Day 25, Tuesday December 29, 1998

SlunceVlnaTrist.jpg (11716 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

It was reported that at least 67 boats in the Sydney to Hobart Race had retired, 10 yachts were abandoned, and about 54 sailors were hauled aloft to safety in a massive operation with 25 helicopters and fixed-wing planes. Three sailors were confirmed dead and several more were still missing.

At this time Soldini had 355 miles to the finish with second placed Golding 238 miles behind him. The third place was held for now by Thiercelin, but Isabelle was only 18 miles behind him. This time she was enjoying good luck.

MSSomewhere.jpg (24606 bytes) Thiercelin's Somewhere Photo Marek Slodownik
When she left Tasmania, she ran into westerlies from a big storm that developed north of her position. She held on to a favorable breeze when the leading Soldini, Golding, and Thiercelin were becalmed, and then ran into headwinds.

The leg was ending in light airs, where the gap between any boat could change very quickly. Isabelle observed: "We don't have enough speed to change positions. Nobody is going to make up 400 miles now, because everybody is sailing in the same wind conditions. There may be a few miles to snag... If Somewhere makes a mistake, I might be able to take advantage of it, but aside from that, the finishing order is set."

Zapad3.jpg (15918 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

In Class II, Mouligne was widening his lead over Garside. JP was now 435 miles in front of him. Jean-Pierre reported: "I am now in the middle of the Tasman Sea heading straight for the north end of New Zealand, 850 miles away. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the weather cooperates. So far so good -- I have 20 knots from the northwest and I am sailing at 13 to 15 knots."

Michael Garside finally passed south of Tasmania with wonderful feelings: "I'm not the sort of guy who is easily impressed. But I have to say I stood in quiet awe as a pair of giant rocks slowly came into focus on my port bow through the low black cloud, mist and rain early this morning. The Mewstone is where I expected to find it - at the southern most point of Tasmania - and Magellan Alpha was approaching fast downwind from the west just as a very gray dawn was breaking."

MagellanAlphaLiness.jpg (14262 bytes)  Garside's Magelan Alpha

The passing was not without a toll. To his horror he found that two or three turns of the jib furling line had slipped off the drum and got jammed underneath. He had very a tough job of releasing it and getting his furling mechanisms in order.

Robin Davie, in the back of the fleet, had a terrible time as well. First, he was hit by an unreported low developing right on his tail. Not wanting to get caught on the south side of it in easterly head winds, he cut back to an easterly heading, only to find the wind veering out of the north to northeast and towards east. He had to reef the mainsail and furl his large genoa while the seas built up.

BBSouthCarolina.jpg (22418 bytes) Davie's South Carolina Photo Billy Black
He had a miserable night with heavy swells when his inner jib lost its sheet. First he had to furl the sail and then make a new sheet while suffering down-lashing rain and flying spray. Soon he was able to reset the staysail only to find that his main tank developed a leak and that the diesel was running into a bilge.

He wrote: "The question was how to get the fuel out of the tank and into containers. Firstly I emptied 3 of my water containers, washed them out with acetone to evaporate the remaining water. Fortunately I had a pump onboard that had been intended for a fuel transfer pump, but we didn't get around to plumbing it up to the fuel header tank. This enabled me to pull 13 gallons out of the main tank. To get the engine running again we plumbed the fuel line and the fuel returns from the main tank to the header, filled the header and hey, presto - engine running again."

VlnaParmelia.jpg (24944 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Soldini

Fila

37 18S

171 32E

355

9

0

2140

2

Golding

Team Group 4

39 33S

166 43E

593

4.1

238

2240

3

Thierceli

Somewhere

39 21S

162 42E

736

3.3

381.1

2140

4

Autissier

PRB

38 49S

161 56E

755

5.5

399.4

2140

5

Hall

Gartmore

42 52S

150 45E

1315

4.5

959.5

2140

6

Konioukhov

Mod.Univ.Human.

45 05s

074 21E

4530

7.3

4174.6

2140

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

40 33s

159 29E

901

8

0

2144

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

42 41S

150 09E

1337

5.1

435.6

2144

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

45 03s

141 32E

1734

11.3

832.7

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

46 06S

134 57E

2017

10.5

1115.9

2144

5

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

46 05S

098 41E

3519

8.4

2618.3

2144

6

Petersen

No Barriers

45 46S

093 29E

3737

6.6

2835.8

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

43 46S

088 51E

3954

6.2

3053.8

2144

8

Davie

South Carolina

46 43S

049 23E

5458

7.1

4557.3

2144

9

Stricker

Rapscallion III

Retired

0

0

0

0

0

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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