Day 06, Thursday April 15, 1999

Bigsea.jpg (22527 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Thiercelin shortened Soldini's  lead to only 10 miles on the distance to the finish, but Soldini positioned himself in a better position to make the best of the approaching weather condition. If all worked as Soldini hoped, by Sunday his lead over Thiercelin could be extended.

Similar situation was in Class II. Garside's advantage over Mouligne had slipped to sixteen miles. But the frontrunners should be concerned, because boats behind were coming quickly with southerly wind that had not yet reached the leaders.

Jean-Pierre Mouligne had some time to described his sailing: "The wind has shifted to the north and I am sailing close hauled with full main and genoa and the forward ballast full. To increase stability, Cray Valley carries two water ballast tanks on each side. The forward one takes 2,400 pounds of seawater and the aft one 1,600 pounds. They are filled with a pump coupled with the engine. It takes about 4 minutes to fill the forward ballast.

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

When I am ready to tack I transfer the water by gravity from the high side to the low side, which takes only a minute or so. With all the water on the wrong side, the angle of heel can get scary and Cray Valley gets very cranky, so the maneuver has to be done quickly. If you miss the tack the boat gets "in irons" and then starts to move backwards quickly. Coming into Punta last month, I did one of these bad tacks in front of a crowd of "admirers" and it was a bit embarrassing. That is the beauty of sailing offshore alone... your worst moves are seldom recorded..."

By the end of the day Robin Davie was approaching Punta. He wrote: "With Punta just over the horizon ahead, we are getting real close after another 24 hours of very variable winds. Last night's black skies to the south had all the frontal system within it, and by midnight we were totally engulfed by the blackness, heavy rain, and a lightening show all around us. Some lightning and its accompanying thunder was as one. The wind came up, and died away, it blew from the northwest, west, north and southwest. It was all over the place. Eventually late in the night things settled down with a light southwesterly, and we could start to shape a decent course for the last 120 miles north to Punta."

BBSouthCarolinaNarrow.jpg (22486 bytes) Davies' South Carolina Photo Billy Black

"The winds have been good the last few hours, on the beam, and SC romping away at 10 to 12 knots as though she can see and smell the stable door. As evening set in, the brightness of the western cloud break as the sun set towards it was starkly contrasted to the black north and eastern skies, there was still rain in the air, rainbows and shafts of reflected light to the east. The sea was inky black. The setting sun came out red, the cloud base to the west glowed pink as did the sea. Ahead of me in the dark blackness the Islas de Lobos light could be seen flashing. It's dark now, the distant horizon glow of Punta is now taking shape as lights, Lobos is abeam, and we'll be there in an hour or so."

morepar.jpg (33669 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Soldini Fila 24 32S 042 18W 4768 5 0 2140
2 Thiercelin Somewhere 24 54S 041 57W 4778 9.4 10.4 2140

Class 2

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Garside Magellan Alpha 24 51S 043 18W 4813 5.6 0 2144
2 Mouligne Cray Valley 25 23S 042 57W 4830 4.2 16.4 2144
3 Yazykov Wind of Change 27 27S 044 31W 4979 5.7 166.1 2144
4 Petersen No Barriers 29 05S 047 20W 5147 2.9 333.5 2144
5 Saito Shuten-dohji II 30 42S 044 25W 5148 5 335.2 2144
6 Hunter Paladin II 29 35S 047 53W 5188 5.8 374.6 2144
7 Van Liew Balance Bar 34 57S 054 57W 5668 0 855.2 2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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