Day 38, Monday March 15, 1999

BBThiercelinFace.jpg (17517 bytes)
Marc Thiercelin Photo Billy Black

At 3:19:57 a.m. local time (06:19:57 GMT) Marc Thiercelin completed third leg. The final part of the leg was as problematic for him as the preceding one. Thiercelin was becalmed about 50 miles from the finish line and then suffered headwinds of 25 knots. After a hard beat in, through most of the evening, he almost missed the windward finish mark and was forced to do a quick tack to make the line.

Once across the line everybody could see the relief on Thiercelin's face. He had a very long and difficult 37 days, 07 hours, 19 minutes and 57 seconds at sea, which put him in second place in Class I behind Giovanni Soldini.

MSSomewhere2.jpg (15989 bytes)  Thiercelin's Somewhere Photo Marek Slodownik

Thiercelin said it was the motion of the seaway, not strong winds, that caused the mast failure. "My mast made a big hole through the deck and the navigation station. I was lucky that my head was not cut off in the incident," he said. When he had looked through the hatch to inspect the damage he could see a part of the mast pulling the deck off and the other part over the side of the deck making a big mess. He spent six hours cleaning up the wreckage on the deck.

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

After one day and two nights spent installing the new mast, Thiercelin left the islands. To his surprise the new mast was as good as the old one. At one stage he did 28 knots and 335 miles in one day. His passage to Punta del Este was slowed by calms and at one stage, he was trapped in the Brazilian currents, which pulled him backward.

MSSomewhere.jpg (24606 bytes)
Thiercelin's Somewhere Photo Marek Slodownik

He said that he has three reasons for continuing: first, sportsmanship; second, for his sponsor; the third reason, he wanted to win at least one leg of the race.

Over 1,000 miles away from the finish, Petersen sent a message: "Not far to go to Punta. I managed to get a good line on Minoru this morning. He is about 50 miles east of me, and on the distance to the finish, leads me by 10 miles. I learnt that he has blown out his headsail and his #2 genoa. All the hanks on his staysail are broken. The only sail he has usable is #1 and the storm try-sail. He has also damaged his windvane. So he is in bad shape. We spoke about him putting into the Falklands to get sorted out, but he thinks he can get himself to Punta with enough time to get ready. So I hope that he will be okay."

MSNoBarriersNarrow.jpg (23133 bytes)
Petersen's No Barrers Photo Marek Slodownik

By the end of the day Petersen passed Saito and left him 24 miles behind his stern.

VlnaTop.jpg (23387 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

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

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

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

2

Garside

Magellan Alpha

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

5

Petersen

No Bariers

52 18S

061 40W

1079

5.8

1078.6

2144

6

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

52 46S

061 23W

1103

4.3

1103

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

53 29S

081 02W

1846

5.8

1846

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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