Day 25, Tuesday May 4, 1999

Zapad5.jpg (15512 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Soldini slowed down even more from yesterday. He was the first from the fleet to hit lighter northwest winds. The winds would clock and become northeast tonight, but they would stay very light. Next 24 hours could be very slow for Soldini, which means very little progress and further delay in finishing at Charleston.

MSFila.jpg (21595 bytes) Soldini's Fila Photo Marek Slodownik

Marc Thiercelin, who was over 250 miles behind Giovanni, moved faster for most of the day, because Thiercelin stayed in the southwest winds longer than Soldini. Eventually he could also get the same wind conditions later tonight. His slowest period could occur early tomorrow morning.

Class II leader this leg, Mike Garside, was most curious about Mouligne's intentions. Mouligne was positioned well to the west of the other sailors. In the morning he was stationed just to the southeast of the Caribbean island of Antigua and making the best fleet average speed of over 11 knots.

Cray Valley Photo Billy Black BBCrayValleyDetTop.jpg (23320 bytes)

Earlier, Jean-Pierre Mouligne reported: "I am just on the outside of Guadeloupe in the middle of a squall and the wind has suddenly built to 30 knots. These kind of squalls in the tradewinds always appear at the end of the night so I was watching carefully on the radar and did not get caught by surprise. Just before the first gust hits, I have to bear off and fill the water ballast. It does not last very long but right now I have 28 knots of wind and I am beam reaching at a steady 18 to 20 knots under autopilot while typing this report! I have started the repair of the tack of my gennaker and hopefully I will have it flying again by tomorrow. It is going to require a lot of hard sawing and stitching but only needs to last for 1500 miles. The weather ahead looks light but this might give me some opportunities. With 1500 miles to go and trailing Magellan by more than 200 miles, I will have a very hard time catching him, but I have nothing to lose at this point and will try every possibility I have."

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

Both Garside and Mouligne will remain in 12- to 20-knot east-southeast winds, but Garside would likely lose these winds first, probably some time tomorrow. This could offer Mouligne an opportunity to cut off more miles off Garside's lead.

Viktor Yazykov continued to sail well. He maintained a solid third place since leaving Punta del Este. His easterly position could keep him in good tradewinds for the next two days and he should be able to maintain nine knots speed while Garside and Mouligne slow down by hitting the light air that is stalling Soldini.

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Saito's Shuten-dohji II Photo Billy Black

Minoru Saito picked the lead over Petersen and continued to hold it with Neal Petersen close on his heels. Neil Hunter trailed them by 165 miles. All of them were lucky with the wind helping them to get relatively quickly through the narrowed Doldrums.

 BezvetriKladka.jpg (23338 bytes)
Photo Richard Konkolski

Positions:

Class 1

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Soldini Fila 25 49N 071 25W 600 6.6 0 2140
2 Thiercelin Somewhere 25 07N 065 58W 854 12.3 254.7 2140

Class 2

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Garside Magellan Alpha 20 54N 062 26W 1164 11.9 0 2144
2 Mouligne Cray Valley 17 05N 060 54W 1385 9.3 220.6 2144
3 Yazykov Wind of Change 14 34N 051 59W 1865 10.4 700.2 2144
4 Petersen No Barriers 03 39N 042 24W 2725 8.3 1560.6 2144
5 Saito Shuten-dohji II 02 58N 042 41W 2742 7.1 1577.9 2144
6 Hunter Paladin II 02 29N 039 43W 2890 7.1 1725.5 2144
7 Van Liew Balance Bar 00 24S 037 52W 3090 4.2 1925.9 2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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