Day 27, Thursday March 4, 1999

Bigsea.jpg (22527 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

It took more than three hours of international jury deliberations to award Giovanni Soldini 24 hours as compensation for his rescue of Isabelle Autissier. The decision placed Soldini in first place in Class I.

Giovanni Soldini Photo Marek Slodownik  MSSoldini.jpg (24375 bytes)

Soldini accepted the jury decision with reservation. "I asked more time than that but it is not a problem. The jury is the jury and the jury is the law. I absolutely accept the decision but that does not mean I am happy." Soldini said. His own calculation was almost 40 hours, which was denied. His official time for leg 3 was set at 24 days 09 hours 55 minutes and 53 seconds.

BBCrayValleyDetTop.jpg (23320 bytes) Cray Valley Photo Billy Black

In Class II Mouligne continued to hold a lead over Garside. Mouligne was 386 miles from the finish line off Punta del Este and making 5.2 knots. In his message Jean-Pierre wrote: "I never thought that the last 1000 miles could seem so long. I am creeping along the continental shelf of Argentina, heading a good 40 degrees from where I want to go and counting every mile. The forecast is giving me no break, announcing strong Northeast wind all the way to Punta."

The storm, which was off the west coast of Chile could pass over Argentina and, by Saturday, could reach the east coast where low pressure will build around it. This system was predicted to become a real bomb of a low. The winds should start picking up out of the north northeast and the cold front following this system should spread wide all the way up to Punta. This storm could determine the outcome of Leg 3 for Class II. J. P. Mouligne, who was 121 miles closer to the finish than his nearest competitor, had the best chance of beating the low.

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From the start of this race Garside was unsuccessfully trying to make some gain on Mouligne. What ever he did, he was still locked in second place behind JP's stern. In his latest mail he wrote: "The sea that I'm crossing today is dealing out more punishment than any Magellan Alpha has had to take since we left Charleston six months ago. And it's not doing a lot for my poor old body either. I am wrecked. There's been what Ken Campbell calls a "bubble high" to the north, separating the leading three Class 2 boats from Punta del Este. It's been moving away to the east and as it's done so it's released a blast of northerly wind down the left-hand side… But with all the thunder, lightning and rain we've had as well, I feel sure there is some fiery Latin American temperament added to the mix that Ken hasn't counted on. This wind has now been blowing straight at Magellan Alpha for more than 12 hours, giving us an apparent wind of not less than 40 knots - with regular gusts up to 50 knots. And because we are in shallow water, on the landward side of the continental shelf, the sea is a mess of short, steep sided, lumpy waves. Two days ago, from a position just 50 miles behind J-P, I made a move out to the left. I did this to gain some separation on the grounds I would never catch him by following in his footsteps. Unfortunately, in the process I gave away enough miles for him to double his lead. I can't have got this right."

BBMagelanAlphaStearn.jpg (28476 bytes) Garside's Magellan Alpha Photo Billy Black

Back in third, Van Liew was recovering from the hard beating he took from a three-day gale as he rounded Cape Horn. He experienced 70-knot winds and 30-foot seas but nature gave him another lecture as he described in his message: "All right, I have had it! Another round of heavy weather is not what I want. I am flogging to windward in 40 knots and choppy seas with squalls and it SUCKS. Leg III has had more days of gales than not gales! I am still fighting, but feel this draining me and Balance Bar. We are both over-extended and bruised and badly need a break."

BBShutenDohjiIIBow.jpg (31050 bytes) Saito's Shuten-dohji II Photo Billy Black

The giant low that battered Minoru Saito and Neal Petersen two days ago was moving east, but condition were still rough as Petersen reported: "As the Isabelle/Giovanni duo as arrived in Punta, I continue battling with confused seas and near gale force conditions. I am still sailing with just a headsail out. I have a badly shredded genoa. Fortunately it is my older sail, but one that has been very useful down in the Southern Ocean. I am hoping that the remnants of it will remain usable till Cape Horn, and then I can tack into one of the bays for protection and lower the system, or else proceed to the Falklands to execute repairs."

He continued in his second message: "…with Cape Horn 1,300 miles away the miles are slowly coming down. Weather conditions stabilized enough for me to hoist the mainsail with two reefs… …being on starboard tack, I am able to use my only working water ballast tank… Reaching along I am doing between 7 and 8 knots on a course directly for my waypoint off Cape Horn. I have now entered into a sector of ocean that I dread. Here the storms can come quickly and be violent. At least I am now within the protection area of the Chilean marine rescue center if there are problems, but I rather no count on it…"

Zapad3.jpg (15918 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Soldini

Fila

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

2

Thiercelin

Somewhere

Falkland

Islands

1011

0

1011

1540

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

41 20S

056 08W

386

5.2

0

2144

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

42 32S

058 07W

477

8

91.2

2144

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

44 18S

057 13W

570

7.5

183.6

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

49 50S

061 05W

932

8.1

545.7

2144

5

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

53 09S

099 35W

2478

6.6

2091.6

2144

6

Petersen

No Bariers

48 05S

100 47W

2657

7.3

2271

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

47 26S

117 03W

3227

6.5

2841

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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