Day 21, Friday December 25, 1998

BBFilaNarrow2.jpg (30596 bytes)
Soldini's Fila Photo Billy Black

Soldini was in the lead with 233 miles over Golding. If nothing drastic would happen, Soldini should win the leg. Despite unfavorable wind he was quite optimistic: "Fila is in good shape, we do not have any problem in this moment… The weather here is light. The high pressure east of South Island gives us light northeasterly winds. The problem is in the next days I think Team Group 4 and Somewhere will have more wind and from a better direction. But we'll see. I think to get to the finish will be still long because this weather is not favorable for us."

BBTeamGroup.jpg (20587 bytes) Golding's Team Group 4 Photo Billy Black
Mike Golding had very rough passage around Tasmania: "It is been several days since I had either the time or inclination to sit at the PC and type a report. It started with a bought of rough weather as we approached the Tasmanian ridge and entered the Tasman Sea. Winds of over fifty knots swept through and being the furthest south I got the worst pasting. The boat slammed heavily in confused seas but there was one slam I will never forget. At around 17 knots the boat took off what must have been a very unusual sea. I was stood just behind the nav station and suddenly it went quiet, the boat fell - and fell - and fell some more then the most humungous slam I have ever experienced. I was thrown forward and knocked my elbow, which has swollen accordingly. Generally the whole experience left me feeling beaten up and bruised. Knees and elbows seem always to be favorite targets for abuse and on this boat, with the motion being so violent - crawling around on deck is often the only safe way - and in the past few weeks I haven't crawled so much since I was one year old!"

FolIsabelleUStezne.jpg (21627 bytes) Isabelle Autissier
Farther back, Isabelle Autissier was closing in on Tasmania: "It really is a merry Christmas... I'm still 100 miles from the southeast tip of Tasmania, and about 150 miles from the place where I'm going to stop over! What had been forecast was northwesterly wind of 10 to 15 knots, and not this stormy weather at all... I would prefer not to know the fleet standings, because the others must be shooting ahead. I'll check it when I leave Adventure Bay."

In Class II, J.P. Mouligne was 241 miles ahead of Mike Garside who wrote: "I'm ready to enjoy a wet, and now very smelly (I'm living full time in my oilies!) Xmas in floating solitary confinement in the Southern Ocean. Everything here is fine. The gale has moved on. It's even quite sunny between squalls - and I saw the moon for the first time in ages last night."

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Neil Hunter Photo Billy Black

Over 2500 miles back, Neil Hunter enjoyed his Christmas time by turning more to the north: "As I type this Paladin is rocking and rolling and crashing and banging but, having gone a bit north last night, it is not as bad as it was further south."

Further back, Robin Davie was making progress: "The barometer has been slowly falling, the northeasterly winds have backed much more northerly, and are picking up a bit this evening into the 20 to 25 knot range, so we have had good beam reach sailing for the last 24 hours, and nice speeds in the 9 to 11 knot range. Warm and sunny this morning, until great cloud banks came over leaving a grey overcast this evening."

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Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Soldini

Fila

45 16S

161 54E

991

8.1

0

2140

2

Golding

Team Group 4

45 57S

155 19E

1224

11

233.2

2240

3

Thierceli

Somewhere

44 32S

149 50E

1388

9.7

397.2

2140

4

Autissier

PRB

48 43S

144 43E

1584

0

558.1

1214

5

Hall

Gartmore

43 52S

127 19E

2345

12.1

1354.2

2140

6

Konioukhov

Mod.Univ.Human.

44 41S

059 09E

5141

9.6

4140

2140

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

46 53S

135 32E

2001

12.9

0

2144

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

47 47S

129 44E

2242

6.6

241.1

2144

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

46 26S

119 44E

2647

10.8

646.1

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

46 44S

115 58E

2810

10

808.9

2144

5

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

47 35S

081 21E

4211

7.7

2210.1

2144

6

Petersen

No Barriers

46 22S

081 04E

4238

7.1

2237.1

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

43 59S

074 26E

4548

5.5

2546.9

2144

8

Davie

South Carolina

41 21S

036 44E

6091

8.6

4089.7

2144

9

Stricker

Rapscallion III

Retired

0

0

0

0

0

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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