Day 07, Friday April 16, 1999

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Photo Richard Konkolski

Robin Davie arrived in Punta del Este. He sailed into the harbor looking relaxed. Davie was just in time for a blinding horizontal rain and epic waves crashing onto the town's usually packed beaches.

Meantime at the head of the fleet, Giovanni Soldini and Marc Thiercelin were dueling for first in Class I. Giovanni was still atop with 25 miles ahead of Marc Thiercelin. He had 4,626 miles to go and averaging a speed of 8.1 knots.

Soldini's Fila Phoro Marek Slodownik  MSFilaBowHiogh.jpg (16046 bytes)

Just behind them, Mike Garside and J.P. Mouligne were competing for first in Class II. In the last two legs, Mouligne has had slow starts and immediately fallen behind Mike Garside. But JP was always able to take a lead later and to win each leg. Mouligne was doing everything in his power to ensure that history repeated again.

For now the weather was dominating the scene. Michael Garside emailed: "This part of the race is turning into a really difficult scene. Yesterday pm the wind really started to build from the NE. The seas increased rapidly into very steep-sided brick walls into which Alphie crashed all night long. I cut back to 3 reefs in 35 knots (Beaufort 8) and spent a hideous night being thrown everywhere. I really worry about the rig. It's been through stuff as bad as this before. But Navtec, the rod rigging manufacturers, recommend changing all the standing rigging at 30 thousand miles. We've now done nearer to 50 on this lot. Who knows what stresses are at breaking point? I couldn't bear to lose my mast now."

JP also reported similar conditions: "The wind is back and so is the banging. A stiff north-northwest wind on the nose and a very hard motion makes life on board difficult. Every move now is potentially dangerous and has to be calculated. A fall can be deadly, away from any help, and I move throughout the cabin very carefully. I always keep a pair of sneakers on, even when asleep, in case I have to get up quickly. Outside the cockpit I wear a harness attached to the jack lines that run fore and aft from bow to stern. At 25 South I have a minimum of 300 miles North to do before I can hope to start getting the trade winds of the Southern Hemisphere, they usually start around 20 South and blow toward the Northwest. In theory I should be on a starboard reach all the way to the Doldrums..."

Neal Petersen had his own set of problems: "I am sailing close to the course I want, and have opened my lead on Minoru. The leak continues to be an annoyance. The keel needs to be re-bedded, which is a huge job as it means taking the keel off to clean the surfaces, put new sealing compound on and re-tighten it. It is easier just to keep pumping out the water than go through all that trouble soon. It is not a life-threatening situation, and one expected after all these years and miles this boat has done."

Brad Van Liew was also influenced by the adverse weather. The new aluminum mast built in Buenos Aires was now in Punta del Este, but could not be stepped because there was too much wind. This put a delay on the plan to restart the race on Saturday.

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Photo Richard Konkolski


Class 1

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Soldini Fila 22 56S 039 59W 4626 8.1 0 2140
2 Thiercelin Somewhere 23 56S 038 24W 4650 9.8 24.4 2140

Class 2

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Garside Magellan Alpha 23 57S 040 22W 4690 7.8 0 2144
2 Mouligne Cray Valley 24 24S 039 38W 4699 8.5 9.4 2144
3 Yazykov Wind of Change 26 06S 042 09W 4848 7.8 158.5 2144
4 Petersen No Barriers 27 07S 046 10W 5017 7 327.9 2144
5 Saito Shuten-dohji II 29 15S 043 50W 5057 7.6 367.2 2144
6 Hunter Paladin II 28 40S 045 59W 5083 6 393.4 2144
7 Van Liew Balance Bar 34 57S 054 57W 5668 0 978.0 2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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