Day 50, Saturday January 23, 1999

Mored13.jpg (11529 bytes)
The Sea Photo Richard Konkolski

The weather turned rough for the finishing boats. A very difficult weather pattern was developing over the region from North Cape all the way to Auckland with E to ESE winds of 30-40 knots gusting up to 50 knots. Neal Petersen who was 37 miles behind Saito reported: "The mileage is coming down slowly. Too slowly. I have less than 100 miles to the tip of North Island, but I have strong headwinds and punching into a nasty sea. The finish line is 320 miles away, but if I have to beat to get there, it might as well be the far end of the world."

Pascal Conq Photo Marek Slodownik  MSPascalConq.jpg (14087 bytes)

At the same time Groupe Finot designer Pascal Conq held a conference at Auckland. Six boats in leading places of this Around Alone race were designed by the French naval architecture company Finot-Conq. Very interesting fact mentioned in the meeting was the news that the smaller 50 foot boats were only 2% slower than their 60 feet long sisters. There were fewer 50 footers designed with less testing done, but with greater opportunity for improvements.

BBTeamGroup.jpg (20587 bytes) Team Group 4 Photo Billy Black

There were some details on Mike Golding's grounding. He was doing 15 to 17 knots when he hit a sandbar three times quite severely and three more times not as hard. Things could have been worse. He could have lost his boat. It seems the flexibility of the keel cushioned the impacts and spread them out somewhat. To give you an idea of how hard the boat hit, the keel's hydraulic rams were bent, and they are solid stainless steel, nearly three inches thick! It might have been possible to repair the boat's damage before the start of the third leg, but there was no way that anyone could be sure that the keel itself was intact. Continuing with the race was too risky, hence the decision to ship the boat home on a freighter.

Breaker.jpg (14426 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.

35 42S

162 32E

678

6.3

678.4

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

Auckland

0

0

0

0

0

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

Auckland

0

0

0

0

0

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

Auckland

0

0

0

0

0

5

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

34 04S

172 58E

185

5.9

185.4

2144

6

Petersen

No Barriers

33 57S

171 55E

222

5.5

222.3

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

36 32S

167 14E

469

4.2

468.8

2144

8

Davie

South Carolina

44 59S

145 44E

1561

3.5

1561.1

1813

9

Stricker

Rapscallion III

Retired

0

0

0

0

0

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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