Day 15, Saturday April 24, 1999

ZapadNizkyDarkLong.jpg (30347 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Giovanni Soldini was the first to return to the Northern Hemisphere after months of sailing south of the equator. Right now he was in center of the Doldrums which covered a belt from 4N to 4S. Despite very light wind he was still doing almost five knots and it looked like he would be the first of the fleet to reach the desirable northeast trade winds. Giovanni was able to stretch his lead on Thiercelin to 97 miles.

The two other closest sailors, rival Thiercelin and Class II leader Garside, closely followed Soldini’s course. Mike Garside was holding the Class II lead for almost two weeks, the longest time he had ever been able stay in front during the whole race. He was 204 miles in front of Mouligne and steadily gaining. JP shredded mainsail and had infected knee, which slowed him down, but Garside had also set of his own problems and worries.

FolGarsideSteerin2.jpg (34331 bytes) Mike Garside

One of his rudders completely separated from the other one. The only way he managed to fix it was to some temporary lashing."I've got a completely jury-rigged tiller to one of my rudders," he said over COMSAT phone, taking a momentary break from the race. Whether the repair would hold to Charleston, nobody knows. "I don't know if it will hold anymore than J.P.'s sail," Garside said.

He was also lacking weather data. Just before the start Garside’s computer program crashed and since that he was receiving incomplete weather data. His weather fax brooked as well. In this leg Garside relied most on strategy of following the Class I leader, Giovanni Soldini.

Mouligne, who was realistically dreaming of winning all four legs in this race, was definitively not happy with his second position and growing gap behind Class II leader. He reported: "It has been a sleepless night as I am trying to round the tip of Brazil as quickly as I can. The wind has been strong most of the night but has just died a couple of hours ago and I am left with a bad heading and fairly slow speed. It is critical for me to get into some breeze if I ever want to make up miles on Mike. The time is now or never as he is going to be slowed down by the Doldrums, but I cannot afford to be slow myself way before it... It is hard to be patient and I force myself to be calm. I have stopped repairing the main sail because I am quickly running out of material and I need to keep some for after the Doldrums."

 Zapad3.jpg (15918 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Soldini Fila 00 41N 039 08W 3001 4.7 0 2140
2 Thiercelin Somewhere 00 13S 037 47W 3098 3.9 96.7 2140

Class 2

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Garside Magellan Alpha 01 48S 036 53W 3203 7.7 0 2144
2 Mouligne Cray Valley 04 54S 035 10W 3406 10.4 203.5 2144
3 Yazykov Wind of Change 08 31S 033 56W 3694 8 491 2144
4 Petersen No Barriers 15 48S 037 15W 4172 3.3 969.3 2144
5 Saito Shuten-dohji II 16 52S 036 32W 4215 2.7 1012 2144
6 Hunter Paladin II 17 27S 036 14W 4243 3.8 1040.5 2144
7 Van Liew Balance Bar 27 22S 045 01W 4989 0.8 1786.3 2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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