Day 24, Monday May 3, 1999

Moredl2.jpg (23219 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Soldini crossed the front and encountered much lighter variable wind, which of course slowed him immediately down. He has only 686 miles to go and he might finish on Thursday. It would be possible for Somewhere to close a bit on Fila. However, Soldini had little to worry about from Thiercelin, who was more than 311 miles back and 12 days behind in cumulative time.

In Class II Mouligne continued to keep pace with Mike Garside. He lost only 2 miles during the last 24 hours. Both boats would soon run into light conditions, and Mouligne hoped a risky move to the west would give him some advantage to help him in cutting off Garside's 258-mile lead.

He was staying well south of the direct route to Charleston. This could keep him in the more favorable easterly trades for a longer period. It could also make it difficult for him to remain all the way outside the Caribbean Sea and he could be forced to sail west of the Northern Leeward Islands.

FolCrayValeyDrawing.jpg (22793 bytes) Cray Valley

Mouligne had been troubled for two weeks by a torn mainsail. Then on Sunday he lost his main genoa, which began to tear and was then lost overboard as he described in his email: "Three weeks at sea so far and another 10 days minimum before the finish, I never thought this leg would be so long and difficult. I had two sail disasters over the weekend: First my kevlar genoa developed a rip which kept on growing to the point where it was split horizontally from tack to clew. I decided to take it down while it was still in one piece and replace it with my spare genoa which, thank God, I had on board. Taking an 800-square-foot sail down, in 25 kts of wind, alone, is not easy... As soon as the sail came down it started to spill over the side and into the water. I ran forward to retrieve it, but as I was pulling it back, the fabric kept tearing in my hands in pieces. After 10 minutes of fruitless effort I decided to let it go and I cut the tack and clew with a knife and watched my $7,000 genoa slip into the ocean."

"Next I was flying the gennaker when suddenly the tack broke and the gennaker ended like a giant flag flogging behind the boat. I must say I am quite familiar with retrieving the gennaker out of the water since it is about the fourth time it has happened to me since the start of the race and I had it back in the cockpit within half an hour. My mainsail is looking worse by the day and I keep on patching it one piece at a time. I just have to babysit this fragile inventory all the way to Charleston. It is going to be very long 1,500 miles..."

In third place in Class II, Viktor Yazykov was 479 miles behind Mouligne, losing only 5 miles on Garside but gaining 75 miles on Balance Bar who was the only one boat from the whole fleet still remaining in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Soldini Fila 25 05N 069 59W 686 4.2 0 2140
2 Thiercelin Somewhere 24 09N 063 30W 997 10.3 311.1 2140

Class 2

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Garside Magellan Alpha 20 04N 059 55W 1305 9.5 0 2144
2 Mouligne Cray Valley 14 16N 059 32W 1563 11.3 258.3 2144
3 Yazykov Wind of Change 12 34N 049 45W 2042 10.9 737.3 2144
4 Petersen No Barriers 01 39N 041 08W 2863 5.5 1558.3 2144
5 Saito Shuten-dohji II 01 51N 040 47W 2870 7.7 1565.1 2144
6 Hunter Paladin II 00 56N 038 33W 3004 5.4 1699.6 2144
7 Van Liew Balance Bar 01 48S 037 14W 3176 4.4 1871.3 2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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