Day 60, Tuesday November 24, 1998

BBDavieSmaller.jpg (23186 bytes)
Robin Davie Foto Billy Black

Robin Davie slowly made his way toward the finish line. It was afternoon when wind shift forced him to sail towards Robben Island but by the end Davie was able to maneuver his rudderless South Carolina over the finish line at 4:26 p.m. local time. After 58 days at sea he finished eighth out of nine in Class II.

MSDavie3.jpg (15632 bytes) Robin Davie Foto Marek Slodownik
Short on provision, Davie had gone his last day without food. After crossing the finish line he was finally feasting on ice cream and fried calamari. His troubles started almost immediately after the Charleston start. "The first night the alternator packed up. By about the third day the ballast pump had packed up and then the autopilot packed up on about the fourth or fifth day. So from there it could only get better," he said. His biggest problem was losing his rudder. He wasn't sure how it happened. It was in the middle of the night and in the middle of a squall, blowing about 35 knots.

BBSouthCarolina.jpg (22418 bytes)
South Carolina Foto Billy Black

He said, "I don't think we hit anything. It was a dark, squally night. The boat rounded up and I tried to get it back on course. But no matter what I did, it wouldn't go around. It wouldn't tack, gybe, nothing. I took down the sail but the bloody boat just wouldn't turn."

MSSoutCarolDock.jpg (12966 bytes) South Carolina Foto Marek Slodownik

It took him a while to work out the problem. From then on, it was a struggle to get to Cape Town. With over a month at sea still ahead of him, Davie had to find a solution. First he steered by balancing the boat like a windsurfer with its main and a backwinded headsail, and tacking or gybing it by hauling long trailing lines and buckets astern. He even managed a day of over 150 miles by using this primitive way of steering. He was lucky to carry a Monitor windvane, a sturdy and dependable self-steering devices, which he was able to convert to an emergency rudder.

MSDavie5.jpg (13958 bytes)
Robin Davie Foto Marek Slodownik

His elapsed time was 58 days, 22 hours, 11 minutes and 39 seconds, but Davie had received a penalty of over 272 hours for a late qualifying sail. Because of that, his official time for the leg was 70 days, 06 hours, 26 minutes and 09 seconds.

After Davie's finish, there were still two competitors on the course. Neil Hunter was 276 miles from Cape Town and Fedor Konioukhov 544 miles. Meantime Yazykov was recovering in Cape Town. His physical condition had improved; the swelling on his elbow had almost disappeared. He also had another reason for smiling. Atlas Shipping Company from Murmansk, Russia had offered to sponsor him. Now, with only a couple of weeks left to the restart, he had a lot of work ahead of him to get his boat ready for next leg.

VlnaTop.jpg (23387 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

34 34S

007 29E

544

4.4

543.9

1311

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

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

7

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

8

Davie

South Caroline

Cape

Town

0

0

0

0

9

Hunter

Paladin II

34 49S

012 58E

276

6.7

275.9

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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