Day 21, Friday February 26, 1999

010b.jpg (28840 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Marc Thiercelin was making slow progress towards the Falkland Islands. He was making one knot under jury rig. By the latest information his carbon-fiber mast broke above the deck and while falling down it pierced the boat's deck, damaging the navigation station with instruments. Most of the rigging fell overboard on the boat's starboard side, but the boom remained on deck.

FolFila.jpg (23256 bytes) Soldini's Fila

Giovanni Soldini was briefly asked to divert for Thiercelin's position. But about an hour later, Thiercelin notified his shore team that he did not require assistance and Soldini could go back to racing. By the end of the day he was 779 miles from the finish line.

Thiercelin had decided to find a replacement mast and continue the race. Fortunately his shore crew was able to get on possibly the last flight to Falkland Islands. Recently, British courts and the House of Lords decided that Britain would comply with the Spanish courts and make Pinochet's extradition easy. Outraged Chile withdrew its ambassador from England and canceled fights to all British places, like the Falklands. The crew would get there but they had no idea how they were going to get back. In the worst case scenario, the team would have to use one of the Royal Air Force planes that fly between Great Britain and the Falklands.

MSMouligne1.jpg (12376 bytes) J.P.Mouligne Photo Marek Slodownik

Back on the racetrack, J.P. Mouligne was trying to outride the Southern Ocean depression that was heading towards Cape Horn. But he did not succeed, as he wrote in his report: "...couple of hours ago I was caught by surprise. I was sleeping in the windward bunk when suddenly Cray Valley was pinned on its side with the full main up, the gennaker and no water ballast… ...In the cockpit the first thing to do was to roll the gennaker which was dragging the boat underwater. I pulled the retrieving line while easing the sheet but the line was tangled and I could not roll the gennaker. I ran forward and, sitting at the bow pulpit half under water with my harness clipped on, I started to untangle the jammed furling line. The furler was shaking so much that it almost took my middle finger off. I finally got the line clear and ran back in the cockpit, soaked and shivering. I rolled the gennaker, unrolled the genoa and started to fill the water ballast. To get Cray Valley going again with the proper trim took a good half-hour. I am back at the nav station now with a pile of wet clothes on the floor. My finger is starting to look like a sausage and I am trying to catch my breath."

Few hours late came his second message: "I passed Cape Horn at 1630 GMT. All well, very windy and bouncy." In general he sailed very conservatively which cost him some miles of his lead. He lost 41 miles on second placed Garside and 133 miles on Balance Bar, in third. Even Yazykov, with his smallest boat, cut 75 miles from Mouligne's lead.

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

46 43S

062 16W

779

9

0

2140

2

Thiercelin

Somewhere

49 58S

060 30W

933

0

153.9

2140

3

Autissier

PRB

Rescued

by

Soldini

0

0

0

4

Hall

Gartmore

Retiring

to

Chatham Is.

0

0

0

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

56 54S

070 07W

1245

7.8

0

2144

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

56 12S

065 53W

1350

9.3

105.3

2144

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

56 23S

075 41W

1407

6.1

162.5

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

56 16S

084 33W

1702

7.5

457

2144

5

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

52 05S

123 46W

3076

8.7

1831.2

2144

6

Petersen

No Bariers

48 38S

126 27W

3272

8

2027.3

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

47 37S

133 24W

3534

6.3

2289

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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