Day 14, Friday April 23, 1999

Moredl.jpg (15007 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Despite the fact that Soldini entered the Doldrums overnight he was able to extend the lead over Thiercelin to 78.4 miles. He was doing slightly over 10 knots, one knot more than Mark. The doldrums extended from at least 3 south to around 4 north, about 400 miles wide belt. Soldini and Thiercelin will have to pick their best way through a region of fluky winds and squalls. When they emerge on the other side of the Doldrums, they should get the best of the northeast trade winds.

BBFilaStearn.jpg (22393 bytes) Fila Photo Billy Black

In Class II Mike Garside had 3,433 miles to go and was leading J.P. Mouligne by 208 miles. Garside’s speed dropped to 8 knots by the end of the day and Mouligne was able to cut down some mileage, making over 11 knots. Garside entered the light winds some 18 hour ahead of JP and it already showed. Mouligne could use his wind advantage to narrow the gap between them. If he doesn't, Garside will emerge from the Doldrums and hit the northeast trades first, possibly extending his lead beyond Mouligne's reach.

Mouligne was very aware of this situation in his email: "I hope that you will forgive me for being brief today I am a little bit South of Recife and I am approaching quickly the critical zone of the doldrums. The doldrums with its combination of calms quickly followed by violent squalls is the area where I have the most chance to definitely tear my main sail and therefore lose all chances to win the last leg. It is also where Magellan is going to slow down before me and I have a chance to make up a lot of miles. The next 2 or 3 days will decide on who will win this leg."

Class II boats that yesterday were caught by a high pressure system struggled with light winds overnight but during day they started to enjoy the first taste of the trades. It looked, like Minoru got himself in best position and with better wind he made significant gains on Neal Petersen. There is a big advantage now to being further to the east where the trades are.

Mored11.jpg (21210 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Soldini Fila 01 12S 037 41W 3144 10.2 0 2140
2 Thiercelin Somewhere 01 56S 036 34W 3222 9 78.4 2140

Class 2

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Garside Magellan Alpha 05 12S 034 50W 3433 8 0 2144
2 Mouligne Cray Valley 07 53S 033 10W 3641 11.2 208.9 2144
3 Yazykov Wind of Change 10 54S 034 52W 3847 8.5 413.5 2144
4 Petersen No Barriers 17 10S 038 11W 4269 3.6 835.7 2144
5 Saito Shuten-dohji II 18 23S 037 07W 4312 2.3 878.2 2144
6 Hunter Paladin II 19 29S 037 11W 4376 4.5 942.1 2144
7 Van Liew Balance Bar 28 07S 046 24W 5071 4.5 1637.3 2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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