Day 52, Monday November 16, 1998

BBYazykovPortret.jpg (23622 bytes)
Viktor Yazykov Foto Billy Black

Russian sailor Viktor Yazykov crossed the finish line with a great relief. For 50 years old Viktor, it had been very difficult sailing. He suffered food poisoning, hurt his knee, lost a shroud, had trouble with self-steering gear, and he had to perform surgery on his abscessed right elbow.

After his single-handed surgery at sea it seemed he was fine, but he had lost feeling in his right hand. "It doesn't work, it feels like it's sleeping," he said. A doctor from a visiting Russian vessel was waiting for Victor on the dock along with Russian Consul Vladimir Surkov who came to greet him. So now he is finally in good hands.

Viktor Yazykov  MSYazykov1.jpg (14793 bytes) Foto Marek Slodownik

Yazykov sailed a spectacular first leg. His real sailing time was 44 days, 12 hours, 22 minutes and 25 seconds at sea, which is fastest time on this leg for any 40-foot monohull. Unfortunately he had to start late on October 2, seven days after the official start, because his boat was not ready. He also received 11 days, 7 hours and 30 minute penalty for late arrival at Charleston. So his official sailing time for the first leg was 62 days, 04 hours, 07 minutes and 25 seconds. His best day run was 239 miles and that was the same day he did the surgery on his elbow.

During the trip he had twice suffered food poisoning by eating freeze-dried food that turned bad from when the moisture-absorbing packets it comes in got wet. He blamed the food manufacturers. "So stupid it's incredible," said Yazykov. "They should put some big signs on those packages so that doesn't happen."

BBWindofChange.jpg (16093 bytes)
Wind of Change Russia Foto Billy Black
His worst nightmare was during his self-surgery when he was afraid that a squall might come through and he would not be able to do anything. He said. "I can manage most of the jobs when the weather is OK, but it's difficult in rough weather. It's dangerous to be on deck."

He was pleased with his self-built boat. Yazykov said he spent three years building the boat in Russia. "I feel like she is my baby and I talk to her and she does whatever I ask her." he said. "She's doing everything I want. My time could've been better, but my autopilot worked only about 15 percent of the time. I only used two sails, the main and a small inner jib with full battens, most of the trip. I only had four sails onboard. But my boat is remarkable. With all that went wrong, to do this voyage in 44 days, it's remarkable." he added.

About 80 miles behind Yazykov was Petersen who was expected to finish next. Another 460 miles further back was sailing Minoru Saito who reported problem with his autopilot. He e-mailed: "Good morning, but no good this morning for me. Now I can't use autohelm7000. Its starboard side drive unit bracket nearly broken and another portside drive unit no work. The control unit indicator reads "stopped drive unit" when switched on. This morning time I'll change another new drive unit. This area's weather maybe tropical depression I think. The barometer reads 1008mb. Winds are ENE 20-25kt. Waves 3-4m. Many squalls/showers at 1000utc 1059N/3847W. Very difficult job for fixing (autohelm units) but have to do."

MSSaito2.jpg (18545 bytes) Minoru Saito Foto Marek Slodownik
Minoru, even with his autopilot problem, was able to pass Davie, who dropped back by another place. He had a bad day with no wind. He reported: "Log Entry: 29 miles - unbelievable - but true. I guess that it's an all time record low, and certainly in the BOC races and this Around Alone… With an almost inevitable certainty, the wind seemed to fall yesterday afternoon to light winds, light airs, and finally no airs... and with South Carolina drifting in circles. So down came the mainsail, and there was still no wind by midday today. At least I got a few hours worth of 40 minute sleeps. The day was spent getting the rest of the emergency rudder MRUD sorted out - the linkage for the autopilot cut to length and bolted to the monitor wind movement to actuate in lieu of the wind vane. By mid afternoon light winds of 6 knots had us moving slowly eastwards, MRUD was all connected up, and the pilot switched on - and it worked - don't you just love it when something goes the way its meant to… So that is it - its now 5 hours later, and we have clocked up 28 miles in the right direction with the wind varying between 6 and 16 knots, and no gybes or tacks yet... that called for a celebration this evening. Cheers Robin."

MSDavie3.jpg (15632 bytes)
Robin Davie Foto Marek Slodownik

Over 1,600 miles from Cape Town, Fedor Konioukhov wrote: "Hello everybody, I am still going down South, present wind does not let me go any east. I hope that after 33 S I will have some down wind or cross wind from South. The seas are still high, I am carrying big genoa and main with one riff. I can't carry full main, because the boat is swinging. By putting full foresails and reducing the main, I am pulling my boat. That is all for now."

Pena.jpg (25143 bytes)
Foto Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skiper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Golding

Team Group 4

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

2

Autissier

PRB

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

3

Thiercelin

Somewhere

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

4

Hall

PRB

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

5

Soldini

Fila

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

6

Konioukhov

Mod Univ Human

32 35S

014 05W

1626

7.9

1626.3

1840

7

Reidl

Project Amazon

Retired

0

0

0

0

0

Class 2

Place

Skiper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

4

Stricker

Rapscallion III

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

5

Yazykov

Wind of Change

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

6

Petersen

No Barriers

34 23S

016 53E

82

7.4

81.7

2144

7

Davie

South Caroline

35 49S

007 42E

540

7.1

540.3

2144

8

Saito

Shuten-dohji

35 52S

006 58E

576

5.5

575.6

2144

9

Hunter

Paladin II

32 32S

011 54W

1519

6.1

1519.1

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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