Day 22, Saturday December 26, 1998

VlnaKabestan.jpg (25383 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

The Tasman Sea is known as an area of enormously high number of storms, with nasty wind and water. Anybody who underestimated this sea always learned better the hard way. The first three sailors were already battling its opposing strong winds.

BBFilaNarrow.jpg (28634 bytes) Soldini's fila Photo Billy Black
Soldini at the forefront was held down south by adverse N-NE wind. He was first to pass Tasmania and he was getting very close to New Zealand while at the same time he was unfavorably -positioning himself too far south. Unless wind would change soon, he would have to tack along the coast to turn around the northernmost cap. He already lost 10 miles on his lead, but he was still 222 miles in front of Golding.

BBTeamGroupNarrow.jpg (26556 bytes) Golding's team Group 4 Photo Billy Black
Mike Golding and Thiercelin were sailing as close on wind as they could, to reach further north. Both were trying to gain some advantage on Soldini, but who knew how the weather would change. The distance to finish looked short compared to the length of the leg but unless the boats rounded the north cap of New Zealand, nobody would feel secure. Golding had reason to feel even less secure. On Christmas day his mast rotating system broke down. He was going to finish with it in its present condition. Fortunately Thiercelin in third was still 200 miles behind him.

Autissier was closing quickly on Tasmania, but the weather altered and her 12-knot speed dropped down to 4-knots and her sailing conditions changed from comfortable reaching to nasty and wet beating. Autissier was still over 20 miles from the sheltered rendezvous' waters.

BBGarsideFace.jpg (17569 bytes) Mike Garside Photo Billy Black

In Class II, Mouligne held almost 300 mile lead over Mike Garside. Michael did two thirds of the 7,000 miles of this second leg. Twenty-one days have passed. For eleven of them he held the Class 2 lead and for the rest he had been in second place. He wrote: "I should be feeling reasonably pleased with myself as a newcomer to this elite sect of single-handed racers. But I don't, I feel like hell." The reason for his unhappiness was his discovery that he failed to do his "homework". He was struggling with his autopilot's direction, based on input from a magnetic compass. He overlooked the basics of earth magnetism and now he was struggling to keep his boat sailing straight for the simple reason that he was close to the south magnetic pole where the horizontal force holding the compass rose in North-South direction was very weak. It was making his compass sluggish and unable to hold his fast boat on a straight course. He had good reason to be mad on himself. This was the fifth Around Alone/BOC race and many books had been written of the race. He could have easily read some of them to learn from the experience of other sailors who came before. At least he had the dubious excuse of being new to this race, something that Josh Hall, who was experiencing the same problem and was already almost 1200 miles further back, could not claim.

BBDavieFace.jpg (12705 bytes) Robin Davie Photo Billy Black
At the same time Robin Davie was just reaching southern latitudes and the roaring forties: "Here on SC we have slipped down into the roaring forties, we are south of 40 degrees south. We actually crossed the 40 south mark yesterday afternoon, and were heading southeastwards on a good course and speed throughout the night. The roaring forties saved their greetings for South Carolina until this morning."

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Soldini

Fila

43 37S

164 00E

857

5.9

0

2140

2

Golding

Team Group 4

43 58S

157 32E

1079

9.5

222

2140

3

Thierceli

Somewhere

42 13S

151 22E

1277

9.7

420.2

2140

4

Autissier

PRB

43 21S

147 21E

1466

3.2

609.3

2140

5

Hall

Gartmore

46 48S

134 49E

2029

12.6

1172.1

2140

6

Konioukhov

Mod.Univ.Human.

45 39S

063 41E

4941

9

4084.2

2140

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

46 04S

142 52E

1695

13.1

0

2144

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

45 55S

135 37E

1988

11

292.7

2144

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

46 28S

125 10E

2422

8.9

727.5

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

45 58S

119 54E

2642

5.8

946.6

2144

5

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

46 23S

085 30E

4059

7.7

2363.7

2144

6

Petersen

No Barriers

46 34S

084 17E

4106

4.9

2411.2

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

44 19S

077 46E

4406

7.3

2710.8

2144

8

Davie

South Carolina

41 10S

040 40E

5950

6.2

4255.5

2144

9

Stricker

Rapscallion III

Retired

0

0

0

0

0

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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