Day 53, Tuesday January 26, 1999

 Zapad.jpg (15821 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

The day passed without any change. Minoru Saito was so close to Auckland, but he was not able to cross the finish line yet. Petersen dropped a little more back. Both were expected to end the leg early next day.

BBDavieSmaller.jpg (23186 bytes) Robin Davie Photo Billy Black

At the same time the weather was playing games with Robin Davie. He described it in his report: "I was steering up into Storm Bay, and tacked eastwards to sea as the wind increased, so in went the reefs, the genoa was furled and the smaller inner stay set, and as the wind slowly backed through northeast towards north I thought we were on our way towards New Zealand.

Wrong, as the day wore on, the wind died away, a nasty head sea was left as full sail was set and we were left there tossing around to light airs some 10 miles off shore - at least we had sea room or so i thought. Last night came in black, heavy cloud, rain, and no wind as SC was tossed around like a cork by the sea, I couldn't maintain any drift direction at all. Middle of the night and bang - pretty much instant 25 to 30 knot southwesterly wind as the front came through - I knew it was coming - but didn't anticipate its suddenness. Full sail was set, and all SC could do was round up into the wind as I furled in the genoa, and then set to struggle and worry down the mainsail.

Three reefs seemed too much, so in went the 4th, which eventually allowed me to turn SC onto a downwind heading east of north. It took another hour to sort out Otto the monitor to hold the course, by which time I had been up the best part of the last 2 days with the coastal drifting around the south of Tasmania.

It was daylight as I took to my bunk, setting my alarm timer for one hour. And here's the rub - I had forgotten to switch on the power to the alarm klaxon itself, so I slept for 2 hours, awaking to come on deck to find the Tasmanian coast some 4 miles away. The way I came awake was as though some 6th sense was alerting me - or maybe it was a change in the boat's motion.

The wind had backed into the south, and our course had changed from north to northwest - I could only curse at my stupidity as I rapidly gybed onto a northeasterly heading for the open sea again.

Stupid at having overslept, at not setting the timer properly, at letting SC head inshore into potential danger like that, and at the good miles we had lost towards New Zealand when we most needed them.

It's taken us most of the morning to get SC going well, and the wind generator set up and charging on the new tack, it's nice to have a good wind - it's on the beam, and to see the coastal hills of Tasmania disappearing into the western horizon's hazy cloudiness."

Bvaracci.jpg (15273 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.

33 06S

168 04E

418

7

418.4

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

36 44S

174 50E

3

2.7

3.1

2144

6

Petersen

No Barriers

36 18S

174 54E

29

2.7

29

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

34 10S

172 50E

184

1.7

183.6

2144

8

Davie

South Carolina

40 45S

151 10E

1262

7.4

183.6

2144

9

Stricker

Rapscallion III

Retired

0

0

0

01261.5

0

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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