Day 17, Monday April 26, 1999 

MoreRacciLong.jpg (29934 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Soldini established himself in steady northeast trade winds and was speeding towards the finish line with average speed of 12.4 knots. Marc Thiercelin was just above 2 north. He managed to get himself out of the Doldrums, but still hasn’t reached strong enough wind. His average speed rose up to 9,4 knots, but was still 3 knots slower than the Soldini, who was already leading by 361.5 miles.

According to the forecast the Doldrums could expand outward from 6S to 4N and all the way from 30-50W." That was bad news for the entire Class II fleet including Garside and Mouligne.

FolMagelanAlphaAir4.jpg (16741 bytes) Garside's Magellan Alpha

While Mouligne was struggling over 200 miles behind Garside just two days ago, today he closed Garside’s lead to within 61 miles. Within a day or so the trade winds should slacken, dropping into the 10 to 14 knots and everybody could finally see the distance between the Class I and Class II boats stretch to a more normal distance.

Garside was definitively not happy about the situation. In his email he wrote: "My 200-mile lead is now down to under 100 and the boy (J.P.) is still closing. The only two good bits of fortune I'm having are that I have been able to get west enough (the only way the wind would let me go!) so that at least I have now put myself between J.P. and the finishing line. The second is that the wind has now backed in the last hour so that, instead of heading back to Brazil on a course of 245, I am on the same 310-degree course as J.P. and pointing at Charleston."

BBMouligneDetail.jpg (20546 bytes) J.P. Mouligne Photo Billy Black

Mouligne’s report was much more optimistic: "This has been a incredible weekend. On Friday my deficit on Magellan had stretched to over 230 miles and this morning (Monday) it had shrunk back to 68 miles! We are engaged in a battle of slowness, with shifty winds mixed with flat calms and squalls. This is the worst part of the trip but also for me the chance to come back."

The winds continued to be light and variable for the boats behind Garside and Mouligne. Victor Yazykov was 276 miles behind Garside, but 671 miles in front of the next boat. Neal Petersen, Minoru Saito, Neil Hunter, and Brad Van Liew followed Yazykov.

MoreRacekDark.jpg (16503 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski


Class 1

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Soldini Fila 06 31N 045 56W 2466 12.4 0 2140
2 Thiercelin Somewhere 02 04N 041 51W 2827 9.4 361.5 2140

Class 2

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Garside Magellan Alpha 00 14S 040 26W 2986 4.8 0 2144
2 Mouligne Cray Valley 01 09S 039 54W 3047 5.4 61.4 2144
3 Yazykov Wind of Change 03 12S 036 54W 3262 6.8 276 2144
4 Petersen No Barriers 12 20S 035 11W 3933 6.4 947.1 2144
5 Saito Shuten-dohji II 12 35S 035 15W 3948 7.4 962.9 2144
6 Hunter Paladin II 14 29S 034 58W 4051 5.4 1065.9 2144
7 Van Liew Balance Bar 24 15S 040 54W 4718 8.2 1732.1 2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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