Day 24, Monday December 28, 1998

While the fleet leaders were beating up toward Cape Reinga, the Australian Maritime Rescue Authority continued its work. They already picked up 60 survivors out of the stormy sea. The toll had risen to three dead, one boat sunk and at least seven sailors missing. Only 48 of the 115 boats were still racing to Hobart. The authority put 25 civilian and 6 military aircraft in the air as well as a number of ships to the area.

BBFila.jpg (26218 bytes)
Fila Photo Billy Black

On another hand, Around Alone's overall leader Giovanni Soldini was on another side of the storm and facing light air and averaging less than 5 knots. With 682 miles to go, second placed Golding trailed Soldini by 136 miles. In third, Marc Thiercelin was 894 miles from the finish line.

FolIsabelleTvarHandle.jpg (16251 bytes) Isabelle Autissier
Isabelle Autissier, who had rejoined the race, was making great progress. She was only 46 miles behind Thiercelin and she was averaging 12 knots. Isabelle described her progress: "My position behind the fleet has helped me, for once. Somewhere was slowed in the center of the low while I, being behind, had good following breezes. So that was a few miles easily made up. The wind now is pretty strong, and the low is still moving to the south. The forecast is for light airs. It feels great to have a boat that's really alive again."

By the fleet forecast, the wild weather in the Tasman Sea would be replaced by two merging high pressure systems to the west and light winds might become a problem for the leaders in Class I.

Zapad.jpg (15821 bytes) Photo Richard Konkolski

In Class II, Mouligne continued to hold a lead of over 357 miles on Mike Garside. Jean-Pierre emailed: "I have been very lucky to be on the back side on the storm that has decimated the traditional Sydney-Hobart race. I happened to be just 200 miles South of the center of the storm and had very strong but favorable Southerly winds allowing me to do 600 miles in 2 days. The storm has moved to the west and the wind is moderating quickly. The next challenge is going to be the opposite: A high-pressure system is moving in from the west and we expect very light winds for several days."

MSGarside2.jpg (14067 bytes) Garside Photo Marek Slodownik
Second placed Garside had the following boat almost 500 miles behind him but he still seemed to be lost. "This is where the game starts to get difficult. I have about a day to go before clearing Tasmania and then about another five or seven to cross the Tasman Sea. And I haven't a clue what to do next, " he messaged.

Robin Davie, at the end of the fleet and almost 4, 500 miles behind Mouligne, wrote: "The calm came and got me, and now it has passed me by as it moves on eastwards, and the winds returned, so that is good. If only I could move as fast as that high-pressure area..."

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Soldini

Fila

39 16S

167 49E

546

9.8

0

2140

2

Golding

Team Group 4

40 07S

164 48E

682

8.2

135.8

2240

3

Thierceli

Somewhere

40 25S

159 33E

894

10.9

348.2

2140

4

Autissier

PRB

39 48S

158 07E

940

11.8

394.2

2140

5

Hall

Gartmore

44 22S

147 51E

1463

14.3

917.1

2140

6

Konioukhov

Mod.Univ.Human.

45 31S

069 35E

4712

8.5

4165.7

2140

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

42 18S

154 25E

1152

8.3

0

2144

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

43 44S

146 28E

1509

9.7

357.3

2144

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

45 20S

134 36E

2025

0

824.7

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

46 26S

130 11E

2216

9

1063.5

2144

5

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

45 52S

094 32E

3693

7

2540.4

2144

6

Petersen

No Barriers

46 37S

091 46E

3802

4.7

2649.4

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

44 14S

085 48E

4074

6.8

2922

2144

8

Davie

South Carolina

45 31S

045 12E

5646

8

4493.5

2144

9

Stricker

Rapscallion III

Retired

0

0

0

0

0

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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