Day 13, Thursday December 17, 1998

FolIsaTvarStez.jpg (19138 bytes) Isabelle Autissier

Isabelle was already fighting with her keel's hydraulics and a broken satellite antenna when she got new trouble. She contacted her shore crew via SSB radio and reported that her main sail track had broken at the masthead. She could neither raise nor lower the sail. She was forced to sail with a double-reefed mainsail and because of that she changed her course from due east to northeast, to go probably as far north as 42 S in order to get into calmer weather that would permit repair.

FolSoldiniTvar.jpg (16611 bytes) Giovanni Soldini
Exploiting the situation Soldini took the lead. He was able to build a 21-mile lead over Thiercelin. Autissier dropped over seventy miles back into third place. Both Soldini and Thiercelin had their boats in relatively good shape. Thiercelin actually reported his early situation: "I was caught by a gigantic wave that smashed my starboard safety stanchions and dented my cabin top, which allowed water to drain through the portholes onto the chart table. So as not to have water on me, I made temporary repairs with Sika joint compound. And yesterday, I broke my masthead lazy jack in a jibe. With these seas, I don't know how I'm going to be able to climb up to fix it." But, these were minor and fixable problems. Today he reported new trouble: "I've had a problem since last night, when I started feeling a strong vibration down by the keel. I went to have a look at daybreak, because the boat would no longer surf. It turns out I have a huge clump of seaweed wrapped around the keel and apparently also tangled in the prop. I spent two hours trying to clear it, but nothing worked. So I'm getting underway again, but my average speed has dropped by three knots. Since the wind is rising and blowing in the right direction, I'm making progress. As soon as it slackens, I'll try sailing the boat backwards, though that's risky for the mast. The wave troughs aren't making things easy."

MSCrayValleyStart.jpg (13441 bytes) Mouligne's Cray Valley Photo Marek Slodownik
In Class II, Mouligne took the lead from Mike Garside. Jean-Pierre was holding a nine-mile lead and was averaging nearly 13 knots. He wrote: "Mike Garside and I are now locked into a head-to-head contest that will last all the way to Auckland. We are so close that I kept on looking outside this morning to see if I could see Magellan on the horizon. So far I have not seen him and he doesn't show up on the radar either."

FolMagelanAlpha2.jpg (21562 bytes) Garside's Magellan Alpha
Michael Garside was able to express his feelings as well: "JP has closed up on me and we are now racing neck and neck. I'm quite glad, to be honest. I have been out front, on my own for eleven straight days and I am finding the strain beginning to take its toll. I'll take a breather for awhile and sit on JP's tail instead. He can take up the running now. I've closed him down hard from far astern twice before. This time I'll hug the space close behind him and try to kick for the lead when the bell rings for the start of the last lap."

MSPetersen5.jpg (12585 bytes) Neal Petersen Photo Marek Slodownik
Far back, about 1300 miles behind Mouligne, Neal Petersen started to worry about his position: "I am progressing towards the east, keeping an eye on Minoru Saito on Shuten-dohji II, who is slowly catching up to me, but well to the south. I am tempted to head south to cover my position, but my boat is too small…"

SlunceAlbatros.jpg (12894 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

 

 

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Soldini

Fila

48 54S

101 52E

3392

15.6

0

2140

2

Thgiercelin

Somewhere

49 13S

101 01E

34 27

15.5

35.2

2140

3

Autissier

PRB

45 08S

096 02E

36 36

11.7

152

1236

4

Golding

Team group 4

48 49S

099 29E

3485

13.8

93.3

2140

5

Hall

Gartmore

47 55S

080 34E

4239

10.8

847.2

2140

6

Konioukhov

Mod.Univ.Human.

40 00S

031 14E

6341

6.2

2949.1

2140

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

49 43S

082 19E

4154

10.4

0

2144

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

49 48S

082 07E

4161

10.8

6.9

2144

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

47 23S

073 43E

4516

9.9

361.5

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

47 10S

072 35E

4563

9.8

409

2144

5

Petersen

No Barriers

44 33S

051 44E

5429

6.6

1274.6

2144

6

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

47 25S

048 13E

5483

6.6

1328.6

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

43 58S

047 26E

5608

6.9

1453.9

2144

8

Stricker

Rapscallion III

40 06S

026 25E

6514

5.3

2359.7

2144

9

Davie

South Carolina

33 54S

018 25E

7047

0

2893

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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