Day 03, Monday December 7, 1998

Bigsea.jpg (22527 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Just looking at a map, it was clear that Isabelle was heading straight for the "Roaring Forties" and "Screaming Fifties", south latitude names given for the appearance and strength of the prevailing wind. She was furthest South and still heading further South. By doing so she lost some ground on her followers, but she calculated on coming upon stronger wind. She wrote: "We're already in the Forties. That was fast; we had plenty of wind yesterday and last night. But this morning we're just slating around, because the center of the high is a little farther north than predicted. Bummer! All is well on board, except for spending the night sitting around in damp foul weather gear - not the most enjoyable of beginnings. But at the moment, a little ray of sunshine is helping me forget all that. And now, on to the Fifties."

FolTeamGroupAir.jpg (25388 bytes) Golding's Team Group 4

Golding on second and Soldini on third already corrected their courses more to East. Judging by the distance to Auckland they were no more than one mile behind Isabelle. Thiercelin was even further North but about nine miles behind. Hall was in fifth place with over 30 miles behind Autissier.

FolGarsideSteerin2.jpg (34331 bytes) Michael Garside

In Class II Michael Garside was still holding onto his leading position. He was the furthest South from the Class II boats. More than 48 minutes more than Mouligne, who was able to pass Yazykov and take second position. Garside was able to describe his sailing in his e-mail. He wrote: "This is very tough sailing and I am driving hard to try and make a gap between JP Mouligne and myself. By 0345 this morning I was 67 miles ahead of him and he seems to be sailing quite conservatively. I must try and eat but it's so bloody uncomfortable and I seem to be so tired after the solid flog of getting the boat ready in Cape Town that all I want to do is sleep."

MFMouligneFace.jpg (17829 bytes) JP Mouligne Photo Marek Slodownik

Garside was right in his observation about Mouligne's conservative sailing. Jean-Pierre himself wrote: "The last 24 hours have been very rough. After a fairly light start on Saturday, the wind built up steadily all day Sunday and we now have a full gale with wind 35 to 45 knots. The seas also are starting to get big and Cray Valley is coming down huge rollers at high speed. I have 3 reefs in the main sail and am thinking about taking the main down altogether as some gusts are now approaching 50 knots. It is a tough way to start, I am tired and not really in the groove yet."

MSYazykov1.jpg (14793 bytes) Victor Yazykov Photo Marek Slodownik

Yazykov slipped into third place. He lost 9 miles on JP. At the time of the morning report, Yazykov was averaging 11-plus knots. In the meantime, his countryman Konioukhov was still completing repairs in Cape Town with almost 600 miles loss on the leader.

Neal Petersen was continuing to sail east, into the breakers of Agulhas Current and into heaping seas. He described his first hand experience in his message: "I was up at sunrise to look at the weather conditions, returning to my bunk. An hour later I had a rude awakening. We suffered a knock down to portside. Not only did I get flung out of my bunk, ten feet, but also my bunk was torn off its supports leaving screw holes in the water ballast tank. I landed across the navigation station and galley. In my flight, I tore the radar screen off its mounting. My feet smashed into the switch panel, breaking switches and the ammeter casing. My head was across the unlit burner and the contents of lockers were emptied onto the floor. In the forward cabin my fruit was strewn across the cabin floor. I picked myself up, and was unhurt except for a few bruises, and spent the next hour restoring items."

MSNoBarriersNarrow.jpg (23133 bytes)
Petersen's No Barriers Photo Marek Slodownik

Meantime American skipper George Stricker made it back to Cape Town with his broken carbon fiber boom. He made an uncontrolled gybe. The boom gave way about four feet from the mast. Stricker already found a local rigging company, which was making a new aluminum replacement boom. He planned to install the new boom tomorrow and leave immediately.

Robin Davie was getting a lot of help from other teams. Shore crews from Cray Valley, FILA and Gartmore were helping to prepare South Carolina for its start.

BBPaladinIINarrow.jpg (20520 bytes)
Hunter's Paladin II Photo Billy Black

Even Neil Hunter reported problems. He e-mailed: "Not a very pleasant day yesterday or night last night with the Southern Ocean throwing gale force winds at the fleet. I have three reefs in the main and no headsail and she still rounds up in the gusts. The seas are quite rugged and every now and then in a round up we get clobbered side on with a big breaking greenie."

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Autissier

PRB

42 57S

025 28E

6452

14.1

0

2140

2

Golding

Team Group 4

42 49S

025 35E

6452

16.1

0.1

2140

3

Soldini

Fila

42 43S

025 40E

6453

16.3

0.8

2140

4

Thiercelin

Somewhere

43 09S

025 04E

6461

14.9

8.9

2140

5

Hall

Gartmore

41 58S

025 05E

6483

13.9

31.4

2140

6

Konioukhov

Mod.UnivHuman.

33 54S

018 25E

7042

0

590.4

2140

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Garside

Magellan Alpha

41 43S

025 20E

6484

12

0

2144

2

Mouligne

Cray Valley

40 56S

025 02E

6525

12.3

40.8

2144

3

Yazykov

Wind of Change

40 50S

024 52E

6534

10.9

50

2144

4

Van Liew

Balance Bar

40 48S

024 25E

6552

10.7

67.6

2144

5

Petersen

No Barriers

36 28S

024 12E

6730

5.9

246.4

2144

6

Hunter

Paladin II

37 50S

021 37E

6767

4.2

282.9

2144

7

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

36 32S

019 51E

6882

7.3

398.1

2144

8

Stricker

Rapscallion III

33 54S

018 25E

7042

0

558.4

2144

9

Davie

South Carolina

33 54S

018 25E

7042

0

558.4

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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