Day 02, Sunday December 6, 1998

Breaker.jpg (14426 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

The fleet got its first taste of the stronger wind. The cold front approached and passed through. The wind went up to 40 knots with gusts over 50. This weather was expected to stay until Monday and then diminish.

Minoru Saito and George Stricker were the first casualties as a result of this rough weather. Slightly after 1200 GMT Saito returned to port with problem on his autopilot. He was only 30 miles out and he could get back reasonably quickly. Four hours later he had repaired the autopilot and was back out to sea.

BBShutenDohjiII.jpg (27737 bytes) Shuten-dohji II Photo Billy Black

Stricker was not so lucky. He broke his boom 76 miles from the start line and as he stated in his e-mail, he was unable to fix it himself on the sea. He could hoist only his jib and fight his way back to Cape Town against strong 30 knots wind.

BBRapscallionIIIStearn.jpg (24779 bytes)
George Stricker Photo Billy Black

After enjoying an early lead, Soldini dropped to second position in Class I. Isabelle, after a troubled start, took the lead heading deeply south. She e-mailed: "Getting underway was a bit hard; some bad memories are still rattling around in my head. But the next few days should erase all that and get me back in the saddle."

FolIsabellePoklop.jpg (20276 bytes)
Isabelle Autissier

Soldini was slightly over eleven miles behind Autissier, closely followed by Thiercelin and Golding, who was further South of them all.. All four leading Class I boats were within 20 miles radius of each other.

FolGarsideSteerin.jpg (21574 bytes) Michael Garside

In Class II, Garside established a clear 42 miles lead over the next boat. It looked that he has solved all his problems with his swing keel hydraulic system. Sailing South Oceans was something he had never done before. He only hoped that his Special Forces training would help him overcome all obstacles. He got the biggest budget for the maintenance and shore help, which was definitively helpful. But everybody is getting better as the race progresses and he had a lot more to learn about the art of sailing itself.

BBWindofChangeNarrow.jpg (18480 bytes)
Wind of Change Russia Photo Billy Black

To everyone's surprise, Russian Viktor Yazykov was holding second position in Class II with his small 40-foot boat. The Class II winner, J.P. Mouligne, climbed from his early fifth place to a third over 50 miles behind Garside.

Modern University for the Humanities and South Carolina were still tied in their slips. Both skippers, Konioukhov and Davie, had been working feverishly to get their boats ready for late starts. Konioukhov was planning to leave at noon on Tuesday, 8 December. Davie hoped to leave sometime late on Monday.

Petersen was the only sailor to sail directly over the dangerous Agulhas Bank. It was a dangerous decision to make, knowing that the location was being approached by a cold front with strong wind. Agulhas Bank is shallow with strong current coming from the North. One must be at least 20 miles out of this continental shelf to avoid huge confused sea and great breakers caused by strong wind blowing against the current.

MSNoBarriers.jpg (16184 bytes) No Barriers Photo Marek Slodownik

He did not get far away enough when the strong cold front wind reached him. "It has been a wild day encountering my first gale.", he wrote. "The winds blew at around 30 to 40 knots. The seas were big, especially when I passed beneath Cape Agulhas. Green water had a habit of breaking over the stern, as at times we surface up to 14 knots. I strung a chain onto a line and for several hours dragged it behind the boat, one to slow us down a bit, two to try and slow down the swerving stern. This chain unfortunately got caught around the paddle of the self-steering system and bent the safety tube. The boat went out of control. Thankfully it was during the daylight. I took the mainsail down to get better control of the boat with the electronic autopilot. One of the changes we made in CT was we put two foresails on the roller furler. I was able to open the two sails like butterflies' wings and catch the wind. All the forces are now pulling the boat. I do not have much sail up front, but we are still doing between 6 and 8 knots, occasionally surfing up to 10 knots."

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Autissier

PRB

39 16S

020 30E

6747

15.3

0

2140

2

Soldini

Fila

39 02S

020 27E

6758

14.3

11.3

2140

3

Thiercelin

Somewhere

38 59S

020 16E

6767

13.3

19.8

2140

4

Golding

Team Group 4

39 04S

020 05E

6770

13.3

22.5

2140

5

Hall

Gartmore

38 24S

019 53E

6803

11.4

56.1

2140

6

Konioukhov

Mod.Univ.Human

33 54S

018 25E

7042

0

205.4

1540

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Garside

Magellan Alpha

38 28S

021 15E

6754

13.6

0

2144

2

Yazykov

Wind of Change

38 02S

020 31E

6797

12.3

42.9

2144

3

Mouligne

Cray Valley

38 15S

019 59E

6806

11.2

52.5

2144

4

Van Liew

Balance Bar

38 04S

020 02E

6812

10.2

58.5

2144

5

Petersen

No Barriers

35 32S

021 18E

6872

6.6

118.5

2144

6

Hunter

Paladin II

36 24S

019 34E

6897

6.9

143

2144

7

Davie

South Carolina

33 54S

018 25E

7042

0

288.6

2144

8

Stricker

Rapscallion III

33 56S

018 16E

7046

5.7

292.4

2144

9

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

34 00S

018 10E

7047

2.3

293.3

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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