Day 28, Friday January 1, 1999

MSGolding1Det.jpg (12319 bytes)
Mike Golding Photo Marek Slodownik

The day was full of activity and surprises. Golding was only four miles north of Cape Reinga when he struck some object underwater and called Mayday. A fishing boat answered his distress message and was standing by. Golding also contacted race director Mark Schrader and reported taking on water. He suffered damage to hull and swing keel. He had to close the watertight bulkheads, but he was not injured.

An hour later, 140 miles from the finish line, he continued sailing at six knots. He supposedly asked for a tow and it was unclear if he was doing those six knots under sail or under the tow. By race rules he was not allowed to use tow for a distance of more than 10 miles.

BBThiercelinFace.jpg (17517 bytes) Mark Thiercelin Photo Billy Black

Two hours later, Marc Thiercelin also hit something like a submerged cargo container. The impact had jammed his rudders and forced him to drop sail for two hours to make repairs. He continued sailing but one of his two rudders was jammed and he suffered difficulties steering.

Before Thiercelin hit the cargo container, Autissier closed to within three-tenths of a mile of him. Now it looked like she might finish second and hold first place overall.

BBSoldiniFace.jpg (14451 bytes) Giovanni Soldini Photo Billy Black

The biggest news was of course Giovanni Soldini's first place. He crossed the finish line at 15:24:52 GMT (4:24 a.m. Auckland time, 2 January). When Soldini crossed the finish line, second placed Mike Golding was about 150 miles behind him and was towed to a nearby bay where he dropped anchor to await daylight. Farther back, Somewhere was still for two hours with Thiercelin repairing the rudders. His Leg 2 time was 27 days, 5 hours, 24 minutes and 52 seconds.

FolFilaDeckAir.jpg (21513 bytes) Soldini's Fila

Fila finished in Auckland with only small damage - a leaky rudder seal. Soldini was hand pumping because he could not stop the water from coming in. Later he used a pump off the water ballast to keep the water out.

MSFilaBack.jpg (15114 bytes) Soldini's Fila Photo Marek Slodownik

Soldini had been the early favorite to win this race. However, a bad luck with his decision to stay north early in Leg 1 cost him dearly. He finished Leg 1 three days behind the winner Mike Golding. During Leg 2 Soldini slipped into the lead on Day 11 and held it till the finish.

MSFilaCabin.jpg (16376 bytes)
Fila Photo Marek Slodownik

At the same time Isabelle Autissier was moving well in a 10-knot southerly. She reported: "Well, this has been an incredible turn of events! Giovanni was a bit slowed down as the wind shifted. Nothing unusual there; we'll have our hands full too, dealing with that shitty wind. But two collisions at the same time, in this small fleet of ours! Apparently Mike sailed too close to the cape, which has a bad reputation: currents, fishing boats, lots of problems. Let's hope Mike doesn't have to drop out; I'm sure he'll do anything not to quit. As for Marc, I'm right in the area, so he would have let me know if the problem was serious."

BBCrayValleyDetTop.jpg (23320 bytes)
Cray Valley Photo Billy Black

The big surprise was the performance of Class II leader J.P. Mouligne, who was at one point just 11 miles behind Isabelle and closing. But by the end of the day he dropped to 56 miles back. The next boat was 659 miles behind JP.

Only Robin Davie was far from all this excitement. He was still over 5000 miles back from finish line. He wrote: It's New Years eve here on SC as the sun sets on a red horizon, whilst at the end of leg 2 in Auckland it is already dawn on New Years day. Charleston is eating lunch on New Years eve... and finally the old country - Cornwall, its Tea-Time New Years eve... SC is finally on her way southeastwards again, we have had our daily calm and drift after a night of bashing into a near southeasterly gale. By midday today we were back in sight of Ile de l'Est, the eastern most Island of the Crozet Islands, and only 25 miles further east than we were yesterday afternoon. Basically we have had the most dismal of 24 hours sailing in terms of progress towards Auckland. Despite sailing 165 miles, only 74 miles were sailed towards Auckland, and most of the lost miles are the result of beating north then south into the easterly headwinds, and the lack of clear weather information on which to plan a route too."

ZapadMrak.jpg (17120 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

 

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Soldini

Fila

36 46S

174 48E

0

0

0

Auckland

2

Thierceli

Somewhere

34 28S

172 19E

193

15.5

193

2240

3

Golding

Team Group 4

34 22S

172 52E

172

0

140

0950

4

Autissier

PRB

34 34S

172 12E

200

12.8

199.5

2140

5

Hall

Gartmore

39 27S

160 10E

845

5.6

844.7

2140

6

Konioukhov

Mod.Univ.Human.

45 52S

085 15E

4075

7

4075.4

2140

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

35 02S

171 11E

256

11.9

0

2144

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

39 20S

158 29E

916

5.8

659.4

2144

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

41 45S

153 56E

1160

7.8

903.7

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

44 22S

148 48 E

1425

3.3

1168.8

2005

5

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

45 50S

109 23E

3078

5.9

2822.1

2144

6

Petersen

No Barriers

46 12S

105 53E

3223

7.8

2966.5

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

45 08S

099 09E

3507

5.9

3251.1

2144

8

Davie

South Carolina

48 46S

059 03E

5052

9.4

4795.9

2144

9

Stricker

Rapscallion III

Retired

0

0

0

0

0

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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