
Soldini's Fila Foto Billy Black

In Class II, Brad Van Liew and J.P. Mouligne swapped positions again. Van Liew today reported a problem with the fuel system of his diesel engine, which provides his onboard power. It looks like the fuel feeding pipe was positioned incorrectly in the fuel tank and with the boat heeling on starboard side the pipe was sucking air instead of diesel.

Jean-Pierre experienced a terrifying problem. While sitting in his cabin, he suddenly lost all the reading on his instruments and the autopilot went dead at the same time. Fortunately the conditions were mild and by balancing the sails and tying the tiller down with a line, he was able to keep Cray Valley roughly on course for a few minutes at a time. After a quick contact with his base he was able to sort out the disaster. His wind instrument indicator on top of the mast was shorting out the whole electrical system. He disconnected it and the autopilot and instruments went back on immediately. He wrote: "The race goes on. Last night I could see Balance Bar's lights to windward. I am pressing on and going south; the next 2 weeks will be intense..."

BBCrayValleyDetTop.jpg (23320 bytes) Mouligne's Cray Valley Foto Billy Black

Garside, in third place, was losing miles to JP and Brad for six straight days at such an alarming rate that he went back from the front of Class 2 by 275 miles. Robin Davie got to only 205 miles behind him and even Yazykov had gained on him 300 miles over the same time period.

BBMagelanAlphaStearn.jpg (28476 bytes) Garside Foto Billy Black

Garside wrote: "Time will tell if I can pull back the miles. At the moment I'm pushing along at a respectable 10 knots and heading due south. But in doing so I only cut 64 miles off my distance to Cape Town in the last 24hours."

Yazykov pulled himself in front of Hunter, who is now 30 miles back and rounds up Class II. But he is not the last. Over 250 miles behind him is Class I competitor Konioukhov.

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skiper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Thiercelin

Somewhere

23 48S

026 51W

2435

9.8

0

1540

2

Austissier

PRB

23 56S

027 31W

2465

11.7

29.8

1608

3

Golding

Team Group 4

22 56S

028 13W

2525

9.4

90.4

1540

4

Hall

Gartmore

22 26S

028 25W

2548

9.5

113.5

1540

5

Soldini

Fila

22 15S

033 39W

2814

10.2

378.8

1540

6

Konioukhov

Mod Univ Human

06 31N

040 38W

4131

5.2

1695.9

1337

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

16 43S

031 24W

2861

8.8

0

1544

2

Mouligne

Cray Valley

17 03S

031 41W

2864

9.8

3.6

1544

3

Garside

Magellan Alpha

13 12S

035 01W

3150

9.5

288.9

1544

4

Davie

South Carolina

05 41S

033 53W

3355

8.1

492.2

1544

5

Stricker

Rapscallion III

01 31N

029 53W

3451

7

589.9

1544

6

Petersen

No Barriers

02 16N

032 32W

3599

5.5

738.4

1544

7

Saito

Shuten-dohji

03 35N

032 10W

3635

3.6

774.5

1544

8

Yazykov

Wind of Change

06 49N

033 53W

3842

4.8

981.4

1544

9

Hunter

Paladin II

06 37N

034 45W

3872

4.2

1011.7

1544

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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