Day 50, Saturday March 27, 1999

BBMinoruSaitoFace.jpg (17583 bytes)
Minoru Saito Photo Billy Black

Shuten-dohji II looked in bad shape by the time it was approaching the coast. Her mainsail was damaged before Cape Horn and only one third of it was of any use. Only the full genoa kept the boat on the move. At 12:48 p.m. local time (15:48:42 GMT), Saito crossed the finish line. Minoru Saito was the oldest competitor in the race and after finishing Leg 3 he was well on track to be the oldest person to finish the BOC Challenge/Around Alone race.

MSSaito3.jpg (18181 bytes) Minoru Saito Photo Marek Slodownik

Saito looked relieved to be ashore. It was a lengthy 49 days, 16 hours, 48 minutes and 14 seconds at sea for the 65-year old. Saito explained that his mainsail had not blown out, it just had lots of small holes. His navigator's chair also broke, landing him flat on his back and giving him a bump on his head. Despite a few small problems, there were no major ones.

He had set himself two goals. He had planned to visit the position 57 S and 112 W, where his friend Harry Mitchell disappeared during the last race. Despite trying twice, he could not get to the exact location. In the close vicinity he ended up struggling with over 90 knots strong winds.

MSSaito5.jpg (12240 bytes)
Minoru Saito Photo Marek Slodownik

Saito also revealed that he had promised his girlfriend that she would see Cape Horn. Unfortunately she was killed in a sailing accident in Hawaii. Saito performed two ceremonies for both his lost friends at Cape Horn. For Mitchell he committed a gold earring to the deep, and then he toasted them both with sake.

Zapad.jpg (15821 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

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

6

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

7

Hunter

Paladin II

39 03S

057 20W

270

3.4

270.1

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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