Day 03, Monday February 8, 1999

Breaker.jpg (14426 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Robin Davie finally arrived in Auckland late afternoon. He spent 61 days, 18 hours and 55 minutes at sea. His time was eight days too long for meeting the deadline requirement. The last man to arrive came more than two days after the start of next leg to Punta del Este. The 47-year-old Davie was looked tired, drawn and subdued. It has been a very painful leg for him.

MSDavie3.jpg (15632 bytes) Robin Davie Photo Marek Slodownik

He left Cape Town two weeks later than the rest of the fleet and during this leg, Davie has faced a great number of problems. His engine packed up, causing battery-charging problems which in turned cased communications difficulties. He used the wind generator but it was not enough for autopilots. Actually he was lucky to have a wind-vane, otherwise he would not have had a steering system.

He also had cavitation problems with his new replacement rudder. He described the leg as the worst sailing of his life. "It was a cumulative effect, that made life very difficult and very slow. I spent the whole time just fixing things," he said.

Also his forestay turnbuckle snapped and then everything was washed with diesel leaking from his tank. He was forced to pump all the fuel into his water jugs. And now, after all that, he did not know if he would be allowed to continue in the race. He was going to get his boat hauled out tomorrow morning. If he could get all his problems fixed in the next four, five or six days, then he would like to continue in the race to Punta.

BBSouthCarolina.jpg (22418 bytes) Davie's South Carolina Photo Billy Black

He had already formally requested for race rule exemption to excuse his late arrival. The race committee could make this decision in the next two days. If his request would be turned down, Davie still intended to go round Cape Horn, perhaps stopping at the Falklands. Either way, Davie was going to finish his circumnavigation.

Meantime the fleet cleared East Cape on New Zealand's North Island. The leading four Class I boats were bearing to the south with hope of getting quickly to the Roaring Forties. Marc Thiercelin picked up the lead again with Isabelle Autissier just two miles behind him. Josh Hall and Giovanni Soldini followed them.

MSSomewhere3.jpg (16878 bytes) Thiercelin's Somewhere Photo Marek Slodownik

Marc Thiercelin sent: "All is well on board. Rounding East Cape was hard: lots of wind, right on the nose. I lost my first night's advantage, so I attacked again during the second night, and am back in first place. The weather here is fine. I will enter the 40s this afternoon."

FolIsabellePoklop.jpg (20276 bytes) Isabelle Autissier

A telex from Isabelle described the same conditions: "A pleasant, sunny day, which I took advantage of, because this weather won't last. I rounded East Cape yesterday triple-reefed on a close reach in very heavy seas. As I did, the starboard fin came out of its slot and knocked off the speedometer head. No big deal: I changed the speedo head and picked up the fin. I'll replace it on the next calm day. I've already seen a few albatrosses. It's a very pastoral scene, what with the empty, mountainous coast to leeward, and Josh Hall with his little blue sail in the distance."

SlunceAlbatros.jpg (17574 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Josh Hall had his first bad dream: "Hi guys, welcome back to the track. All well here other than fighting a bad cold - must stop kissing the wife! Had a big fright last night - was having a dose when here was a loud bang and I was dumped on the floor. Thought the keel or mast had failed but it was just the bunk brackets breaking off the bulkhead - sure got my attention!"

BBHallNaklon.jpg (26957 bytes)
Josh Hall's Gartmore Photo Billy Black

In Class II, Balance Bar was holding a 17-mile gap over J.P. Mouligne. Mike Garside, just two miles behind Mouligne, was third. Jean-Pierre also sent a message: "56 hours of racing, the wind is finally veering to the northwest and Cray Valley can accelerate on a tight reach. The conditions are still not ideal for speed but at least I do not have to tack every hour and the seas are more comfortable. After 4 weeks of rest I felt rusty and seasick. The constant maneuvering was exhausting, I hardly ate anything in 2 days, and felt very weak. To top it off my wind indicator at the masthead, broke off the first night and I am now without wind instruments for the rest of the trip."

Mored11.jpg (21210 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Thiercelin

Somewhere

43 20S

179 48E

5260

11.1

0

2140

2

Autissier

PRB

43 06S

179 09E

5291

10.5

31.4

2140

3

Soldini

Fila

42 00S

179 55E

5307

10

47

2140

4

Hall

Garmore

42 30S

179 07E

5315

9.4

54.9

2140

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Van Liew

Balance Bar

41 14S

178 56E

5370

8.4

0

2144

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

50 57S

179 00E

5379

8.9

9

2144

3

Mouligne

Cray Valley

40 23S

178 57E

5403

5.9

33

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

39 41S

178 47E

5437

7.5

67

2144

5

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

38 03S

178 41E

5507

5

137

2144

6

Hunter

Paladin II

37 32S

179 08E

5513

5.7

143

2144

7

Petersen

No Barriers

38 17S

178 34E

5563

3.4

193

2144

8

Davie

South Carolina

Auckland

       

 

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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