Day 53, Tuesday March 30, 1999

MSHunter1.jpg (13079 bytes)
Neil Hunter Photo Marek Slodownik

Finally, the 49-year-old Neil Hunter crossed the finish line at 5:27 a.m. local time (08:27:34 GMT). He flew into Punta del Este before a strong southeasterly under triple-reefed mainsail and sans headsail. As he hit the dock, Hunter celebrated with his customary bottle of red wine sacrificing one slosh to King Neptune and one to Harry Mitchell, the Around Alone competitor who disappeared during the last race on his approach to Cape Horn. He finished the leg by 52 days, 09 hours, 27 minutes and 34 second.

Hunter said the Leg 3 was a challenging one. He had more breeze and bigger seas on Leg 2. He rarely saw wind over 40 knots and never 50. He stayed further north than the others did because it did not make sense for him to go south just to save a few miles. He was not going to beat his class winner J.P. Mouligne and he needed to keep his boat in one piece. But that made it a much longer trip. He had sailed 8,600 nautical miles.

MSHunter2.jpg (14007 bytes) Neil Hunter Photo Marek Slodownik

During this leg, Hunter took on the role of the "Aussie Pirate Half Beard" with half his face shaved. In an email from the Horn, he explained that the half beard was a Cape Horn fashion. "Why half, and which half, you ask. Simple," he told those assembled on the dock. "Cape Horn is to the left, as is the sun, as is the tropical sun drenched islands a bit further north with friendly, grass-skirted sun-tanned locals, so we shave the left side of the face to get a bit of a suntan as well. Also, that is where the ear is that the golden earring has to hang from, so we don't want it hidden or tangled in a beard."

More.jpg (19312 bytes) Photo Richard Konkolski

And why not shave the right side as well? Again, he had a simple explanation: "To the right is Antarctica, less than 500 miles away and it's bloody cold down there, so we want to keep that side of the face warm. So full beard to the right. And now if you ever see someone with just such a beard you will know for sure they are either a Cape Horner or schizophrenic lunatic or both."

DvaRacciLon.jpg (16522 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

Punta

del Este

0

0

0

0

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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