Day 04, Tuesday February 9, 1999

Moredl5.jpg (20484 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

The Class I fleet started to move. All boats were doing over 10 knots by the end of the day. Thiercelin held first place and being furthest south of all he was doing 13 knots and widening the gap over second placed Isabelle, who was 47 miles back. Hall was able to pass Soldini but both were already 70 miles behind the class leader.

FolMagelanAlpha.jpg (20739 bytes) Magellan Alpha

In Class II Mike Garside took the lead. He finally got in harmony with the sea and it showed on his performance. He wrote: "It has taken me almost three days to find my sea legs on this, the third passage of my own personal round-the-world torture chamber."

Jean-Pierre Mouligne suffered some problems on his boat and lost some miles. He was in third place with almost 90 miles behind Garside. His email explained why: "Not a great day... Early this morning I was close reaching under genaker when I heard a big "WHAM." The block on top of the mast supporting the genaker had exploded and the halyard broke at the same time, sending the entire sail in the water… It took me two hours of back-breaking work to get the sail back on board."

"I then had to go to the top of the mast to set a spare halyard and at the same time try to fix my wind indicator. The wind indicator is a very fragile device that measures wind strength and direction and sits at the very top of the mast. I had a spare one but could not fit it in, and after half an hour of fruitless effort I had to give up. At least I was able to run a new halyard and after sorting out the mess created on deck by the genaker twisted in all directions I was able to hoist it again and it is flying nicely at the moment."

Neal Petersen was trailing the fleet. He was facing problem with his ballast tank: "As we approach the international dateline, we are dealing with fickle winds. Pre-dawn this morning the winds died away and were replaced by squally conditions as I battled to get away from the New Zealand shores. It was hard getting to these shores, and it is being equally hard leaving them. It took all day to put the land across the horizon astern. Finally the wind filled from the northeast and we are moving well. Then next land I will see will be Cape Horn."

"My bilge were filling with water and today I figured out why. When we were out of the water, we sat in a cradle that reached up the sides of the boat. It appears that it distorted the portside hull slightly, opening the seams of the portside ballast tank. The tank is leaking like a sieve, dumping 135 gallons of water over a three-hour period into the bilge. This is a pain as it means topping up the tank when I need it and having to empty the bilge constantly. But we will manage. I have to think of a way to fix this sometime."

BBKonioukhovwWifeDeckSmaller.jpg (28003 bytes) Konioukhov with his wife Photo Billy Black

To everyone's surprise, Konioukhov set his sails and left Auckland. The 47-year-old departed a full day ahead of date of 10 February, which he set on his arrival. In the morning, his wife Irina and son Oscar got into a rubber dinghy and Konioukhov was off on his own again.

Konioukhov was able to repair the electronic and communication problems with the help of local Russians and New Zealanders. Forced to retire after missing a course waypoint and the deadline for Leg 3, Konioukhov was always determined to continue. He said that his aim was to make a third circumnavigation. Konioukhov previously circumnavigated the globe singlehandedly twice, in both directions, he climbed the seven highest peaks in seven continents, including Mt. Everest. He bicycled from Vladivostock to Leningrad and skied to the North Pole. At the early start he said that he was doing the race to understand the philosophy of the singlehanded racer. He called himself a yachtsman, not a racer. Now he was on his own again.

DvaRacciLon.jpg (16522 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Thiercelin

Somewhere

46 28S

176 55W

5036

13

0

2140

2

Autissier

PRB

45 36S

177 24W

5083

12.1

46.8

2140

3

Hall

Gartmore

44 47S

177 13W

5106

10.3

69.5

2140

4

Soldini

Fila

45 00S

177 31W

5108

10.5

71.9

2140

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Garside

Magellan Alpha

43 37S

178 47W

5202

6.5

0

2144

2

Van Liew

Balance Bar

43 32S

179 06W

5216

6.4

14

2144

3

Mouligne

Cray Valley

42 31S

179 48E

5291

4

89

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

41 34S

179 33W

5306

2.3

104

2144

5

Hunter

Paladin II

39 47S

179 40W

5381

5.6

179

2144

6

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

40 05S

179 45E

5388

5.4

186

2144

7

Petersen

No Barriers

40 06S

179 41E

5390

5.5

188

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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