Day 33, Wednesday October 28, 1998

First four boats of Class I fleet had less than 1000 mile to go to reach the finish line at Cape Town. Isabelle Autissier, Marc Thiercelin, Mike Golding and Josh Hall were continuing to run with average speeds of 12 to 13 knots. The leaders enjoyed wind where, according to the weather maps, wind should not be.

more.jpg (31188 bytes)
Foto Richard Konkolski

Four years ago Isabelle Autissier won the first leg of this race with five days ahead of her nearest challenger. This time it was much tougher situation for her. She had many problems, which cost her an early lead and forced her back in the fleet for more than two weeks. Autissier admitted that she was sailing harder than other competitors with a little time for sleep. She spent the past few days trading first place with Thiercelin until Autissier recently got 31 miles in front of him.

FolIsaTvarStez.jpg (19138 bytes) Isabelle Autissier

It was a big day for Golding. He had to back sails and put his boat in reverse to be able to clear a forty feet long line from his keel. But despite that he was able to get 1.5 mile in front of Thiercelin and took second position with great hope of reaching Cape Town even before Isabelle. Thiercelin's third place must have been a great disappointment for him after so long leading his class. Around Alone is his first race, but he is definitively a guy to watch.

FolGartmoreNarrow.jpg (23279 bytes) Garmore

Two hundred miles back was Hall in his fourth position. He was trying to cut the high and reduce his track, but it did not pay off. Fifth place Soldini had again split away in search for stronger westerly wind, which should have appeared in his region.

Almost three thousand miles behind, Konioukhov was battling with his boat to get her sailing on wind. Probably due to lack of the preparation time in Charleston, he decided not to use the waterbalast in his boat and discovered that without this ballast his boat sailed sideways just about as fast as it sailed forward.

BBKonioukhovwWifePortretDeck.jpg (27694 bytes) Fedor Konioukhov Foto Billy Black

In Class II, J.P. Mouligne held a 44-mile lead over Balance Bar. Both sailors suffered damage to their mainsails during a passing cold front. JP suffered unusual vertical tear in his mainsail. He wrote: "Early yesterday morning, I woke up Henry Little, my sail maker from Rhode Island, and got some good advice on how to fix my mainsail. I went to work on it right away, but lost several hours running with the staysail only. First you have to take the main down completely. Then cut long strips of kevlar cloth from a spare sheet and apply a double-sided sticky tape to the back of it. Clean the patch area on the sail with acetone and carefully apply the cloth like a band aid, then rub hard with a screw driver handle to make it stick. Cover the whole thing with more adhesive tape to prevent it from lifting, bring the main back up and off you go..."

"Sounds easy! But on a wet platform angled 20 degrees and moving at 10 knots with spray flying everywhere, it is not really the ideal conditions for a perfect job. Every few hours last night I would point my flash light on the patch fearing that it would break at any time but it held and looks ok this morning in the day light. I am now at 36 South and with the wind slowly veering to the North I am gradually turning east toward Cape Town. The forecast calls for a strong cold front by Friday, so I expect good North to Northwest wind for the next couple of days in which Cray Valley should be flying."

vlnatop.jpg (39528 bytes)
Foto Richard Konkolski

"I have a small lead on Balance Bar and I am more South than him, Magellan has caught up a lot on distance to finish but is way to the North of us. The race is very open at this point and anything can happen but I feel good to be South and I have confidence in Cray Valley speed."

Mouligne's shore manager, Phil Lee, already in Cape Town said: "This is our light-air sail, which we only need for this leg and the last leg. One of the reasons the team chose to have Kevlar sails was that they are cheaper and lighter. This meant we could have two sails, a heavy for the Southern Ocean and a light for the first and last leg. We don't need that sail until Punta del Este."

Van Liew actually had two rips, one at the leech that was about one-and-a-half-feet and the other in the center that was about three feet. Both of the tears were below the second reef and above the first. He spent all afternoon sail mending.

FolGarsideSteerinDet.jpg (26234 bytes) Mike Garside

Positioned third, Garside e-mailed: "I am taking miles off them, but JP is right. It will be a different story in a few days. I am desperately trying to get south but because I am so far behind I am trying to cut the corner and follow the route of the big boys. The weather files we have been given show that it is highly unlikely that I will be able to make it. However, since yesterday afternoon I have had a North and NW wind that is not shown on any forecast anywhere, and I'm making quiet but steady progress SE."

Robin Davie was holding onto his fourth place: "Looking at the chart one can see from my notes and the routes of the boats ahead of me, Cray, Balance and Magellan, that they had much bigger daily miles and better winds as they came south where I presently am, but we are all now getting caught up in various parts of the great high pressure area and ridges that dominate the weather here at present. Fortunately I am doing as well wind wise as any of them - so long may that continue."

zapa3.jpg (34144 bytes)
Foto Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skiper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Austissier

PRB

36 58S

002 50E

783

11.9

0

2140

2

Golding

Team Group 4

37 38S

002 57E

785

13.6

1.5

2140

3

Thiercelin

Somewhere

36 45S

002 08E

815

13.2

31.4

2140

4

Hall

Gartmore

36 20S

001 23W

982

11.2

198.3

2140

5

Soldini

Fila

39 58S

004 07W

1138

9.3

354.4

2140

6

Konioukhov

Mod Univ Human

03 44S

034 32W

3746

1.9

2962.7

1640

7

Reidl

Project Amazon

Retired

         

Class 2

Place

Skiper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

36 50S

023 34W

2046

9.6

0

2144

2

Van Liew

Balance Bar

35 57S

024 20W

2091

9.5

44.5

2144

3

Garside

Magellan Alpha

27 54S

024 06W

2203

9.7

157.1

2144

4

Davie

South Caroline

24 48S

030 16W

2580

7.6

533.5

2144

5

Stricker

Rapscallion III

16 27S

028 53W

2745

8.8

698.9

2144

6

Petersen

No Barriers

12 02S

032 25W

3061

6.9

1015.2

2144

7

Saito

Shuten-dohji

08 49S

033 05W

3205

5.8

1158.7

2144

8

Yazykov

Wind of Change

04 02S

030 37W

3264

6.7

1218.1

2144

9

Hunter

Paladin II

01 27N

031 01W

3498

3.9

1452

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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