Day 34, Thursday October 29, 1998

The leaders had around 500 miles to go to Cape Town. Of course all of them were doing their best to reach the finish line first. Mike Golding and Isabelle Autissier were having the race of their lives. Both were doing around 13 knots.

After passing her countryman Marc Thiercelin, Isabelle Autissier had the lead but it did not last for long. During last night Mike Golding was able to pass her. Only two days before Golding discovered a tangled line on his keel. He got rid of this unwanted brake and his speed went immediately up. It is possible, that he had been trailing this garbage from the early start. His recent jump in speed signaled that his boat finally performing to its potential.

BBTeamGroup.jpg (20587 bytes)
Team Group 4 Foto Billy Black

Of course Isabelle was immediately alarmed: "What was waiting to happen finally did," she wrote this morning. "I can't compete on speed without a genoa and no way to use the gennaker, so I'm going to salvage whatever I can. There are still 700 miles to go. Last night, I raised the spinnaker."

"Easier said than done. Forward, there is such a mare's nest of lines running every which way that it was no joke just finding a way to raise the spinnaker. To retrieve the halyard I've been using as a stay, I ran the spare mainsail halyard along the port spinnaker halyard messenger line, and used it as a stay instead."

"Then the gennaker halyard I'm using to raise the spinnaker started getting twisted. It took me three tries before I could get the spinnaker sleeve into position. This meant raising, setting, and then lowering the whole spinnaker three times, at night, while using a spotlight to see what was happening up there. Very tiring, and a big waste of time. I'm feeling pretty worn out this morning. But the spinnaker is up." Even with her spinnaker up Autissier had lost an additional 10 miles on Golding.

Over forty miles behind the two leaders was another duel between Thiercelin and Hall. Thiercelin was celebrating his 38th birthday, along with Class II competitor Viktor Yazykov who was 50.

BBThiercelinFace.jpg (17517 bytes)    BBYazykovTvar.jpg (17550 bytes)
Thiercelin & Yazykov   

Then there was Giovanni Soldini. Last week he had two record-setting 24-hour runs approaching 400 miles. Now he was going farther south than the leaders to avoid a large high-pressure sitting between the fleet and Cape Town. He had a longer way to go and was loosing miles right then. Who knew if that maneuver would pay off. "The big problem is that the gap is growing quickly and so close to the finishing line, that could prove quite dangerous." he wrote, "Let's just hope that things change and that this front breaks up as forecast. Or that it overtakes them fast... Right now I am very worried."

MSFilaBowHiogh.jpg (16046 bytes) Fila Foto Marek Slodownik
In Class II sailor Jean-Pierre kept the first place. "Beautiful and chilly morning here at 37 degrees South." he wrote, "I sailed conservatively all night with the full main and staysail, averaging 10 to 11 knots and got lots of rest. The wind is fairly light this morning and I reset the genoa to try to get a little bit more speed."

"Last night I think I saw my first albatross. It was getting dark but a huge bird just glided past Cray Valley, made a couple of graceful turns and disappeared. It looked as if it had a wingspan of about 2 meters, but I could not really see it in the dark. I am sure that he will be back and that I will have a chance to take a better look in the daylight. I passed the 2000-mile mark last night and have been at sea for 33 days. I have set my goal to reach Cape Town in less than 10 days and really look forward to it."

SlunceVlna.jpg (25405 bytes)
Foto Richard Konkolski

Michael Garside in third reported: "I, too, have found a fair north easterly that has picked up Magellan Alpha and is propelling him SE at a brisk twelve knots, occasionally 14. Two hundred and fifty miles separate me from the two skippers to my south. But the distance to Cape Town for JP is 163 miles less that it is for me and that distance has remained the same for the last 24 hours. Brad is a little further behind him and 100 miles ahead of me. But again he has not been able to open the gap on me."

Neil Hunter was closing the Class II fleet. He wrote: "Breeze picked up yesterday afternoon and held. If it doesn't drop out I should be over the line soon and then it's all downhill. Well, that's how it looks on my globe of the world."

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skiper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Golding

Team Group 4

36 22S

009 28E

464

14.3

0

2140

2

Austissier

PRB

36 08S

008 32E

504

10.3

40.3

2140

3

Thiercelin

Somewhere

35 30S

007 24E

552

12.5

87.9

2140

4

Hall

Gartmore

36 32S

003 39E

740

8.5

276.5

2140

5

Soldini

Fila

41 02S

000 57W

1015

4.6

551.6

2140

6

Konioukhov

Mod Univ Human

02 37N

033 45W

3667

3.4

3203.6

1816

7

Reidl

Project Amazon

Retired

         

Class 2

Place

Skiper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

37 16S

018 03W

1781

11.8

0

2144

2

Van Liew

Balance Bar

36 21S

019 32W

1857

9.8

76.3

2144

3

Garside

Magellan Alpha

31 15S

020 33W

1965

10.6

184.7

2144

4

Davie

South Caroline

27 22S

028 08W

2415

6.7

634.2

2144

5

Stricker

Rapscillion III

19 35S

029 31W

2682

8

901.1

2144

6

Petersen

No Barriers

14 32S

031 27W

2932

6.9

1151.5

2144

7

Saito

Shuten-dohji

11 08S

032 40W

3104

5.7

1323.6

2144

8

Yazykov

Wind of Change

06 41S

030 37W

3164

6.7

1383.6

2144

9

Hunter

Paladin II

01 27N

031 01W

3498

0

1452

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
Return back to First Leg