Day 34, Thursday January 7, 1999

BBHallFace.jpg (15169 bytes)
Josh Hall Photo Billy Black

British sailor Josh Hall finished during a warm summer night. The press boat met with Gartmore Investment Management six miles out from Auckland Harbor. Hall had to sail the last miles close-hauled. He crossed that line at 23:13:31 local time (10:13:31 Greenwich Mean Time) after 33 days, 13 minutes and 31 seconds at sea and took fourth place in Class I.

BBHallNaklon.jpg (26957 bytes) Josh Hall's Gartmore Photo Billy Black
He was very anxious to be on land after sailing tough 7000 miles long leg from Cape Town. He had many difficulties. The main trouble during the leg was his malfunctioning autopilot and compasses. "I had a couple of weeks of pure hell in the Southern Ocean. They kept trying to steer the boat west when I wanted to go east. I can't tell you how many crash jibes I experienced because of this. I lost count," he said.

BBGartmore.jpg (20324 bytes)
Gartmore Investment Management
Photo Billy Black

His boat Gartmore Investment Management was outsailed by the heavier Finot boats sailed by Giovanni Soldini, Mike Golding and Isabelle Autissier. Hall's strategy during the leg also cost him valuable miles. After the fleet had safely passed a required waypoint set at 46 S, Hall turned south and sailed down to 49 S. At the same time his rivals remained farther north between 41 S and 44 S.

The new generation of boats changed the whole racing game. The higher speed comes with a feeling that the boat is in charge, and as the boat blasts in high seas at 20 to 30 knots of speed, one is likely to get a permanent knot of anxiety in his stomach. Everybody learned that the smallest thing going wrong could easily wipe out all of his or her previous efforts.

MSHall3.jpg (16721 bytes) Josh Hall Photo Marek Slodownik

Hall has finally arrived in Auckland six days after Class 1 winner Soldini. He was satisfied with his original goal - to finish safe and in one piece. But it cost him dearly. Winning the Around Alone looks highly unlikely for him.

The last Class 1 boat was still 3211 miles out. The next likely Class 2 boat to finish with Garside on board was 325 miles from the finish line. It was not far, but light winds made sailing slow. Even Japanese Minoru Saito, still 2188 miles from the finish, complained: "Today I have a not bad day and also not good day, that weather - NW, very light winds 10-12 knots, overcast, just little bit sun-beam… I want to have more stronger winds, not this light winds, maybe, coming tonight?"

BezvetriKladka.jpg (23338 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Soldini

Fila

Auckland

0

0

0

0

0

2

Thierceli

Somewhere

Auckland

0

0

0

0

0

3

Autissier

PRB

Auckland

0

0

0

0

0

4

Hall

Gartmore

Auckland

0

0

0

0

0

5

Konioukhov

Mod.Univ.Human.

46 31S

106 10E

3211

5.3

3211.2

2140

6

Golding

Team Group 4

Retired

Auckland

0

0

0

0

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

Auckland

0

0

0

0

0

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

35 54S

170 11E

325

4.9

325

2144

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

35 40S

168 54E

374

7.3

374

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

37 13S

168 29E

438

9

438.1

2144

5

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

45 22S

130 43E

2188

3.1

2188.4

2144

6

Petersen

No Barriers

46 15S

128 24E

2288

4.4

2288.1

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

45 41S

120 13E

2629

6.2

2629

2144

8

Davie

South Carolina

50 02S

088 18E

3922

8.6

3922.2

2144

9

Stricker

Rapscallion III

Retired

0

0

0

0

0

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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