Day 01, Saturday April 10, 1999

BezvetriKladka.jpg (23338 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Around 9:30 local time the boats began taking tow lines for the remaining part of the race, with Mouligne the first to go. The sailors then tested a variety of sail combinations as they sailed around in front of the starting line. Cray Valley was dressed with a full main sail compared to FILA's three reefs. The forecast predicted 12-15 knot easterly wind with a one to two foot swell.
BBCrayValley.jpg (20326 bytes)   Cray Valley Photo Billy Black

Then at noon local time (1500 GMT) the blast of the start cannon firing from the end of the breakwater sent the nine solo sailors on their last leg of Around Alone solo race around the world.

MSNoBarriersNarrow.jpg (23133 bytes)
No Barriers Photo Billy Black

Neal Petersen, who was circling the start line for the previous half hour, was over the line first with his maneuverable 40-footer No Barriers. Viktor Yazykov and division leader J.P. Mouligne quickly followed him. After them, the Class I leader Giovanni Soldini crossed the line with Mike Garside behind him. Marc Thiercelin crossed just behind Van Liew, trailed by Neil Hunter, with Minoru Saito bringing up the rear.

Wind of Change Russia Photo Billy Black  BBWindOfChangeBow.jpg (20204 bytes)

About a half-hour after the start, retired skipper Fedor Konioukhov, now an unofficial entry, also set out for Charleston. He was not allowed to start with the rest of the fleet and he could not even be within the safety zone or start area during the start.

BBKonioukhovwWifeDeck.jpg (29201 bytes) Fedor Konioukhov with his wife Irina Photo Billy Black

Race rules requested that the sailors pass a channel marker, about a mile from the starting line, to port and the fleet had to honor that the mark. At that point Mouligne took a commanding lead with Soldini and Thiercelin close behind as they headed out in a freshening breeze toward the island of Goretti.

Shortly after the mark, Soldini became caught in a no wind hole. He began slowly to shake the reefs out of his mainsail. In the meantime Magellan Alpha, Balance Bar and Wind of Change overtook him.

BBFilaNarrow.jpg (28634 bytes) Fila Photo Billy Black

Weather forecast predicted a northeasterly wind flow, which was to build and strengthen over the next couple of days. The sailors were facing three to five days of headwinds and they might encounter gusts of 40- to 50-knots in the squalls by late tomorrow or early Monday.

In Class I only two boats remained with Soldini holding more than a 12-day lead over Thiercelin. In Class II Mouligne had a seven days lead.

The other unofficial racer, Robin Davie, was not expected to arrive to Punta within next 10 days. He would probably follow the fleet to Charleston soon after that.

010b.jpg (28840 bytes)
The Sea Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Thiercelin

Somewhere

34 56S

054 16W

5643

5.3

0

2140

2

Soldini

Fila

35 06S

054 20W

5653

4.9

9.8

2140

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

35 01S

054 14W

5646

5.5

0

2144

2

Van Liew

Balance Bar

35 00S

054 15W

5646

5.4

0.1

2144

3

Garside

Magellan Alpha

34 57S

054 20W

5647

4.7

0.9

2144

4

Yazykov

Wind of Change

35 03S

054 29W

5656

3.7

9

2144

5

Petersen

No Barriers

34 56S

054 37W

5656

2.6

9.7

2144

6

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

35 11S

054 39W

5667

2.9

19.9

2144

7

Hunter

Paladin II

35 19S

054 30W

5668

4.6

20.8

2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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