Day 16, Sunday April 25, 1999

VlnaPena.jpg (27779 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

There was a dramatic change in the overall situation during the last 24 hours. Thiercelin and Garside, who were about 90 miles apart, got stuck without wind. At the same time, Class I leader Giovanni Soldini was able to pick up the first glimpse of the northeast trade winds and to pull himself out of the Doldrums. Within the day he had gained 154 miles on Thiercelin, widening this lead to 252 miles. For now it looked like the winner for Class I was decided right there. Soldini was speeding towards the finish line with 11 knots, doubling Thiercelini’s current speed. Before Mark would be able to get out of the Doldrums, Giovanni would most probably gain an unbeatable lead.

FolFilaAir.jpg (21610 bytes) Giovanni's Fila

As he mentioned in his email, Thiercelini was fully aware about the situation: "Good night, situation is ‘normal.’ I have all doldrums on sea since 48 hours. Rain, rain, rain, and no wind, and I see leg 4 go on and me staying here. Is a bad, bad time for me - the race is finish... No wind, no wind... Have a good night."

MSSomewhere2.jpg (15989 bytes)
Thiercelin's Somewhere Photo Marek slodownik

The same feeling could have had Mike Garside. At that same time that he was stuck with Thiercelin, Mouligne was flying. Coming from south with more wind, JP gained 110 miles on Mike. By the end of the day he was only 93 miles behind. Coming closer to Garside and approaching the same wind conditions Mouligne’s speed was dropping, but JP was still doing almost one knot more than Mike. With the gap narrowing to almost 90 miles, Mouligne dramatically improved his chances of wining the last leg.

BBWindofChangeNarrow.jpg (18480 bytes) Wind of Change Russia Photo Billy Black

Yazykov gained 144 miles on Garside as well. But more importantly he gained 162 miles on Brad Van Liew. Yazykov was doing the best speed from all Class II boats. Balance Bar, which was placed in overall classification right in front of him, was for now 1,457 miles behind and still loosing.

The dramatic changes were not so dramatic for Neil Hunter who wrote: "All's well, no dramas. Still quite a few rain clouds about and the breeze is up and down like a bride's nightie. Generally quite warm though and very pleasant. Spoke to Neal, Minoru and Robin yesterday at 1600. All OK. I appear to be the relay vessel as I can hear them all and they all can hear me, but Neal can't hear Robin, Minoru can't hear Neal or Robin, and Robin can't hear Neal. Try and work that mess out. I'll try and hook Fedor in today."

As usual, Robin Davie let everybody know about his sailing. He wrote: "The last 24 hours have been a pleasant surprise with the winds holding, and a good 200 miles under the keel. However the weather is on the change, and it's a crap shoot as to whether the winds die away all together to a calm, or remain and back around through south in the next 24 hours. Brad and BB are stuck in calms some 200 miles to the north of my position, he is right in the high, whilst I am to the south of its center as it starts to move away from us."

VlnaHlava.jpg (32660 bytes) 
Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Soldini Fila 03 25N 042 13W 2755 11 0 2140
2 Thiercelin Somewhere 00 23N 039 18W 3007 5.6 252 2140

Class 2

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Garside Magellan Alpha 01 13S 038 39W 3103 6.1 0 2144
2 Mouligne Cray Valley 02 27S 037 41W 3196 6.9 93.6 2144
3 Yazykov Wind of Change 04 59S 034 14W 3450 8.9 347.5 2144
4 Petersen No Barriers 14 09S 036 33W 4066 5.5 963 2144
5 Saito Shuten-dohji II 14 58S 035 59W 4097 4.5 994.1 2144
6 Hunter Paladin II 16 15S 035 47W 4167 2.5 1064.1 2144
7 Van Liew Balance Bar 26 29S 043 43W 4907 7 1804.2 2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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