Day 15, Saturday December 19, 1998

High pressure in the Great Australian Bight continued to send brisk westerly winds up to 40 knots to everybody south of 45 S and east of 100 E.

Handles.jpg (18332 bytes)
Photo ichard Konkolski

Surfing in over 17 knots speed, Giovanni Soldini continued to hold the leading position in Class I. Marc Thiercelin dropped over 100 miles back but Mike Golding in third was able to cut 20 miles on Thiercelin. Soldini was positioned furthest south of all the skippers. All three sailors were heading northeast to pass the floating waypoint at latitude 46 S and anywhere along the longitude from 105 to 120 E.

MFMouligneFace2.jpg (15538 bytes) Mouligne Photo Marek Slodownik
In Class II Mouligne widened the distance from Mike Garside to 65 miles. But the extra mile did not come free, as Jean-Pierre described his sailing in email: "Yesterday I had to go up the mast again in the most harrowing conditions. I noticed that the leech line of the main sail was caught on the runner fitting on the mast. This meant that the sail was stuck and could not be raised or lowered. It took me a while to muster the strength to go up the rig. The wind was blowing 30 knots and with the stuck main Cray Valley was surfing at 15 to 22 knots. I finally decided to go and worked my way up the rig with my trackson chair hanging on to the mast with one hand. I was able to untie the line quickly and came down as fast as I could, full of bruises but relieved."

BBMagelanAlpha.jpg (22576 bytes)
Magellan Alpha Photo Billy Black

Michael Garside in second noted: "Visibility is lousy but that's the least of my worries right now. The barometer has been falling for a straight 18 hours and the wind is no longer steady. One minute it's blowing 20 knots and then a gust of 40 comes through. The sea has lost the plot and doesn't know what it's meant to be doing. Just as we pick up speed and surf down one wave, so another pounces on us from the left and Alphie is slammed on his side. I've been in much worse, but I do worry about that unexpected lump of water that could really cause some damage right now. I've lost a bunch of miles to JP in the last 24 hours, which is a pig. To be honest, I am very impressed with the average speed he is managing."

BBYazykovPortret.jpg (23622 bytes) Viktor Yazykov Photo Billy Black
About 500 miles back, Balance Bar was loosing ground on Viktor Yazykov who was firmly holding fourth place with his 10-foot shorter boat. Viktor Yazykov was able to describe his sailing: "First night gave a real test of the Southern ocean. Because of some specific design features the boat can carry relatively more sails and that is why she can do so well with heavy weather. The best speed 24 knots. We have had a crazy rush in Cape Town, but many things did not completed. After two first days in the leg, could not concentrate on racing. Being busy to get the boat ready for the real weather. By the end of the first week got very tired. And really bad thing happened. We being flying asymmetrical at night and it wrapped around the rolled jib so badly did not know what to do. In desperation trying to work very accurately after 12 absolutely crazy hours could manage to get it down in one peace. It was such a shock. So I decided to take it easy. Got some rest. Now I am well. Both elbows are not in the best shape, so I have to be very careful to take the load. Only two fingers of the right arm are working well then rest are getting better very slow. Hand steering helps to make some more miles. The best speed today was 21 knots, but it is very hard to make a day run more then 200 miles."

 More.jpg (19312 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Soldini

Fila

45 54S

118 12E

2713

12.6

0

2140

2

Thiercelin

Somewhere

45 04S

115 52E

2815

12.3

101.9

2140

3

Golding

Team Group 4

46 06S

115 32E

2823

11

110.6

2140

4

Autissier

PRB

44 58S

110 50E

3028

14.7

314.8

1957

5

Hall

Gartmore

47 02S

094 51E

3673

11.5

960.5

2140

6

Konioukhov

Mod.Univ.Human.

42 17S

036 45E

6058

8.2

2245.1

2140

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

48 21S

097 57E

3544

12.1

0

2144

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

47 55S

096 20E

3609

10

64.7

2144

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

48 46S

085 46E

4026

10.5

481.5

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

47 44S

085 06E

4061

10.2

516.3

2144

5

Petersen

No Barriers

45 51S

058 49E

5125

5.2

1580.5

2144

6

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

47 27S

056 46E

5266

8.6

1621.5

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

44 53S

053 08E

5367

4.9

1822.3

2144

8

Stricker

Rapscallion III

44 20S

031 50E

6174

9.3

2629.1

2144

9

Davie

South Carolina

34 01S

018 13E

7049

1.9

3504.2

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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